Simon’s Backup Weblog


I Robot or iRobot?

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on April 14, 2007

The Onion lampoons the three laws of Roombotics.

The laws of Roombotics, published on iRobot’s website, are basic ethical rules governing Roomba conduct. The first law states that the device “must not suck up jewelry or other valuables, or through inaction, allow valuables to be sucked up.” The second law prescribes that Roomba “must obey vacuuming orders given to it by humans except when such orders would conflict with the first law.” The third and final law authorizes a Roomba to “protect its own ability to suction dust and debris as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.”

[…]

“This is just the beginning,” said MIT researcher Harrison Lowell, a leading Roombotics ethicist. “In 50 years humans will be prisoners in their own homes, living in constant fear of tracking mud through the dining room or scuffing the kitchen floor.”

Ours have yet to rebel, but we live in fear…

Where’s Susan Calvin when you need her? Or Will Smith with a big gun?

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5 Responses to 'I Robot or iRobot?'

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  1. the_major said,

    My Roomba (currently batting around under my chair) had a fight with a roll of loo paper. No jewellery though.

    Oh arse biscuits it’s just fallen down the stairs…..

  2. ccomley said,

    Hmm. I just bought a BlueSky bag-less cylinder for our french house for €90 – you push it by hand, it goes only where you want it to and sucks up only what you aim it at.

    * BlueSky is the “Own Brand” of Carrefour supermarkets and, so far, touch wood, damn fine kit. €25 for a 12″ portable telly to go with s/h playstation, dishwasher, fridge/freezer, and washing machine, all just as well behaved as “big brand” stuff four or six times the price.

  3. sclerotic_rings said,

    I can see the Gold Key comic now: Magnus: Roomba Fighter!

  4. sclerotic_rings said,

    So long as it doesn’t see you and start screaming “EX-TER-MI-NATE!”, you should be fine.

  5. the_major said,

    If it did that at least it wouldn’t struggle so much with the stairs.


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