I have to admit, I'm a little tempted. I've thought about getting one before. copperbadge is lifelong friends with his Roomba. And I quite like a good vacuumed floor. I just hate unpacking the damn machine from whatever corner it's been stowed in and packing it away again when you're done. (The alternative, of leaving the machine perpetually set up in a messy tangle, also makes me grind my teeth.)
Also, with my chronic muscle tension/pain in my neck, shoulders and back, the idea of doing the vacuum is a far more insurmountable thing than the actual task of the vacuuming (although vacuuming is tiring, especially in the house I currently live in, which is two floors and has *stairs*, a rare thing in Australian homes, which are largely in the Californian bungalow vein).
Another good reason is that, as copperbadge says, Roombas aren't so much vacuum cleaners as they are pets. I'm still renting, and still renting in Australia, which means that having an animal isn't just a commitment to the pet's welfare and sanity and vet bills, but also to potentially locking yourself out of the majority of the available rental properties. It's just a thing that is. And although I desperately want a dog, a small part of me is perpetually scared that I'm going to have to move – again – and I won't be able to find anywhere to live. And although our landlords are okay about the idea of our getting a pet, they're only okay with it, and would much rather that we got a cat (if we get anything at all). I'm allergic to cats. And we've killed several of the large plants in our gardens (the horrible hedge strip and a large tree fern in the front yard and another weird thing and most of the ugly roses) through a combination of casual neglect, conspiracy with the Australian environment and the fact that the built-in watering systems don't work very well. I don't want to push my luck.
The robot vacuums are still $400, and I don't have $400 hanging around. But maybe if I put in my goddamn tax return already (in time for the end of the NEXT FINANCIAL YEAR at the end of this month, WTFBBQ), maybe I'll have a magic refund. Who knows?
So I poked around the website, and read the Testimonials, mostly because I was curious as to what sampling they chose to publish. A lot of the testimonials come from their Facebook page, which is very New Media. And most of them had named them.
I was surprised at the first time I saw a male name attached to a device called a Robomaid. And then I was intrigued by my surprise. I don't think it's just that the robot's model name is gendered (although that's partly it). I think it's also that response that we have coded into us by Western society that it's The Girl's Job To Clean. And it's interesting to note the names that different people gave theirs: Lady, Rosy (after the Jetson's maid, I can't help wondering), Ruby, Rambo, R2D2, Gidget.
But the main reason, really, when it comes down to it, is that it comes in bright red and is PRETTY (for a given value, considering I'm not a fan of most industrial design styles). I want to spray paint a yellow design on it and call it Tony Stark.