A natty little smart gadget that can automate just about any device


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My wife has a coffee machine. It lives in our utility room and it’s a bit battered. It’s had a hard life.

Every time I suggest to her we replace it with a super clever one that can be ordered through Google speakers to start making a brew for her she gets all clingy and possessive and tells me where to go.

So she’s fond of her old relic, and that’s fair enough. But happily I’ve found a device that lets me indulge my inner geek and lets my wife keep her old coffee machine.

It’s called a and I happened upon it while testing an , also made by Switchbot.

This innocuous little cube is the darling of the Switchbot range though, and it basically mounts onto any device with a sticky pad and, at the touch of a button in the Switchbot app, a cute little arm pokes out and presses a button. Or flicks a switch.

What this means is my wife’s coffee machine’s “go” button can be pressed by this lovely little “robot” while we’re still having a lie-in. Or even, if we fancy, while we’re in another country.

It links up to your home’s wifi through a “hub”, sold separately, (but it also works through Bluetooth) and the whole Switchbot eco-system links up nicely with Google Nest and Alexa.

The nice people at Switchbot sent me two to test out, so now we’ve not only got fresh coffee on demand, but I also have a smart kitchen light-switch.

The bots can be set up to flick conventional household switches, by using a supplied loop of what looks like fishing wire, and another sticky pad.

It’s quite fiddly to set up, and took a few attempts to get the alignment spot on, but it works brilliantly.

The supplied batteries seem to last forever, and I’ve not actually known it disconnect or go glitchy once. And that’s impressive for modern online devices.

They’re available in black or white and each bot costs about £25, which I think is an absolute bargain.

The hub, if you want to link it up to WiFi, costs a shade over £30, but it will work with any Switchbot product, or even multiples of them.

And, take it from me, once you’ve got a few of Switchbot’s brilliant devices in your home, finding new ways of automating your life becomes addictive. There’s a whole selection of clever tech, from smart thermometers to lights and cameras available.

It’s a five-star gadget all day long.

By lita