Who’s washing the dishes tonight? If only there was a robot to do that…

“Basically, a dishwasher is a robot that cleans and rinses dirty dishes. Humans have to load the dishes, add detergent, set the proper washing cycles and turn it on, but the dishwasher accomplishes a whole series of functions by itself. A dishwasher:

  • Adds water
  • Heats the water to the appropriate temperature
  • Automatically opens the detergent dispenser at the right time
  • Shoots the water through jets to get the dishes clean
  • Drains the dirty water
  • Sprays more water on the dishes to rinse them
  • Drains itself again
  • Heats the air to dry the dishes off, if the user has selected that setting”










(Read more at http://home.howstuffworks.com/dishwasher.htm)

  • Can you write an algorithm for a dishwasher?
  • Maybe you could think of something extra it should do?
  • What sensors will you need in your dishwasher?
  • Can you find out how much water a dishwasher uses in a wash cycle and work out how much you would have used if you washed the same amount of dishes by hand?
  • Who invented the dishwasher and when? How did the first model differ from today’s versions?
  • Can you do all the above for a “robot that washes clothes”?

Here’s a short video that shows the inside of a dishwasher:

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About nic schofield

I’m a primary schools computing technician, interested in teaching children, their teachers & their parents, about IoT, computational thinking and implications of technology on their lives and encouraging children to think critically about technology to influence change in the world.

3 thoughts on “Who’s washing the dishes tonight? If only there was a robot to do that…

  1. That is so cool I didn’t realise that dish washers did that I thought that they just poured water over the dishes. It must be so hard programming it like Priya said.


    • Issy, I am quite sure you could write a really good algorithm (or even “pseudo-code”)! Why don’t you have a go at it, or we could look at it together, I’d quite enjoy having a go with you as my partner 🙂


  2. That looks really complicated yet it is amazing how it works. imagine how a dishwasher is made to do all them functions?


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