11.22.2005

 

A few friends for Roomba

Leigh got a Roomba for her birthday this weekend. Roomba is the little pizza-shaped robot that runs around the house sweeping the floor.

I must admit that this device has exceeded my expectations. You simply turn it on before you go to bed and it will sweep the kitchen floor, the family room and the foyer. With four kids, there is lots of stuff for it to sweep up -- cereal crumbs and other food debris, sand and dirt being tracked in on shoes, etc. The little bin fills up a lot faster than I would have ever imagined.

The thing about Roomba is that it forces the mind to wander. Sure, a little sweeping robot is nice. But it begs for a family of companion robots. Let me show you what I mean...

The first companion I would create is Pickba. Before you turn Roomba loose, you have to pick up all the hot wheel cars, legos, puzzle pieces, books, shoes, socks, etc. that the kids leave lying around the house. Pickba would simply roll around, pick all this junk up and put it in a box in the corner. Then it would signal to Roomba for it to get started once the floor is clear of debris.

As Roomba is going around, it would have a little camera that visually scans the carpet for juice stains, mud, etc. Then it would send a signal to Stainba, who would come along with a special cleaning fluid and scrubbing brushes to get the stain out of the carpet.

The baseboardba would follow along after Roomba dusting and wiping down all the baseboards, ending this chore once and for all. The baseboard task is a little sticky because there are lots of times that furniture gets in the way. Therefore, Furba would be a low, flat lifting robot that can get under things like sofas, lift them an inch off the ground and roll them out of the way. Once Baseboardba has done its thing, Furnba moves the furniture back. The big advantage of Furnba is that, using a special piece of graphical software running on your home computer, you can decide on new furniture arrangements. The software would then transmit the new arrangement to Furba, which would move everything around for you.

Another advantage of Furba is that it makes painting easy. That's good, because Paintba will do all the painting for you. Paintba is a lot like Roomba, but has special suction wheels so it can roll along walls and ceilings. Just pour the paint into Paintba and come back an hour later to a perfectly painted room.

Watching Roomba running around in the kitchen makes you think of Counterba -- a smaller version of Roomba that wipes down and sanitizes countertops. It also has the ability to deal with stovetops and sinks!

Of course in my home, the countertops are rarely clean enough for Counterba to do his job. Therefore, he has two companions. Mailba cleans the piles of unsorted mail off the countertop, automatically throwing out the junk mail, putting magazines on the coffee table and filing everything else. Then Dishba empties the dishwasher, picks up all the dirty dishes on the counter and reloads it for you. Once Mailba and Dishba are done, Counterba has a wide open countertop to roll around on.

Dishba of course begs for a friend named Laundba, which roams around the house picking up dirty laundry, washes it, folds it and puts it back where it belongs.

Then there is Pooba. I admit that I hate changing poopy diapers. This is a special box-shaped robot. You put the poopy kid in, and Pooba removes the soiled diaper, cleans the kid up and puts a new diaper on.

If you combine the fundamental technologies in Pooba and Counterba you get Bathba, which you toss into the bathroom so that it can take care of toilets, tubs, sinks and showers.

There are lots of others that are easy to think of:And so on...

Some of these actually seem doable in the not-too-distant future. Pickba, which would be quite a useful companion for Roomba today, could probably be done right now without an immense stretch of technology. It will be interesting to see how long it takes...

Comments:
Well, they did just come out with Scooba, which washes floors. Won't be long...
 
Why not a generalized soultion?

Are people going to buy hundreds of these little robots or one or two legit robot slaves?
 
Bah! Is your time really so damn valuble that you can't walk your dog or wash your dishes. There are enough fat, stupid lazy people in this country. Don't encourage the bastards. I'd rather send our legions of little round kids to military training just to give them some kind of physical activity.
 
It is your generation which produced the 'little round kids'. Your technology, your social institutions, your lack of food system planning, your lack of forsight, your highschool junk food marketing, your entertainment industry, your enviroment. So before you degrade the youth of america, take stock in your contribution. If you say you didn't have a direct hand in the aforementioned contributors, it is almost as certain you did not lend a hand to combat them.
 
