Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Animal Testing the Roomba

Fellow scientists, researchers, officials from governmental agencies, military advisors: Please don your safety goggles. It's time to commence animal testing on the Roomba. This could get messy.

Our first, and only, test - the Willa Test.

Since I had important geek things to do (wash dishes), Willa needed to be fed, and the continual onslaught of marauding dust monsters had to be defended against, it came about that Willa and I were in the kitchen while Rosie was slaying dust bunnies (get 'em while they're young) in the living room.

First phase of the Willa test - she ate. But she did occassionally raise her head and listen to that whirring sound coming from the living room, especially when it approached the sophisticated, highly engineered containment device (a box, but now known as an HECD) that kept Rosie in the living room.

Phase two of the Willa test - look and ignore. When she had finished her morning meal, I invited Willa to the observation area (kitchen doorway) to view the carnage. She was at first more interested in the HECD than Rosie. Then Rosie came into full view! Willa looked at Rosie, looked at me, then sniffed the box, I mean the HECD. On to phase three.

Phase three of the Willa test - contact! After first ignoring Rosie from the observation area, she showed a desire to enter the living room/containment area. So she gingerly stepped over the HECD and into the kill zone. Rosie was following a perpendicular path across the LR/CA, giving Willa a full broadside view. Then, bumping into the wall, Rosie changed vectors and came directly at Willa - collision course!! Willa sniffed the floor and took two steps (she's good!) - collision averted. But then she snuck in BEHIND Rosie and sniffed her robotic pheromones (assuming robots have them). Unimpressed, she looked at me, leapt over the HECD and was done. The Willa test was complete, no casualties, no trauma, and Rosie was still pursuing the last screaming dust bunny into the hallway.

All in all, a successful test. The next phase of testing is our most grueling, a deep cover operation designed to test the limits of Rosie's abilities - Under The Bed ('cause we know where the breeders live!!).

Testing commences soon.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Red Roomba, Red Roomba, please vacuum all over

Can a man love a machine? He can if he is a geek and the machine is a)red; b)a robot; and c) it CLEANS HIS HOUSE!!.
The Bride Who Wore Black and I recently bought our very first domestic robot, an iRobot Roomba. We bought it Saturday and I put it through its very first test run today. It performed beautifully.
Hopefully, soon I will capture it on camera and share its wonderfulness with you. Perhaps after that I will equip it with rockets and plot to take over the world. But for now, it vacuums. That's all. But while Rosie vacuums, I get to do other stuff!!! And isn't that the only reason we want robots, to do our work for us so we can do more important stuff.
I have wanted one for a while but couldn't bring myself to spend the money on something that might not work. But it does, it does!! It just makes the geek in me smile! Now where's my flying car?