Skip to main content

Catuum: AI Product Ideation for Cat Inspired Vacuum Cleaners

Catuum: AI Product Ideation for Cat Inspired Vacuum Cleaners

By Tojin T. Eapen

We utilized text-to-image generation techniques to generate designs for "Catuums," a line of vacuum cleaners inspired by cats. Our objective was to evaluate the capabilities of generative AI models in creating innovative and functional designs that are visually reminiscent of friendly furry felines. 

Researchers and designers can look at the anatomy, behavior, and abilities of cats to inform the development of new products in fields such as robotics and prosthetics. For example, the agility and flexibility of a cat's spine and its famed ability to land upright on its feet can inspire the design of more efficient robots, while the retractable claws of a cat can be potentially used as inspiration for developing mechanical products. Studying the way cats move may also lead to improved treatment for human spinal cord injuries.

Catuum: AI Product Ideation for Cat Inspired Vacuum Cleaners

The concept of using a cat as inspiration for a vacuum cleaner is particularly intriguing, as it allows for the application of analogical sensemaking. Similar to how a pet cat moves around a house, it is common to see vacuum cleaners traversing the entire space of a home. Additionally, it is interesting to note that while a pet cat is known for shedding hair, the Catuum does the opposite by effectively removing hair and debris from surfaces. Overall, the project aimed to use AI to generate designs that are visually appealing and functional, leveraging the natural characteristics of cats in the design process.

Catuum: AI Product Ideation for Cat Inspired Vacuum Cleaners

We employed generative AI models to quickly create a diverse range of designs for Catuums. Some of these designs, like the ones below in the collage, appear very similar to common vacuum cleaners.

Catuum: AI Product Ideation for Cat Inspired Vacuum Cleaners

Another set of designs using a different set of prompts generated Catuum concepts that showed a much closer resemblance to the feline form but appeared to be more whimsical in appearence. These Catuum designs fanciful quality to them, and may be more suited for use as a childrens' toy rather than a functional product

Catuum: AI Product Ideation for Cat Inspired Vacuum Cleaners

This post is part of a series of articles on the use of generative AI for bioinspired product ideation. The use of AI for product concept generation allows for the quick creation of many potentially novel designs, which could then be evaluated and refined to select the most promising concepts to move to the next stage of the product development process.


To learn how leading Fortune Global 500 companies such as ABB, Bosch, Google, Samsung, and NetApp have used Innomantra's Functional Innovation Methodology to turbocharge their idea management process, schedule a meeting today at


Popular Posts

Camelar: AI Product Ideation for Camel Inspired Cars

By Tojin T. Eapen We used AI tools ( chatGPT and Stable Diffusion ) to generate concept cars ("Camelars") that are inspired by camels, which are known for their exceptional ability to survive and thrive in rugged and challenging environments.  We wanted Camelars to ideally include features and capabilities that would allow them to perform well in conditions such as rough terrain, extreme temperatures, and limited resources. For this, we generated the following description of the Camelar, a bioinspired car that borrows from the appearance and characteristics of the camel. Generate an image of a car inspired by a camel, designed for long distance travel through harsh or remote environments. The car should have a spacious and comfortable interior with amenities like a built-in kitchen and sleeping quarters, as well as storage compartments for supplies and equipment. The exterior should feature a rugged and durable design, with features like high ground clearance, all-terrain ti

Empathy and Confrontation in Idea Generation

By  Tojin T. Eapen Successful innovation often involves two key factors: empathy and confrontation .  Empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is important in both art and science. In art, empathy with human subjects allows artists and writers to create relatable works. In science, empathy with non-human entities and abstract concepts allows investigators to understand them deeply and intuitively. The second key factor in innovation is confrontation, or the clash of ideas , perspectives, or reference frames. While empathy and confrontation may seem contradictory, both are essential for successful innovation, and one often leads to the other. According to MIT professor Edward Roberts , innovation is the combination of invention and exploitation. Theresa Amabile defines innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization.  The term innovation can be seen as a portmanteau word that encapsulates its own ingredients: in spira

Generative AI for Bioinspired Product Ideation

By Tojin T. Eapen The design of products, processes, and organizations guided by principles observed in living systems can be referred to as " Bioinspired System Design ." In a series of posts, we delve into the potential of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to generate bioinspired product design concepts as a part of the idea management process. Specifically, we will look at how living organisms can serve as inspiration to redesign common products and human artifacts including bags, cars, bags, pens, tanks, trains, and umbrellas. In each of these articles, we will examine how the unique characteristics and behaviors of a particular living organism can be incorporated into the design of the bioinspired product. Elephantcopter: AI Designed Elephant Inspired Helicopters Camelar: AI Product Ideation for Camel Inspired Cars Koafa: AI Product Ideation for the Koala Inspired Sofas Paradiso: AI Product Ideation for Birds-of-Paradise Inspired T-Shirts Tigoes: AI Product Ideati

The Efficiency-Resilience-Prominence (ERP) Framework

Consider any living organism and its struggle for survival in a changing environment. Three crucial factors are common to all living systems: resource management, especially energy resources; coping with environmental forces such as heat, wind, and currents; and managing relationships with other entities, which can range from friendly to predatory.  These three factors are referred to as survivability concerns. To increase survival, an organism must adapt and manage these concerns, either through biological means like specialized organs, or behavioral means such as action and strategy. Organizations also face these same concerns of resources, forces, and relationships in their quest for survival.  Each living system has three corresponding capability factors: efficiency in managing resources, resilience against environmental forces, and prominence in attracting or evading attention. These three capabilities are collectively known as the ERP factors.