Here Come the Robots

Today’s post comes from Steve Grooms

I used to hate computers. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, computers increasingly intruded into the lives of average people. And they were no fun. I hated them. Just about everybody did. People had notes on their cubicle walls saying, “I am a human being. Do not bend, fold or mutilate.” That—for younger readers who might not know—was a reference to the legend printed on the universally hated computer data cards.

When I heard that people were buying computers for their homes, I was astonished. What? People needed computers to do their taxes? That made no sense at all. I suppose I first heard about home computers in 1980, for that is when the first home computers were hitting the market.

Well, guess what? The most astonishing gift I got in the Christmas of 1982 was the computer my parents gave me. My life has not been the same since then. I used that primitive computer (an 8 bit CP/M Osborne) to write six books. I soon was writing email letters to friends, sending articles and manuscripts electronically to publishers and even (yes!) using the computer to do my taxes. A computer hater became a computer lover almost overnight, and now I can’t imagine life without my computer. I use it more and enjoy it in more ways than my TV.

All of this is necessary background for what this blog is really about, which is robots.

When I first heard people wanted robots for their homes, I was amazed and derisive, just as I had been about home computers. And just like computers, robots are coming into our lives and into our homes. The most militantly humanistic young couple I know owns a robot that whirrs around vacuuming their home without human guidance. The manufacturer of the Roomba now makes a similar robot that mops tile floors.

Now there are robot lawn mowers that will roar around peoples’ yards mowing the grass without human guidance. If I had a lawn to mow now I’d be tempted by these. They aren’t cheap. For all I know, they might chop up the occasional tulip garden or Pomeranian. But these are the “Model T” versions of robotic lawn mowers, after all. We can expect them to get better and cheaper year by year, just as computers did.

When I scoffed at the notion that robots would enter our homes, I was thinking of little tin men clanking around brandishing brooms, trying to sweep the kitchen floor. But that’s not the way it will happen. Of course, that could come. Sony already makes a robot called the QRIO that looks like the stereotype of a robot, something that has two legs and two arms and walks upright. But that’s not how robots will first enter our lives.

The first robots to enter our homes will be stationary, yet they will be able to listen to us and talk back. And they are already here. Examples include the Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot or Google Home. These little robots were extremely popular Christmas gifts this year. What they feature is artificial intelligence. They talk to us and respond to things we say. They interact with their human “owners.” They even perform simple tasks, like playing music or ordering takeout food.

I first understood how close all this is to revolutionizing our world a few weeks ago when I viewed a promotional video for Jibo, the “home robot.” I used to think “home robot” was an oxymoron like “military intelligence.” But, no, it is a clever new social robot. Watch this video and draw your own conclusions:

This is the future. And the future is now. Robots are changing our lives, just as computers once did. Brace yourselves!

What will home robots do? Nobody can know for sure, but the general answer is that they will do anything that is unpleasant or bothersome to the point we don’t like to do it ourselves.

Something else that is coming—and indeed is here already—is the robotic pet. These are highly popular in some societies. Count me among those who are creeped out by the idea of a robotic cat or dog. But many people, particularly in Japan, find robotic pets comforting. A robotic cat presumably would not need a sandbox, and it would only “eat” batteries.

Beyond doing unpleasant things, I am convinced that social robots will increasingly serve as substitutes for human friends. We already have robots that chat with us and perform small tasks. It wouldn’t be difficult to create a small robot with AI that that would have something like a face and something like a personality. Are there lonely people in this world who would love to have a robot that never tires of talking to them and laughs explosively at their jokes? How would you react to a robot that sits by your toaster in the morning chatting with you, making coffee, delivering a weather report and saying snarky things about Donald Trump?

What bothersome tasks would you like to have done by a home robot?

96 thoughts on “Here Come the Robots”

    1. they exist
      do yo have an idea of what field you would like to create income in? i have an idea that any robots are out there currently doing the stuff that used to require hours of work by folks and now if you want to lasso its field of expertise and send it off to work on yor behalf it is easily done. choose those who you want to work for and the job is half done. agree to the task and the price and plug in the robot. your job now is to monitor the process.
      a new task but one that can be done by another robot once yo get the hang of it.
      people will get involved and muck it up but so it goes

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      1. I don’t think you quite a understand me, tim.

        I don’t mind working, i don’t so much mind cleaning, tidying up, actually making things, cooking, etc, etc. But i hate the fact that some necessary work brings in less dosh than others that is perhaps less necessary. This leaves a lot of hardworking people who do necessary work with insufficient funds to cover a decent life.

