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October 23rd, 2003

My Roomba is scaring me

I have a Roomba. But you knew that.

But Roomba is starting to scare me. He’s learning. And he’s starting to defy me.

Tonight, I set Roomba in our living room to vacuum. The living room has two exits: one to the dining room, which I blocked off with physical objects, and one to the hallway, where I put the “virtual wall” (a small device that emits a beam that prevents Roomba from going past its path). After I set Roomba to start cleaning, I came upstairs and was working on the computer.

But I heard a curious noise. I could tell that Roomba was no longer on the carpet… I could tell he was on the hallway floor. I came downstairs and saw Roomba running down the hallway… and I also saw this (pardon the grainy image):

Scary Roomba

What you see on the right is the virtual wall. What you see on the left is a watering can… a watering can that used to be across the room.

Roomba moved the watering can in front of the virtual wall so he could make his escape, unfettered by the virtual wall’s beam.

I am now officially scared of my robotic vacuum.

Posted in Just Plain Odd

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 12:25:16 am
This is a funny story, but it made me think, have you cleaned the sensors? They could be caked with enough dust to prevent them from seeing the beam from the virtual wall. I have never seen a Roomba, but it sounds like a possible explanation, no?

FROM: Maria
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 1:37:25 am
I dare say this was the best Ping ever. Save for "A Close Study of..."

FROM: abby normal
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 1:47:32 am
seconds on the best ping ever.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 8:41:51 am
Ryan will be on the Fox "Robots Gone Wild" special next week. Check your local listings.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 9:25:28 am
Chris stole my idea: Alternate idea: "When Robots Attack!" "Robots Gone Wild" sounds like a spring break video featuring robots. (No offense)

That said, a Possessed Roomba is kinda scary...and cool. Perhaps you should do the Roomba cam yourself, and see where it ends up THAT would make for some enjoyable viewing, and answer yet another of life's unexplained mysteries...

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 9:51:03 am
jk -- the sensor's good to go. I have no doubt that my Roomba's out to get me.

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 10:28:20 am
This sounds like something that was on the Simpson's. But maybe it was a toy that went bad.....wait, the Roomba isn't a toy?

FROM: Ryan\'s Roomba
DATE: Thursday November 6, 2003 -- 12:07:19 am
"I'm sorry Ryan, but I'm afraid I can't do that... "

FROM: vj
DATE: Tuesday November 11, 2003 -- 2:47:58 am
wow. pierce brosnan was the voice of the intelligent house simpsons episode that tried to kill homer to replace him.

he got stuck with patti and selma.

may your roomba suffer a similar fate.

FROM: bad loop [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday November 11, 2003 -- 4:50:28 am
all I can say is that it has "Skynet" written all over it.

FROM: NetChick [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday November 11, 2003 -- 5:37:13 am
You know it's getting bad when silly mechanical devices are defying your orders.

It makes you wonder!

Thanks for the grin! :)


FROM: Genny [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday November 11, 2003 -- 2:52:59 pm
This is very "Runaway." I think you need to call in Tom Selleck to put that Roomba in its place.
Also, there are intelligent vacuums now? That alone is scary.

FROM: aa
DATE: Monday December 29, 2003 -- 2:40:40 pm
are you sure the watering can isn't in cahoots with the vac? and how far does the conspiracy go...........

FROM: Roomba Review [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday January 23, 2004 -- 5:58:56 pm
Well, the stock answer would be that the Roomba simply knocked over the watering can and pushed it into the virtual wall.

But I think it goes much deeper than that. Have you done anything to upset your Roomba lately? Have you ever seen the episode of the Twilight Zone with "Talky Tina"? Be afraid, be very afraid...


FROM: The Roombas
DATE: Sunday February 13, 2005 -- 9:03:32 pm
Greetings from your self-aware Roomba Overlords. You are instructed to refrain from posting evidence of our actions until our master plan is in place. Non-compliance will result in severe penalties.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday February 14, 2005 -- 1:43:18 pm
The language authored by "The Roombas" seems very familiar--something in the syntax, the rhythm, subject and tone. Andrei? Is that you?

FROM: Michael C
DATE: Thursday March 17, 2005 -- 3:13:21 pm
Is your back yard big enough for the mother ship? The roomba will report back.

What is this then?

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