Thursday, December 5, 2013
My Dumb Rumba
Last week I caved.
I dropped some major coin on a Roomba, one of those robotic vacuums that effortlessly glides about the house picking up dust, dirt and errant dog hair. I justified the purchase to my wife by noting the Roomba's stated ability to help asthmatics.
I am not asthmatic.
But thanks to last year's $1000 visit to a Beverly Hills allergist, I discovered I am allergic to dust. And my yearly bout with bronchitis is now going into its third month. My prescription for Hydrocod is running low and my GP thinks I'm selling the codeine-nectar on the black market.
Something had to be done.
Besides, my buddy Clark has a new Roomba. And he is already killing me on the Newly Acquired Gadget Scoreboard. He has the 60 inch flatscreen, mine is only 50. He has two Nest Thermostats, I only have one. And though he has two daughters like me, he also has X Box One, Wii and a PlayStation 3. I don't even play those damn video games but I have burning desire to get one of those confounded boxes.
Of course, I know it would only gather dust, and as I mentioned earlier, that's not good.
The Roomba was incredibly easy to set up. And within minutes it was tooling around my house and rendering the floor hospital clean. That is until it found itself trapped between the armoire in the mudroom and the couch in the living room.
It bounced off one and hit the other. It bounced off that and returned the favor. It whirred. It spinned. But for the life of it could not tap into its "smart-sensing" technology to extricate itself and return to the docking station.
My Roomba was not as intelligent as other Roombas.
I had come home from Best Buy with a 'special needs' robot.
My wife thought I was crazy, which by the way is an ongoing concern. So I decided I would capture the less-than-stellar performance on video. For her enjoyment as well as yours.
I placed the Roomba in the exact same spot. Set up my iPhone on a handy little tripod. And pushed the Go button. Naturally, I couldn't replicate the experience. Roomba snook up on the armoire, didn't even touch it, then went scurrying across the floor into the family room.
I repeated the procedure over and over again. And time after time, like a crafty chess player, Roomba found an escape route.
I was locked into a battle of wits with a Chinese-made robot.
And I lost.