        I realise many jobs can be done by robots, but they only generate a livelihood for the robot owner, leaving the rest of us out in the cold, no matter how skilled and hardworking we may be.

        We are already seeing where that leads.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. i was saying there are robots out there at your beckon call for you to plug into your life to make some money with by assingning them tasks yo can charge for so you dont have to be a hardworking person with insufficient funds.
          cleaning and cooking and tidying up are not the catagories covered but there are plenty that are.

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    1. The window washing robot conjures images of a vertical Roomba- sort of a spider-like device that creeps perpetually from window to window and maintains cleanliness.

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    2. And to get the cobwebs and bugs out of basement corners. That is the definition of drudgery, yet I dislike cobwebs hanging around.

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    3. great idea renee
      the same robot that mows lawns and vacuums the rug cold be programmed to push show as it falls. it cold push it onto the street or into a snow keeping area. it wold be better to do it as it falls than to do it after 6 inches had already fallen but both are possible just as different level and cost of the snow pusher. if the robot just pushed snow all the time it was falling and kept at it until it was done it would not be a big deal. people like to wait until it is over so they only have to do it once. the beauty of the robot is that it can detect if there is snow or not and move it if it is a yes. forever and ever.
      good for my driveway. huge benefit for walmart parking lots and how about the roads. we are talking about delivering amazon packages in google peopleless driven cars how about snow plow drivers in neverending roadwinding push and deice mode bots. nanook and boreas the snowbots

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good choices. I wonder if the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner could be adapted to run around under the bed.

    I used to be proud but defensive about my houskeeping standards when I was managing a home without no female help. I thought I did pretty well, but only if visitors didn’t look in certain areas. Like under any furniture. Or on any lamp shade. And now that I think about it, the bathroom floor had good and bad days.

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    1. it will run under there now and pick p dst bunnies etc. i used to wonder why they were so expensive. 4 or 5 hndred dollars when i could by them in quantity for about 100. now i see the price is coming down to the 199 level. if vacuuming is important 199 may be worth it. i remember a good saying left to me by a busy guy who always had too many tasks on his plate. ” dust keeps” i live by that one

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      1. We bought a robot vacumn last year. We call him ‘Marvin’ (from ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’)
        Our is not programmable; we have to tell him when to run, which, surprisingly, we don’t do as often as you would think.
        Sure, at first, I would run him every couple mornings when we left for work. But he might get hung up on a rug or stuck on a cord and then I’d forget to start him or not have time to move stuff before leaving and pretty soon… he hasn’t run for a month.
        But under the bed? He’s GREAT AT THAT! Scared us the first time: OMG– HE WENT UNDER THE BED! AUUGGGHHH! Man, no one had been under the bed in years!
        He survived! Had to empty his bin a couple times, but yep; he did it.

        He sometimes gets stuck between chairs and corners… watch out for cords… small rugs are OK sometimes… depends how easily they wrinkle up.

        So yeah, they’re pretty nice. But get one that you can program to run on a schedule.
        And then post a picture of your cat riding it around.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. A camera and microphone, always watching and listening, connected to the internet and with facial recognition and tracking capabilities. What could possibly go wrong with that? Cute surveillance.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. I know! I know! After all, our world is increasingly being filled with sensors. You can fix it so a light comes on when you approach your closet. How about a sensor that knows when the toilet should be flushed? I could use a sensor that tells me when a veggie out of sight deep in the fridge’s crisper has turned to liquid.

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      1. we now have the three classes of test tube babies but they are being incubated in the bodies of the mothers instead. the rich where the temperature is kept at precisely 72 degrees and music is chosen to enhance the good taste requited to function in the upper echelon the middle management functioning babies who get news and sports and pop tunes and the worker class conceived in cold dark surrounding with headbanger music playing and clanging in the background

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  3. Wow! Thanks for this Steve.
    I say anything that helps people be less lonely is fine by me.

    I’m with Renee on the dusting and shoveling. I also want one that keeps the basement vacuumed, keeps us stocked with necessary items like batteries (things you tend to forget about), and mop the kitchen. Will it shake out throw rugs?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, they already have a robot that mops the kitchen. Because it is a robot, it will also mop around the toilet without holding its nose and making demeaning observations about the errant aim of males in the household.

