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?