Anthony David Adams, I might actually be close to your age. Don't assume because I make these recommendations that I am some old establishment fart.

The point was: Americans (and American kids in particular) are generally fat. This is not just my opinion. They need more exercise, and a little more self-discipline wouldn't hurt either.

I DIDN'T create the technology, social institutions, food planning, junk food marketing, entertainment industry, or environment that would support your completely irrational argument. What have you done lately, Anthony?

Is this you?
http://www.175g.com/MT/

If so, did I.Q.'s drop precipitously in the last 4 or 5 years, or are you just playin'?
 
You guys are kidding, right? As if robotics were only going to affect Americans...
 
Thats true, nobody in Europe is fat like Americans are but they have mostly the same technology that we do. Its not a matter of having to get up to do the dishes, its a matter of having the motivation to actually work out once in a while.
 
This is just ridiculous as if doing some mindless tedious chore is somehow virtuous or worthy. It's just plain BS.

We've all been brainwashed by our pathetic social environment to believe that doing menial work is somehow praise worthy, and something to be valued. Of course it's nice society's doing it's job, someone had to do it(from driving garbage trucks, to cleaning public bathrooms), it's only in recent times that automation is getting to the point were no one will have to do such mundane acts. Truth is these things ain't praise worthy, they're just tedious and pointless things that have to be done and that might as well be automated.
Our ancestors struggled more than we do, thanks to the lack of modern tech, we don't find that any more praise worthy than living in the modern age, just more tedious(no water/electric supply, or modern appliances, etc).

As for fat, I'd just blame our genetic inheritance, our ancestors sadly had to spent most of their time just getting the food to get by, thus they had to accumulate it easily enough. Same with muscle it's expensive so might as well strongly regulate it's maintainance based on use.

All of these things ain't outside the grasp of medical advances. We'll just eventually get safe and effective therapies that make sure we get those abs easily and keep'em along with getting rid of the flab.

A recent study even hinted that base activity lvls are influenced by genes, making it harder and easier respectively for some to get off-the-couch. So we might as well treat that too, increasing the intrinsic motivation, to move about, of the population. Only thing is it'll be to go sight-seeing, practice some sports, arts, etc, not dedicate their short lives(which might as well be lengthened) to repetitive mindless tasks.

Our bodies have already automated most lifesupport tasks, and I'm sure we wouldn't find it praise worthy if you had to actively think and spend some effort just to breath, pump blood, move food through the digestive tracks, keep the various automated functions(kidney, liver, pancreas, etc.) going. We're just extending it forth to the outside world.
 
Spoken like a true fat person. ;)
 
You forgot, woomba. :)
Woomba SNL commercial skit
 
Are you guys high? Hope so...

But... Moving on...

I've been watching my Roomba for a couple hours a day for a couple of days. I even charged it up and took it to my sister's house. (My floors were clean, you see?)

And that, somehow, becomes the point... Your points were just stupid.

If you want to talk "laziness" then get the hell out of your car. And if you want to defend "laziness" then just stop - please. You're airing your dirty laundry... And we don't care.

Roomba is cool... Really, really cool.

Who the hell is complaining about the "elevator"? Not anyone here... Which proves what? Yeah... Right!

When technology takes away a mundane chore it allows humans to soar (sorry - an accidental poem... I won't do it again...)

[Oh... By the way... I love dot-dot-dot so hold your complaints - they are completely stupid and un-necessary... I get it... Do you?]

But Roomba...

All I have to say is...

More...
 
One more thing...

Roomba is a technological marvel...

And... As all marvels should be...

Roomba is marvelous...
 
And another thing...

The "did iq's drop..." line is from Aliens and Ripley did it far better idiot! (Said with love... No... Really!) [I'm drunk AND bored... What can I say?]
 
And then there was this...

I stopped writing because my Roomba became silent upstairs...

I mixed a drink and went to check on him (yes... he's a "he" to me...)

But as I went up the stairs - I heard him again...

I love Roomba - I do...
 
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