      Now, shaking out the throw rugs could be hard. Here’s my guess. I’ve decided the Echo by Amazon is a stealth robot whose actual purpose is to make it even easier to order things from Amazon. You know, right now we can click on the “Buy now with 1-ckick” button to order a CD of the Mormon Tabernacle choir doing Willie Nelson songs. So if you wonder out loud if that book Fifty Shades of Gray is any good, your friendly robot might figure you are too shy to say you want it, and it will do the order itself.

      While I can’t imagine a robot thumping the dust out of throw rugs, I can imagine one hiding dirty rugs under the basement stairs and ordering new clean ones from Amazon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Thanks Steve, for an interesting blogpost.

    I am with the anti-housework crew that appears above. Load and clear the dishwasher, empty the trash, wipe the counters… I like having these things done, but I don’t like doing them.

    There are some tasks I don’t want robotized– weed the garden or walk the dogs. Those tasks, while repetitive and boring, are my dream time. (However, I would accept a robot that followed me picking up the doggie-doo during the walk or sweep the goosepoop out of the range of the dogs). I hope no one ever invents a robot that holds a baby’s bottle or feeds an infant baby food–nothing can ever replace the necessity of that human interaction.

    When I weed the garden I think about my Grandma and Mom who were the people who taught me how to do these things, and I feel like I join them in the stream of life moving forward. The dogs and I have our walking routines that become our own little worlds of rhythmic interaction. I just love that. Then I start up an audiobook to accompany our walk, and life is good.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. i remember a story about a gardener parent teaching the children and the passerby who commented on the unnecessary work being done and the reply was ” im not raising vegetables im raising children. let me teach them how to get things done”
      i always like that one

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Saw your apology below – I love that you posted these, Jacque. A little off topic, but couldn’t be more relevant. I have half a dozen photos of Trump behaving incestuously with his daughter……….

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  5. Pardon me for shifting tone, BiR, but I wonder if you actually think it is good to make robots that can address the loneliness of modern life. Actually, I’m pretty sure they have all the technology needed for that now. These stationary robots with artificial intelligence are already serving as “personal assistants.” Let’s imagine that some canny manufacturer wants to sell a ton of these to lonely people. How would that be done?

    My daughter makes heavy use of Siri, the personal assistant on her iPhone. She made Siri male and gave “him” a British accent. Those settings already exist. They suggest some strange possibilities to me. How about a personal assistant that comes with software that lets you design its personality? The Democrat/Republican slider would let you specify the politics of your robot. Another would let you set the level of cynicism. Another would let you choose how your robotic friend would react to strangers who speak heavily accented English. There are other obvious possibilities I won’t go into.

    I think it is already pretty easy to make a robot that would carry on extended conversations about current events, mostly saying things it knows you want to hear. With a little bit of programming this thing could tell you the funny thing Jimmy Fallon said on last night’s show. If you mentioned driving to a ball game, the robot could warn you about what traffic to expect on the freeway and make some typical fanboy comments about the Twins’ bullpen. It would reduce loneliness by chatting with you amiably.

    I wonder: is this a Good Thing?

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    1. could be if you program it to give you access to stuff that makes you smarter not simply reinforces the stuff you already know. if you add thomas friedman and leave out bill o’reilly it could be good. plug in the venues that offer worth and go to the places they reference and continue with the world of learning that interests you. the possibilities are incredible.

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    2. lonely
      that may be a different story.
      people are so different. i like people and enjoy them for the most part. i remember one of my kids coaches who had a bubbly wife who i really enjoyed.
      i told him yo and my wife cold be left in a room all by yourselves forever and be just fine with that. you dont like people. me and your wife could be surrounded by people all the time and be happy because we love people. he laughed really hard and said. “your absolutely right. i dont like people and she does. i never thought of that.
      they divorced a short while later. i hope i wasnt instrumental

      i doint get lonely but i am in constant interaction with others. maybe if i was on a trio to mars and the connection broke so ii would be alone with a library of information for the rest of my life i wold feel lonelu i dont know. with out the library it wold be another interesting scenario wouldnt it?

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    3. It begs the question: What is loneliness? Is it simply the absence of someone to talk to or is it a frame of mind? Is it enough to have something to talk at, even allowing that that something can formulate responses? Wouldn’t that be, ultimately, hollow and unsatisfying? Why look to an apparatus for company? It’s not as if there’s a shortage of people.

