Hedda and I are big fans of the Roomba robotic vacuum. It’s really great on our hardwood floors, and I routinely use it in the kitchen to get the crumbs and gunk that inevitably winds up there after we cook. Unfortunately, older Roombas like ours suffer from an annoying flaw. If certain sensors get dirty enough, the robot gets really confused and starts spinning in circles, bouncing off of invisible walls, and just generally freaking out like a nine-year-old after a case of Red Bull. It just totally goes neurotic.
This is actually our second Roomba to suffer from this problem. The first time, iRobot simply sent us a new machine. Sending out new robots must get expensive rather quickly, though, since this time they are merely sending us a software upgrade via a small device called an Osmo.
Incidentally, this is also the same device that enables various smart motherfuckers to hack their Roomba, making it do things decidedly un-Roomba-esque. Did you follow that link? Yeah, he really has written a MIDI interface to his Roomba, and plays music with it. Consider my mind officially boggled.
So, while some people play musical chairs over Bluetooth with their pet robot, I patiently await the offical Ritalin that will calm my own poor robot’s mind - returning it to its normal, calmer self. And then it can clean my damn kitchen.