written by:
illustrated by:
July 10, 2014
Originally published in America the Beautiful
as
Garage Rock
Use computers and robots to keep your cars purring and gutters clean, all without setting aside an entire Sunday afternoon.
  • 
  Eliminate the pain in house chores with gadgets that will do the heavy lifting for you.  Photo by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan.

    Eliminate the pain in house chores with gadgets that will do the heavy lifting for you.

    Photo by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan.
  • 
  Kiwi by PLX, $90  Plug this into your post-1996 car’s onboard diagnostics port, and the Kiwi links to smartphone apps to explain a Check Engine light or tell you when an oil change is needed.

    Kiwi by PLX, $90 

    Plug this into your post-1996 car’s onboard diagnostics port, and the Kiwi links to smartphone apps to explain a Check Engine light or tell you when an oil change is needed.

  • 
  Amplifi Hose Powering and Storage System by Briggs & Stratton, $199  Besides neatly organizing a 75-foot hose, the Amplifi lets you change the power of the stream using controls on the nozzle. Turn it on full blast to clean second-story windows or on low to water the garden.

    Amplifi Hose Powering and Storage System by Briggs & Stratton, $199 

    Besides neatly organizing a 75-foot hose, the Amplifi lets you change the power of the stream using controls on the nozzle. Turn it on full blast to clean second-story windows or on low to water the garden.

  • 
  Automatica by Inrete, $159  This plugs into your car’s USB port to play podcasts, music from your Dropbox folder—anything you can upload to a cloud server. Anytime it gets near a secure wi-fi connection, it’ll update with the latest content.

    Automatica by Inrete, $159 

    This plugs into your car’s USB port to play podcasts, music from your Dropbox folder—anything you can upload to a cloud server. Anytime it gets near a secure wi-fi connection, it’ll update with the latest content.

  • 
  Power Cord System by RoboReel, $299  Typical reelers for power cords use springs, which can break easily. The RoboReel uses a lubricated motor that winds gradually to prevent the cord from snapping around. Mount it on the ceiling to save floor space.

    Power Cord System by RoboReel, $299 

    Typical reelers for power cords use springs, which can break easily. The RoboReel uses a lubricated motor that winds gradually to prevent the cord from snapping around. Mount it on the ceiling to save floor space.

  • 
  Yeti 150 by Goal Zero, $200 With 150 watt-hours of battery, this pack can charge a laptop twice or a smartphone 15 times. The integrated AC port means you can operate household appliances during a blackout. Charge via solar power or by plugging into the grid.

    Yeti 150 by Goal Zero, $200

    With 150 watt-hours of battery, this pack can charge a laptop twice or a smartphone 15 times. The integrated AC port means you can operate household appliances during a blackout. Charge via solar power or by plugging into the grid.

  • 
  Looj 330 by iRobot, $300  Sit the Looj’s tank treads in a gutter and it runs along, spewing out a season’s worth of gunk—no need to lean precariously on a ladder. Set it to go automatically, or control it remotely.

    Looj 330 by iRobot, $300 

    Sit the Looj’s tank treads in a gutter and it runs along, spewing out a season’s worth of gunk—no need to lean precariously on a ladder. Set it to go automatically, or control it remotely.

  • 
  2520 Battery Tender by Clore, $110  With all the systems running in modern cars, monitoring the battery is vital. Hook it up to this tender when you you’re not driving: It brings the battery to full capacity and shuts off before overcharging.

    2520 Battery Tender by Clore, $110 

    With all the systems running in modern cars, monitoring the battery is vital. Hook it up to this tender when you you’re not driving: It brings the battery to full capacity and shuts off before overcharging.

Previous Next
Slideshow loading...
@current / @total
Smart home utility products

Eliminate the pain in house chores with gadgets that will do the heavy lifting for you.

Photo by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan.

You May Also Like

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...