Custom home builders say they notice more customers interested in energy efficiency, leading to the installation of foam insulation, Energy Star-rated appliances, tankless water heaters and other energy-conserving innovations. Other trends include subway tile, hardwoods and natural stone flooring, brass fixtures, porcelains and a more liberal use of color.
The Roomba and its companion robots -- the floor-washing Scooba and the gutter-cleaning Looj -- account for 90% of iRobot's revenue, said company CEO Colin Angle. As defense contracts have been flat, the company plans to boost investment in home products and in the up-and-coming product niche of telepresence robots, which users control in remote locations.
iRobot's Roomba 880 gets down and dirty to effectively clean up household messes, according to a review by Gizmodo. The programmable robot vacuum uses a pair of rotating extractors to pick up debris off the floor and is adept at maneuvering around furniture, corners and other obstacles.
The Independent’s David Phelan names his picks for the top 50 best labor-reducing home appliances available on the market. The AEG ProTex PLUS washing machine, iRobot Scooba 230 and Dyson Airblade tap take the top three slots.
Cooks from Stack Exchange provide their tips for buying a multi-purpose chef’s knife. A knife with a full tang, blade shape and comfort of the grip are among the most important characteristics to consider before making a purchase.