Sunday, February 9, 2014

Domestic Robots - Yes, Please

Sir James Dyson has announced that he's investing squillions in an attempt to design domestic robots that will be able to perform all sorts of chores around the house. We already have little robots that vacuum floors (anyone have one? How good are they?) - but Sir J has plans for a robot that will do all that and take the bins out.

Let's think about it though. It's probably going to be impossible to make a robot that does everything around the house. I mean, that would be a wife wouldn't it? (Just kidding. Settle down.) But what about having a robot that you can program to do the things you really hate, while getting on with the not-so-bad ones yourself. The price of the robot would depend on how many chores it was programmed to do. A bit like buying a car for the basic price and then paying for add-ons that appeal to you.

My robot would -

- empty the dishwasher. For some reason I loathe and despise doing that even though I complain when anyone else does it because they (no names mentioned) just chuck all the tupperware into its cupboard. As you'll imagine, the next person to open that particular cupboard door gets a foot shower of small plastic containers. And let's not even mention the cutlery drawer. Grrrr…

- take the bins out. Well, pull the bags out anyway. We have a waste compactor which is fabulous in that we only have to empty it about once a week, but when we do, it weighs a ton. I have put my back out on more than one occasion just trying to pull the bag out of the actual compactor.

- make the beds. (Oooh, I'd love to see a robot doing hospital corners.) Not sure why I loathe this one but I avoid it when I can. In fact, in our guest room, I currently have two beds with two sets of sheets folded on top, patiently waiting for me to put them on and make the beds up properly. I walk past that room everyday and studiously avoid looking in. It's become a "thing" for me and really is quite pathetic.

- pair up socks. I think this would be the one to send a domestic robot completely over the edge. I wonder if you could explain that it's impossible to get the same number of socks coming out of the wash that went in? Would the robot be able to cope with the sheer frustration of having one extra sock every single time? Would it have the patience to wait the three month cycle for the other sock to turn up, or would all odd socks be thrown out immediately?

What would your robot do?


  1. I read about this today too. I think I would like mine to do the dusting - but how would a robot pick up things to flick a cloth underneath?
    Could it go to the supermarket for me? Probably not, that's why we have internet shopping, isn't it.

  2. Since I don't have a Roomba (but would dearly love one!) mine would do the floors, clean the toilets and the shower. Which poses the problem...robots are electronic-ish I would assume, just how well are they going to be able to clean things that require you to use water?

  3. I hear tell that the hoover robots are very good, and this is from someone with lots of people going through their house and loads of pets! My robot would do the dusting and would wash the outside windows - I know, I could get a man, but hubby says no!! Oh, and one to fold laundry too!! xx

  4. Scoop the poop (for my English readers, scoo the poo) most definitely for the two cats and the dog. A very yucky job I'd be happy to pass on to a robot.

    Also clean the john/loo and pair the socks. We have some singletons that have been sitting around alone for a year. I really must have a look under the washing machine . . . oh--maybe the robot could do that!

  5. I hate emptying the dishwasher. Hate it. For years, it was a chore I paid a child to do, but now they all have to start school ridiculously early, so that's dropped by the wayside.

    Dusting is the other one. So pointless. You wipe away all the dust. It comes back. You wipe it away. It comes back. Tedious and pointless.

    I don't think a robot could do any chores in my house because they all require a level of tidying up before you can start them. Could a robot tidy up?

  6. I don't mind the dishwasher, but I hate doing the bathrooms. Also floors. And I have no idea why this is, but there is nothing I hate more than cleaning up after dinner - not the dishes part, the putting the leftovers into the tupperware part. I need a leftovers robot.

  7. I have watched way too many SF movies to ever want a robot in my house. You can hide out at mine when your robot has taken over though. You're welcome.

  8. Ironing, cleaning up after the kids' breakfast, dealing with the laundry - oh, it could do everything quite frankly.

  9. As soon as you said that I started thinking about all sorts of kinky things my robot could do but you probably don't mean that do you? I don't really mind doing general housework but I do hate dusting so the robot would have to have suction pads and climb all over the wall and go under the sofas.......can't imagine this will ever happen.....Tomorrows World has sold us down the river!

  10. I've only ever seen those little hoover robots in YouTube videos with cats riding them so they're good for that at least.

    My robot would plan, shop for and make dinner then clear up afterwards--dishes, countertops, cooker. I enjoy cooking but not daily.

  11. Oh definitely Mich. A robo-chef. But then I now have the husband and 10 year old who have taken to cooking all day Sunday. Bliss.

  12. I'm with Ms Caroline... A robot for the bathrooms. Every day would be nice. Also for the floors. All of them.

    P.S. I do have a Roomba, which I begged for while I was out of action with a broken ankle. We all love it! It's not perfect, but it's a whole lot better than the alternative (doing it myself). It goes happily under most of our furniture, so that's never skimped. Cool little dude machine.


The more the merrier....

Blog Archive