My wife and I recently spent a wonderful week with my daughter and her family in Florida. This was an exciting time for all of us. They have a new baby (their second child), a new house (their first), and an actual bed for us to sleep in rather than an air mattress on the living room floor. Oh, and did I mention that the new house, like so many in that part of Florida, has a pool?
But they had something else that caught my attention.
I was sitting in the living room working on email when I heard a low roaring sound coming from another room. When I glanced beyond the doorway, I spotted a thirteen-inch (diameter) round gadget moving from place to place on the floor. At one time it moved directly along the base of a wall. At other times it moved away diagonally and sometimes at a ninety-degree angle towards the other side of the room.
Although it seemed to be happy with the bare floor, it soon took an interest in the dining room, which is carpeted. Here’s a video I took in the hallway.
What in the world was this crazy spinning gadget? It obviously was NOT one of Robert Austin’s (the four-year-old) toys, but it was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
Hmm. This critter seemed to be eating dirt off the floor and carpet. A vacuum cleaner? A human-less vacuum cleaner? So it appeared to be.
I grabbed the camcorder and followed it around for a minute or two, occasionally moving out of its unpredictable path. When I got brave enough, I remained in its way one time to see what it would do.
When this robot vacuum cleaner determined that it couldn’t climb over my shoe, it worked its way around it. I could only shake my head in amazement. I’d heard of robot vacuum cleaners, but had never believed they could possibly be worth the investment.
You have to understand that I’m the guy who went to Target and bought the next-to-the-least expensive human-operated vacuum there and faithfully uses it once every two to three weeks, whether the carpet needs it or not.
Uh, I must be honest here. It always needs it.
Our week-long visit gave me plenty of chances to observe my daughter’s robot cleaner. She had it on a day-and-time schedule; I believe it ran every day. I wouldn’t be surprised, since I never saw one speck of dirt on floor or carpet during our visit. And that’s in a house with a four-year-old!
Oh, and did I mention that this little critter is smart enough to know when it’s finished and return to its charger base? The thing also has enough sense to back onto its base.
Boy, did that get me thinking. It normally takes me about an hour to vacuum our place. And that’s not counting cleaning the filter and emptying the whatever-you-call-it-where-the-dirt-goes-when-a-vacuum-is-bagless.
My wife and I discuss even some small purchases, and a robot like this–not the highest priced Roomba–would need a LOT of discussion. But I sowed the seed by showing great interest in the robot and complaining about my inability–okay, my unwillingness–to keep up with vacuuming as much as it’s needed.
When we got home, we barely talked about it. But by the end of the week we’d determined that the line item we have in the budget for home-related stuff could cover that purchase. Especially since we had a 20% Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupon that could be used on this model. (It specifically excluded the more expensive models.)
I’m not sure why my wife was so agreeable to the purchase. Maybe she was just tired of waiting for me to vacuum. No matter what her motivation, however, I think she’s as thrilled with our new “pet” as I am.
Has some type of gadget attracted you so much that you considered getting it, even though it wasn’t an absolute necessity? Or are you still trying to justify such a purchase? How about sharing?
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