Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Neato Robotics (follow up)

Since I work from home most of the time I have grown quite fond of Nigel (the Neato vacuum robot). "Nigel" a name, a persona or term of endearment I gave my dedicated household companion who had inevitably become a member of the family. 
Every morning at 9:30 am sharp during the week the jet engine takes off from the docking station and makes its rounds, on weekends it starts at 10:30 am. I had plenty of time to observe Nigel and his navigational talents. After I watched him surfing on one of the slippers it became a natural habit to make sure that no light objects are in his way. He would push it somewhere anyway. Reminds me of a puppy I once had and lost shoes, except the slipper was not chewed up. 
He got stuck several times in various situations. Over time I became so used to listening to the sounds that I know immediately when he is in trouble. Sure enough the beeping sound emitted by him showed me his location. Once he climbed onto the bathroom scale, what a picture that was going back and forth. If he determines that the battery is low he will make it back to the docking station, which is a good thing. 
Today he decided that he was not done in the bedroom and ventured out, after recharging, to clean up the rest. I, on the other hand, closed the bedroom door while he was busy loading the battery. So here he is wiggling his way towards the bedroom when he encounters the closed door. I could have sworn that, after bumping into the door, he looked very confused. He turned a couple of times and tried again. I almost felt sorry for the little guy. He pouted for a moment, most likely had an evil expression lingering in his circuits, then he returned to his docking station.

Yes, I'm working on getting a life. 

Working with computers, gizmos, the internet of things (IoT), automated this and that, etc etc I became very used to talking to the machines. Most of my IoTs in my house are interacted by voice anyway so naturally I talk to them. Therefore, I concluded that voice interaction is missing from Nigel, a friendly "good morning" or "excuse me" if he bumps into one of the items once in a while would not hurt, other than that he is at the moment the solo artist and robot who does his own thing He does not communicate with any of the other machines, except the docking station and me via the beeping cry for help, which might be a good thing.

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