I have looked longingly at robots for some time now, knowing that they likely wouldn't be allowed in the house. However, I finally bought one for myself as an upcoming birthday present. I was doing some online Christmas shopping and one of those banner ads that targets your personal psyche got to me. It was a sale that knocked 20% off the already low price to a model that was being replaced by a newer version.
Nothing overly complex or sophisticated mind you. No "Danger, Will Robinson." with arms flailing about. Not yet.
It was simply a Roomba. The Roomba "cleans routinely so you don't have to. With the touch of a button, Roomba automatically vacuums carpets and hard floors on its own!"
It is from iRobot! Not the nine science fiction short story collection by Isaac Asimov, but by the $249 million public company that employs more than 400 of the robot industry’s top professionals.
From their website:
iRobot was founded in 1990 when Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists Colin Angle and Helen Greiner teamed up with their professor Dr. Rodney Brooks with the vision of making practical robots a reality.
They are a profitable company coming off of a strong third quarter.
Of course, this is just a first step for me. Who knows, some day I may have a use for one of their Government or Industrial robots. Not to mention keeping an eye on some of the robots coming out of Japan. Baby steps though. Metaphorically, not literally.
Likely the next bot will be a Scooba, or the iRobot ConnectR (the virtual visiting robot). Of course, that all depends on how the Roomba works out for me. After excitedly ordering one for myself and getting confirmation of the order, I received this email...
"Thank you for shopping at iRobot.com. We have received your order number #############.
This order includes backordered item(s) that are unavailable
for immediate shipment. If you ordered other items they will ship as scheduled."
Oh well, in a few weeks maybe.