Robots that Suck

“When humans use a personal computer, we enter into the computer’s world. If it can’t do something, or if it crashes, too bad; we have to deal. But a robot enters into our world. If floors are uneven, if legs get in the way, if lighting conditions change, the robot has to deal.” George Musser‘s review of the Roomba robot vaccuum cleaner explains why Robot armies haven’t taken over the world yet. —Robots that Suck (Scientific American)

Another quote from the article: “What makes it a breakthrough is the price, $200, which approaches the don’t-need-spousal-preapproval range.” The word Robot was popularized by Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which was written in 1920.