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  1. The robot vacuum cleaner

    Sometimes you come across gadgets you thought were toys, but after you’ve taken them in use, you wonder how you’d manage without. Rain sensor and high beam assist are such gadgets. As a driver, why should I fumble with wiper levers and high beam switches when the electronics does the job so much better?

    We live, after all, in 2015. Therefore, we felt that it was about time to upgrade the house with a vacuum cleaner. Have you seen the new robot vacuum cleaners? We bought one at Elkjøp, – the most expensive model – and has allowed it to race around the apartment like a tornado wind.

    Unfortunately, it’s only a toy.

    It moves around like a beheaded chicken. Everyone knows that the dust is accumulated along the walls. Our iRobot Roomba is unable to recognize any of our walls, it only bounces back. When it comes across large accumulations of dust-balls, I’d expect that it was able to sweep over all of it. Instead it often goes in its own repetitive track. I have seen how it maneuver itself under a table with twenty movements in exactly the same pattern as it did two minutes ago, without taking up the dust and the dog hairs it missed the last time. This means that it uses unnecessary long time to clean a room, – which are far from being environmentally friendly, neither in terms of energy consumption nor noise. When the battery is nearing the end, out comes a sound in the 80s Star Wars style.

    But it has never succeeded to return to the charging station.

    I mention this because the reality does not match with what the advertising promises. This product is not even close! I am a systems developer and have developed software logics for items similar to this. The type of logic I have seen so far in the iRobot Roomba belongs to the 90’es. In 2015 it is possible to construct much better brains for robot vacuums. It will surely soon happen, and I expect the next generation will come to a store near you.

    Until then you’ll have to manage with your old Hoover, or whatever it is.

    But it’s a cool gizmo then! With tentacles that whisks the dust and blue diodes that looks like radars, but certainly is nothing else than blue diodes. I do not really know how cool I feel after having acquired something that looks cool, but acts like a beheaded chicken?

    🙂 Did you really expect that a robot vacuum cleaner would work?

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