TECH

Electrolux Design Lab 2014: Flying Jellyfish 'Air Purifiers' To Sweep Future Cities Clean

20/10/2014 10:07 BST | Updated 20/10/2014 10:59 BST

A concept for a swarm of futuristic flying jellyfish has been selected as a finalist for a design award dedicated to inventing the (currently) impossible.

The Urban Cone concept by Michał Pośpiech from Poland imagines a future where cities with polluted air are swept clean by flying robots.

His idea is among five others competing for the ElectroLux Design Lab award, which this year include a 3D 'hunting simulation' for the home kitchen and a towel that is always clean.

Pośpiech said of his concept:

"The device lifts up and flies in the air thanks to ultra light construction and photovoltaic solar panel wings moving according to the resemblance of a jellyfish. The purification is made by exchangeable filters that lie underneath the wings of the cones. UrbanCONE is an automatic, radio-controlled smart device, which clusters in population centers with greater need for filtration."

But if you're thinking this sounds more like magic than tech (albeit useful magic) you're not wrong.

The award is specifically set up for designers to imagine the potential for future technology - but not necessarily to come up with how the idea works.

So the swarm of flying jellyfish certainly looks neat, but as for any technological breakthrough that's left to the guys with the screwdrivers and computers (IE, the people that actually do the inventing).

Still, Pośpiech thinks his invention could still change lives:

"UrbanCONE is a “modern Chinese lantern”, by means of which we can pursue our dreams of clear air and healthy climate. Our houses, streets, cities are full of polluted air. Let’s change it! UrbanCONE is opening up people to the rest of the world. Concentrations of UrbanCONE are fresh and pleasant, what helps in creating new bonds. Find a connoisseur of common scent, which was installed in the filter of out UrbanCONE! Collects scents and impressions. Adapt it to your mood. Let’s create a dreams!"

Let's create a dreams indeed.

Here are all the finalists: