I moved recently. The new place is great: I now have a bona-fide office, and a place to put all the hardware, and a spare bedroom, and a gigantic living room and … But with new places come new problems. And so, after a month, I realized the quadratic law of vacuuming:
The amount of vacuuming you have to do is quadratic in the amount of floor space you have..
And so, after much deliberation, I bought an evac
(though not from Sharper Image. I bought a reconditioned one from a seller with an excellent base price but exorbitant shipping and handling).
It works well. I can honestly tell you that setting up the cones and then starting the robot before going to work is a genuine pleasure: I know that while I’m in traffic, my carpets are getting cleaner.
So I called my mom up, thinking I would get her one. She’s a little old lady who hasn’t really gotten the hang of any of the technology I’ve given her over the years. The computer is mostly unused, she’s sent exactly one e-mail to me in the past 5 years (”Hi. I have an internet account.”), and she doesn’t want a TiVo because it seems too complicated.
Me: Ma, I found a great robotic vacuum.
Ma: I have two.
Me: Huh? This is a small robot; it travels around on its own and cleans the floors. All you do is charge it and then let it clean.
Ma: I have two. We got them last year. I use one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom area.
Me: So you don’t need a new one then?
Ma: Not unless it does a better job picking up crumbs than the ones I have.
The moral? People adopt the technologies that are appropriate for them, and do so very quickly. I had been thinking of my mom as a late adopter; it turns out that she’s perfectly willing to be an early adopter, as long as she can see the value in what she’s adopting.
How do you learn more about robots anyway?