It’s a common for people to say that couples who aren’t ready for a baby get themselves a dog. We of course have regressed one step further away, realising we are not ready for a dog – and got ourselves a Roomba.
The roboticist Dr. Rodney Brooks of MIT at Wired’s recent Nextfest stated that the benefits of personal, or domestic robotics in the next 5 years or so were to be limited to the useful side effects one could derive from their level of intelligence and autonomy, which I think he said was about the same as a 6 month old puppy.
This led me to digress about the global market for 6 month old bioengineered puppy/vacuum-cleaner hybrids, but I digress.
The parallels to owning a pet continuued tonight as I sat down to delouse my Roomba. With a robot comes great responsibility, after all.
Roomba’s a whizz at chasing dustbunnies, but one of the things that’s slowed the little tyke down in the recent months is the hair gathering around his undercarriage. I sat down at the kitchen table and began to pluck at his furballs.
By the time I had had finished I had enough to make a hair-weave that any self-respecting local TV anchor-man would jump at.
Quite a business perhaps in these ‘useful side effects’.
Welcome to our robotic future.