Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Roomba: My Dirt-Busting Friend

I like my gadgets. Now, I don't just go for any gadget. It has to be useful. And Roomba, may he rest in peace, was beyond useful.

Right out of the box, Roomba, the Discovery model, charged himself up lickety-split; he was raring to go. He beeped happily when I pressed "Clean," and quickly went into assess mode. Round and round he motored, in ever wider circles, then suddenly he took off in a straight line to find out where that dang wall was. He zigged, he zagged. Over and over he sucked regular dirt then nano-dirt off the floor until it gleamed. When it came to baseboard quarter-rounds, he became obsessive. He got up on one haunch, slowed right down, and crawled over the wood, spinning the dirt into his fan. He didn't stop until he exceeded the most exacting human's standards. And when he was done, he took himself home.

But Roomba started having trouble. I don't know why. His cough got worse. His oh-ohs got more distressed. iRobot sent purple Osmo to help. But Osmo's firmware upgrade was the last straw. Roomba waggled his tail and died.

New Roomba is smarter. He gets himself out from under chairs no problem. He doesn't choke on rugs. Obstacles are simple to overcome. He powers his way from one end to the other, almost tripping over himself in his zeal to clean. And man is he persistent. But he went ass over teakettle down my stairs. "Oh-oh," he beeped. But he remained undaunted and uncracked and got back to sucking up that dirt. Old Roomba never fell down my stairs!

iRobot told me to chuck old Roomba; just throw him into the trash, they said. They do it all the time. Oh, the inhumanity! Maybe I'll play Elton John's Funeral for a Friend as I toss him out.

Tags:

No comments: