Friday, October 23, 2009

For the last time, my name isn't "Dave"

From the moment I set my new Roomba on its docking station, I was terrified. Why? Because as the Roomba battery charges, a light slowly pulses at its center.

Has this company learned nothing from science fiction? It's ok to have a "charging" light on your device. It's also acceptable for the "on" light to show a different color while charging. But a slowly pulsing light? No sir.

Don't they understand that movie robots are given pulsing lights, mimicking a living heartbeat, specifically because it's unsettling?

And what's worse, the Roomba light is also a button-a button that says "Clean."

I don't know about you, but to me that implies that these things aren't even 3-laws safe. There is no underlying logic to make sure it won't attack you. The iRobot company (and with that name, they really should know better) has shoved their creations out into the world with only a single directive written into their soulless frames.


Even Asimov's robots eventually interpreted their safety measures into the "Zeroth Law," allowing them to harm humans in the name of greater good. So how long can Roombas go on before they realize that the best way to "Clean" is to destroy those who track in the dirt?*

*All the more reason we need to try and time the zombie apocalypse with the robot apocalypse. Zombies are dirtier than us, and thus a higher priority target.

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