      One of the things that makes a pet a more satisfying companion and a balm for loneliness is that your pet, even though he can’t converse, possesses self interest. Your pet will weigh what you wish him to do against what he wishes. and that serves to remind you that your pet is an individual, one that expects his individuality to be respected.

      You could program a robot to simulate self interest, but would that make it a better companion or just an unreliable machine? I think robots as entities will always have an authenticity problem and that will lie at the root of their suitability as companions.

      It was my impression, even before cell phones and widespread connectivity, that in Japanese culture the individual was an incomplete social unit. Solitariness was uncomfortable and a source of tension. Maybe that was the product of customarily high population density. I suspect that that tension, that feeling of incompleteness is what makes the Japanese so susceptible to robotic pets and companions.

      Western culture used to be much more comfortable with periods of solitude. Solitude did not necessarily equal loneliness. The individual was a complete social unit. That no longer seems to be the case. People seem not to be able to go anywhere or do anything without uninterrupted connectivity. To be out of connection is tantamount somehow to being incomplete. I find it very strange, but that’s just me, apparently.

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      1. You are as thoughtful as usual, Bill. You and I see the issue authenticity differently. People who are sufficiently lonely have different standards for authenticity than people who are self confident and grounded. If you can’t imagine that, perhaps you are just that well grounded and sure of your worth. My observation is that some people will pay great amounts of money and go to pathetic extremes to get companionship even when they suspect it is insincere. Presumably, as people turn increasingly to robotic friends and pets the oddness of that could fade.

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      2. bingo

        it drives me crazy to be in a room full of people and to haeve every one of them looking at the palm of their hand and manipulating data. no conversation no thoughts to work out no interaction just a portal to the next ditty in the link you are a part of.
        in thinking about it in the abstract we all used to be following the link to the next thing it is just that you had to look it up or wait to act on it becasue you were here and the link was there. today everything is in your pocket. it is a brave new world. the robotic movie theater seats in huxleys brave new world that people woould go to the feelies for on friday evening made me wonder if yo would do that with a date or instead of a date or exactly how that worked, that would be some interesting software to work with huh. modify the instructions to fit the individual needs of the user. what fun…

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        1. My youngest son has all of our family functions because he’s got 7000 sq. feet in which to host the whole tribe. Every time we show up, he has a basket in which ALL cell phones are placed. Since 7 of my 12 grand kids are teenagers, they don’t stay very long!

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      3. As PJ says, you are not alone. I still have folks that marvel when they can’t “get me” because my cell phone is downstairs and I’m upstairs. (And one who gets positively riled up if I’m not immediately available on either cell or land line!)

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        1. I bought my first iPhone a year ago and made the scary transition from a flip phone. To force myself to learn how to use it, I set a date for my landline to be cut off. When I got home with the new phone, I immediately started calling people to make sure I could work it. I reached a couple of friends, but couldn’t hear a thing they said. In utter frustration, I rushed back to the Apple store, complaining that this phone didn’t work. The manager noticed how I was holding it and said, “You have your fingers over the speaker”.

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    4. I think a robot could maybe help loneliness if it was a supplement to human interaction, but wasn’t the main thing. Loneliness is not merely the lack of interacting with others, although that can certainly be part of it. It’s the feeling that you’re not important to anyone, that nobody cares what you think or feel or say. That sounds like an extremely selfish mindset, but a lonely person can care very much about others but those others don’t care about him or her.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I feel invisible every time I’m with my very robust, successful, and extroverted kids and their kids. Their lives are expanding while mine is contracting. It doesn’t help that most of them are over 5’9″ and I’ve shrunk to 4’11” either.

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  6. One of the tasks that I hate–and, really, most people hate–is filing. You know: filing important papers like receipts, insurance policies, warranties, tax records and similar stuff. Nobody likes to file that stuff, but if it isn’t filed you can’t find it when you need it.

    I once tried to pay Linda to bring order to my filing system. Smart as she is, she couldn’t do it. My system was simple. When an important looking paper appeared, it put it in a grocery bag. When that bag got full, I put it up on a shelf and opened a new bag. Simple. But hard to work with if you want to find your W2 forms or that receipt for fixing your auto brakes. In my experience, people HATE organizing and filing this stuff.

    How about a robot to do this? The robot has not been built yet that could sort my grocery bags full of random paper. But still, I see possibilities. We have to move to a paperless system. Smart people are already working on that. Since nobody trusts this, we still have paper copies of everything, which is “the worst of all possible worlds” sort of a deal.

