Friday, March 07, 2008


For various reasons that neither Nathalie or I are happy with, we can't have any pets right now. So we got the next best thing, a Roomba.

(In fact, because this thing picks up hair, it's almost like a reverse-pet.)

It's actually kind of cute, in a funny robotic appliance kind of way. It's got quasi-intelligence and runs around on its own, bumping into things and exploring various corners of the house that I haven't been to in months. I've given it a schedule, so it'll start up and clean while Nathalie and I am at work. Once it's satisfied with itself with the job it's done, it'll go back to the charging base and hang out until it's time to clean again.

It also plays little tunes to let you know how it's feeling: a happy tune when it finds its way back to the charging base after completing a cleaning run, a charge! tune when it starts vacuuming, a triumphant tune when it finishes, and a sad tune if it gets stuck someplace or runs out of juice before it can get back to its home charging base for more food. It'll sit there, playing its sad song every few minutes so you can find it and put it back on the charger.

I had the best time just watching it scoot around the house vacuuming up stuff, picking up crumbs and dust bunnies and other doodads left on the floor. It's also fairly intelligent, so when it starts running low on battery power it'll find it's way back to the charging base and refuel. So cool.

Now if only I could hack it with a motion sensor so it'll greet us when we come home from work...