Thursday, September 2, 2021

I shouldn’t be as impressed by our Roomba vacuum and Braava mop as I am

We recently bought two robots.

Well, actually, what we bought are the Roomba autonomous vacuum and Braava robotic mop made by a company called iRobot. You either have one of these or you’ve at least seen how they work, so unlike me, you’re probably not especially fascinated by them.

But I’m smitten. I know it isn’t exactly cutting-edge technology, but all you have to do is tap a button on your phone and instantly this machine, whose sole purpose in life is to keep your floors clean, springs into action.

That’s a Jetsons-style miracle, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m not sure we as a society appreciate these sorts of things nearly as much as we should.

We of course have named both devices. The Roomba (which has taken on a male persona in our house) is called “Dustin Bieber,” while the Braava (a female, for whatever reason) is “Moptimus Prime.”

I’ll admit to being especially proud of having come up with Moptimus Prime.

I’m surprised by what a good job these things do on our floors. And shoutout to whatever team of engineers designed the algorithms that allow Dustin and Moptimus to map out our first floor and maneuver deftly around almost any obstacle.

Our cats react to the robotic cleaning crew in different ways. Ginny, for example, is extremely interested in both Dustin and Moptimus and tries to sniff them whenever they’re active. Fred, by contrast, is terrified of them. He cannot get far enough away once they start moving around.

My dream is that one of the cats eventually works up the courage to jump onto Dustin or Moptimus and ride it around the house. In the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy our sparkling, space-age-clean floors.

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