Robot Love

IMG_3247In addition to the new toy that took last week’s ariel video, we have a plethora of other autonomous and/or robotic devices here at Purgatory.

For example, when we moved down here from San Francisco we had a Neato but we soon realized one such robot vacuum, no matter how intelligent, was simply not enough to keep the dust and bird fluff at bay, so we purchase a second one. Each handles one side of the house, but sadly they never get to meet up as a magnetic strip across the doorway into the north wing separates them.  The darker unit which handles the north wing is named Mo.  He’s actually Mo IV as our original unit (named Mo after the character in the movie _WALL-E_) eventually was retired from service after about 4 years of keeping our place in SF tidy.  The replacement for the original Mo (Mo II) died suddenly but was under warranty and his replacement (Mo III) was defective and only lasted 2 weeks–hence Mo IV.  The lighter colored unit is NewMo.  He takes care of master bedroom, guest room, kitchen and great room.  He also has a propensity for getting stuck under our bed.

IMG_3253Another cleaner worth mentioning is NeMo–so named because he lives in our pool. A Polaris Side Pressure Sweep, he’s actually just driven by water pressure with no internal brain, but sometimes he seems to have a mind of his own.  He does a great job of sucking up debris from the bottom of the pool, but the bags that are made for such units leave a lot to be desired.  They are one of the worst examples of poor sewing design imaginable with lots of tight spots where stuff gets trapped which makes clean out the back a tedious task.  I bought some nylon mesh a while back and am going to see if I can make better bags with that and some velcro.

In addition to the robot cleaning staff, we also have a few robots that serve to herd Tenar and Thy. Here’s a shot of the three units.  The blue truck is a straight forward RC unit but to the left of it–that little guy with the white wheels is a bit interesting to control as the front axel flips about. Add to this unpredictability the fact that there are flashing lights and music coming from it and the boys usually just have to see me pick it up and if they are misbehaving in anyway (i.e. banging their beaks on the bedroom door thinking Agent Smith is behind it when he’s really off at work) and they know it’s time to return to their cages.


The large dinosaur robot we actually use to persuade them to get in their cages at night.  You can hold it under your arm like you would a small dog and the movement of the head and neck along with its funny attempts at roaring are the ultimate signal to the boys that it is time for bed.  Of course we don’t have to break out the dinosaur or the trucks often, as the boys are usually good about getting in to their cages when asked, but birds can sometimes be belligerent, so having these extra devicess about means we don’t have to be the bad guys when it comes to getting the boys to behave.  The boys have also learned the words “truck” and “dinosaur”–not that they say them as of yet, but they know that if they hear those words that’s their final warning before something non-human approaches them.

We have a few other fun things here as well, but those will be covered in other posts.  For now I’ll just leave you with the vid of a little robot love.



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