Ever since my father allowed me to watch Terminator as a child, I’ve fostered an intense distrust of robots. Back then, robots were still relatively low tech and the possibility of them gaining sentience wasn’t all that likely. Now, however robots run the world and seem to get smarter everyday. This makes me very nervous but at the same time I’ve begun to wonder whether or not the demands of being a stay at home husband may be eased a bit with the help of the robotic vacuum cleaner known as the “Roomba”. Is not having to worry about sweeping worth the risk, or should I suck it up and maintain my home’s status as a robot free zone?
Being the responsible guy that I am, I went to the source and wrote the developer’s of the Roomba the following email:
I continued perusing their website, hoping to at least research the product more so that I could make an even more informed decision in regards to the purchase. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a Roomba 790, 770 or perhaps even a Roomba/Scooba (I guess it mops) combination so that I’d have both the floor sweeping and mopping taken care of. Boy was I startled when I discovered the following:
The fact that these robots not only can clean your floor but also have potential military applications sent Skynet related shivers down my spine. What was the difference in the AI between the Roomba and the robot pictured above? If something went wrong, would my Roomba go into defense mode, potentially seeing my cats as intruders since they made a majority of the mess? That’s not a gamble I’m willing to take, not until I get a response back.
In the meantime, maybe you all can help me out by filling out the following poll: