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Behold the age of robotics!

  • May 13, 2011
There are certain things I frequently hear that don't surprise me - like "Twitter is down" or "Donald Trump has soiled his reputation again" - while others just demand checking out such as "I have a robot cleaning my house". You have what?

So I tootled off to Costco in another trip that started with one item and ended up with $500 worth of additional crap. Fortunately, I remembered the Roomba while loading up on New York strip, chicken breasts and canned tuna, got it home and took it for a spin. Setting up the bot is very easy - you just plug in the recharging base and press "Start". Check out my mad video editing skillz.

The Roomba, now christened Lucy in my parents' household, is currently the most productive family member living there. It's seriously hard core about finding and removing dirt, avoids any temptation to sweep debris under furniture, and basically leaves the house looking spotless. Put simply, you need to visit Costco immediately if don't have a Lucy since this is the beginning in the rise of robotics.

But fans of science fiction will know that it always starts this way with the best of intentions and convenience, yet this is a 3 stage path to the sort of inevitable global problems that make al Quada look about as frightening as a clown convention in a Halloween store.

I like to call Stage 1 the "wow, that's hot" part of the process:

It's hard to pick which bot should be cleaning your house to be honest. Sadly, this part doesn't tend to last very long and quickly subsides to the "holy f***ing sh** that's scary" phase, otherwise known as "Stage 2":

It's around this point that you wish you'd read the manual. Somewhere near the back of the Roomba's user guide, just after the part about cleaning the brushes every few days, it did mention something about becoming self-aware and trying to track down Sarah Connor. And that's how we get to stage 3.

Of course, it's nice to know after Judgment Day that Lucy's making sure to dust and vacuum around the piles of human skulls but it's also disappointing that it fed the map of my house back to Skynet to crush the human resistance.

If you think I might be getting ahead of myself here, just think about this: do you think it's any coincidence that a Dyson is a brand of vacuum cleaner? I think not.

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April 28, 2012
Interesting contraption!
June 30, 2011
LOL...awesome review as always James! I want a Roomba SO badly- the vacuum and the mop (because I have laminate wood flooring throughout my entire house). It was on our registry but, alas, no Roombas...I guess I'll have to check out Costco!
June 30, 2011
Thanks! Honestly, I can't imagine a future without a Roomba. I used to think that Internet was the only really important bill I have every month but now I'd rather skip the rent if this thing broke down.
May 16, 2011
Hahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa.... I think you outdo yourself this time ;-)
May 16, 2011
Thanks! It's not all bad though - even our Roomba refused to watch Terminator Salvation.
May 13, 2011
Dude....I have three of these. :)
May 13, 2011
That makes you three times as awesome as we already knew you are! Are you planning on reprogramming one and sending it back through time?
May 13, 2011
Dude, your Roomba video is teh intense!  I want one...

By the way, have you caught this awesomeness?  Now I also want a cat with it...
May 13, 2011
Debbie, I can out-cute you with this!

Can you imagine tying a laser pointer to the thing? The cats would just go crazy.
May 13, 2011

I don't just want a cat now; I want a whole litter of kittens.  On a side note, the house that that was shot in looks like a domestic zoo.  And the laser pointer idea is awesome.  You could take it to the next level and put on multiple lasers.  Like a strobe light....
May 13, 2011
I think this is one of those houses when the owner died and left all their money to the animals. Either that or Dr Doolittle is building an army. The multiple laser idea will have to be tested... :-D
More iRobot Roomba 510 Vacuuming Ro... reviews
review by . April 16, 2008
We had a Roomba Discovery for about 3 years and recently upgraded to this model. This model is wonderful. It will automatically stop when the brushes need cleaning or the bin needs dumping, which I hope will help with the life cycle of the machine. This is great if you have pets. We run ours everyday for cat hair maintenance, and our house has never looked better. I've also noticed that my allergies have improved. My Mom liked mine so much, she got one of her own and loves it as well. We bought …
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James Beswick ()
Ranked #2's "token Brit".
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With its updated cleaning system and coverage patterns, the Roomba 510 vacuuming robot picks up amazing amounts of dirt and debris with the simple touch of a button. The powerful unit features innovative spinning side brushes that grab dirt and dust from corners and along wall edges, as well as high-speed, counter-rotating brushes that pick up pet hair, cat litter, food crumbs, and other debris from floors. The vacuum sucks up the debris and deposits it into a large, easy-to-empty, bagless dust bin, and its improved filtration system traps dust, pollen, and other allergens inside the unit.

For added convenience, the vacuum's cleaning head automatically adjusts to transition from wood, tile, and linoleum to carpets and rugs, while improved anti-tangle technology ensures it won't get stuck on cords and rug fringe. If the unit begins to pick up a cord or carpet tassel, it will automatically reverse the direction of its brushes to extract the item. A gentle-touch bumper system senses obstacles so the vacuum automatically slows its approach, gently touches the obstacle, then redirects to continue cleaning under or around the object. Because it cleans under beds, couches, and other hard-to-reach areas, it actually vacuums more of the floor than a standard upright. The vacuum also senses dirtier areas and spends more time cleaning them, and it uses built-in cliff sensors to avoid stairs and other drop-offs. In addition, invisible barriers can be set using the unit's Virtual Wall ...

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