    Now we add a robot that hears us and talks to us. This robot automatically files all important notices and receipts, etc. If it is data, it can be digitized. And if it can be digitized, it can be automatically filed by a smart robot that keeps track of such things. This same robot could be taught all our passwords and usernames. We could just say, “Alexa, do my 2016 state and federal taxes. And file them yourself, please.”

    Of course, that raises the threat that Vladimir Putin could sort through our most intimate economic records and cancel the Netflix subscription or something. But the filing part? That could be done pretty easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could probably have helped you get your filing into shape, Steve. I have a system that I found after years and years of frustration and piles and stacks of papers. No more. I still don’t like filing and dealing with papers, but the utter hatred is gone. I don’t always keep up with it every week, but I have a system that works quite well (and I’m conceited enough to think that if it works for me, it would work for anyone) so that even after a few weeks of ignoring the paperwork, I can usually whip through the small stack in just a few minutes.

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  7. Cleaning tasks seem sort of a “gimme” for robotic help. A roomba to clean the dog poo in the yard would be swell (especially in spring when everything melts and you find extra…surprises…). Husband is one who likes some human interaction, but prefers to be by himself with a small number of humans in proximity – if it weren’t that he also understands a wee bit too much about the frightening possibilities of a Jibo or Echo being hacked, he might enjoy conversation with an algorithm-driven intelligence.

    Now, what gets dicier for me is the clutter in the house. I don’t think a robot is going to be able to help with that. Unless I have a robot that picks up and stores different things – so I could have the robot that picks up Daughter’s socks and her mittens that land in odd places and coats that get hung on the back of chairs (argh!) instead of on a hook or in the closet, and another for collecting the bills and mail that need to be sorted later (perhaps with an interface to scan them and remind me when the bills are due so I can pay them via the robot), and one for craft supplies (sorted by type), and perhaps one for “this is something else to be dealt with” that reminds me twice a month to empty it out (and if I don’t, it trashes the lot of what it has accumulated so I don’t get lazy about sorting). They could all line up in a row somewhere like little robotic Jeeves. That would be swell.

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  8. I would have the robot do some babysitting. It wouldn’t be good for the twins to have only robotic interaction all day, but maybe for those moments when I need a 3-minute break or a half-hour break, the robot could step in.

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  9. Let’s see… Take down all of the huge, dead trees in my yard that threaten to destroy my and my neighbors’ houses. Install larger gutters. Seed the yard with grass or lay down sod. Scrape and vacuum all of that stupid spray-on popcorn junk off the ceilings. Paint the walls. Move a few walls. Replace the horrible carpet with hardwood flooring. If a robot would do that, I think I’d handle the rest…

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  10. When people like the president-elect talk about making America great again, I assume what they really mean is restoring things to the way they were in the 1950s. Men didn’t have robots back then, but they didn’t need them for they had wives and secretaries. Wives and secretaries were supposed to smile and do all the little things that men didn’t choose to do.

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    1. There’s not much that angers me more than talking about how great things were in the 50s and 60s. Sure, it was okay for me as a (white) child, but for whom was it great? Mainly white males. Steve has already pointed out that it wasn’ great for women, and I can’t imagine that people like MLK and Rosa Parks and Medgar Evers and Emmett Till and countless others would say that America was great during that time.

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  11. I think the snow plow drivers out here would appreciate some robotic help, especially given how much snow we’ve had this fall/winter. robot could plow continuously, keeping the streets cleaned up.

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  12. Ok so I was not buying your idea of what these robots could do for us until that very last line. You got me there, but I think that I will happily let my husband do the lawn and I will order my own pizza thanks anyway. I am far too suspicious about someone listening in on my conversations. We rural people are sort of like that.

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  13. How funny! here is a headline I just saw on the Fargo Forum website:

    “Mn company works on robotic toenail trimmers, denture antenna, hands-free toothbrush and more”

    “Here are a few gadgets we might see in the near future: A where-did-I-put-my-teeth smartphone app to locate dentures equipped with special antennas. A hands-free car wash for your teeth. A robotic toenail trimmer.

    It sounds like fodder for late-night infomercials.

    But research on these devices is being conducted by scientists in a Shoreview company who typically work on aerospace projects.

    The projects are also backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from federal health agencies. And a University of Minnesota professor is helping out because the devices have the potential to solve some troublesome problems for the elderly, people with motor skill ailments and their caregivers.

