Cleaning wood flooring: leave it to iRobot!

Hey Good People – Rob here.

In an Isaac-Asimov-meets-Molly-Maid style, when it comes to cleaning wood flooring, science fiction has become science fact. American company based in Massachusetts called iRobot (note the reference to the classic Isaac Asimov novel, I,Robot, from 1950, all you fellow sci-fi geeks!) have developed a number of automated cleaning units which include pool cleaning, vacuum cleaning, and even clearing out gutters. For our purposes here, they’ve developed and marketed the Scooba, which is the model that can:

“…wash, scrub and squeegee tile, linoleum and sealed hardwood floors so you don’t have to!”

Isn’t it great living in the future?

iRobot cleaning hardwood flooring

It amuses me to think that as the technology develops, and as these products eventually take on human form (and may eventually speak in Oxford-Cambridge English accents too, ideally) they’ll have to implement a version of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics which may read something like this:

  • A robot may not injure a hardwood floor or, through inaction, allow wood flooring to come to harm.
  • A robot must obey orders given to it by wood flooring owners, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

When dealing with technology, it’s always a good idea to have a few rules. No one here is suggesting that these machines will run amok and turn on their masters (or their wood flooring…), but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?



iRobot image courtesy of thelastminute.

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