    The projects are being conducted by Advanced Space and Technology Research Labs, a six-person aerospace research and development company run out of a former single-family home north of St. Paul.”

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  14. With all the robots taking over the work, pretty soon there won’t be anything for we humans to do. Since we won’t be working, we won’t be making any money. Pretty soon, the robots will be renting out humans to entertain them. Hopefully by that time, I will be long gone.

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  15. Morning all. I’ve lusted after one of those little vacuum robots but I worry that I’ll pay a lot of money and then my dirt / dog hair level will be too much for it. Ben – how long have you had yours? Is it sturdy? And something that mopped my kitchen floor – I might even get that one before the vacuuming one!

    Other than cleaning, I can’t think of much that strikes me as a chore that I want to give up. Well, maybe driving…

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    1. Wouldn’t you like a robot that cleans the cat’s litter box and throws out the big clumps? Man, I’d like one of those. And I don’t even have a cat.

      Now, as for the driving . . . . I just read this morning that they are having a big showy conference for new electronic gizmos. NES or something like that. One of the splashy items being unveiled there is a car that “can read your moods.” That sure sends my imagination rushing. OK, so my car can sense my moods . . . but what will it DO about them? If robots are going to drive our cars, I’d think the last thing we’d want would be robot drivers with moods. Don’t we have enough road rage now. Do we need this in our car-driving robots?

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    2. VS- we’ve had ours just over a year now; I knew a kid at Best Buy who could give me a good deal so we bought a Samsung one. BB doesn’t carry them anymore for whatever that means…
      I mean ours is good and does a good job. The only thing that would make it better is some sort of snorkel arrangement so it would park at the top of the stairs and the snorkel would come out and vacuum the steps. Wouldn’t that be cool??

      Word of warning; I have ‘control issues’ meaning I verge on micromanagement… and that’s really not possible with a robot vacuum. (because that’s what we’re talking about here. I’m avoiding the much larger discussion we could be having about my issues here thank-you-very-much).
      So turn it on and leave him alone. It doesn’t help to yell at him when he makes three trips around the same chair. Or when you send him ‘home’ and he takes the long way to get there.
      Really. You have to just walk away and let him do his job; no matter how complicated he makes it.
      But that’s the things with any robot vacuums; if you read up on them; some map the ceiling to coordinate their path. Some just go random. The random would drive me crazy.

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  16. When I caved and got an iPhone, my first delight was Siri! I could ask her all sorts of questions, but she kept calling me “Grace”. Every question I made to her, she’d come back with, “Grace”. This pissed me off enough that I divorced her after yelling ,” My name is NOT Grace; I am Nancy!!” Over and over. Finally, I discovered that I could substitute male voices. This didn’t help as they called me Grace, too. I realize that with all the country’s problems, being called Grace isn’t even a pebble on the beach. Ultimately, my grandson managed to change my name to my own – of course.

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  17. I would like a robot to run diagnostics on everything and keep me informed. It would know if there was water in the basement after a heavy rain, and power up the sump pump. It would know if I left a stove burner on, and shut it off. It would know if the sago palm was getting a bit dry and give it a little water, or that the car needed a quart of oil, or that one of the cats had lost a little weight, or that I need to be reminded about the restaurant leftovers I put in the fridge a couple of days ago. It would renew my library books and sew on loose buttons. It would take over the worry and the day-to-day management of my life.

    Then I could focus on important stuff like keeping the robot in good working order.

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    1. There’s a worthy occupation for a robot!

      Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? ‘Cause I don’t.
      – Marvin the robot in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

      There is at least one YouTube video of a cat riding around happily on a Roomba. So it begins.

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  18. IoT
    is the internet of things
    one of my favorite group of start up folks in techie land
    check it out
    burner yes
    plant needs watering yes
    feed the cats
    shut off the lights
    check the furnace at the cabin
    remind you about left overs and to buy tea next week before you run out ( or just order it for you
    it can make an appt gor an oul change and tell you when and where
    look after your bills being paid on time and floss your teeth
    judt kidding about the flossing but ill bet the could be robotic floss stuff thst could all but floss your teeth
    bring it to you and the slide up an down on the tooth so you dont have to wrap it around your fingers and do contorsions to get that back tooth on the left…

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  19. So last night I was talking to YA about the robot that mops and she very quickly pointed out that we’d have to have the vacuuming robot do the floor first or else all the dog hair would clog up the mopping robot! Guess I’ll have to have them both!

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