Prepare for the Overlords!

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Irobot's new gutter cleaner robot the ConnectR, iRobot has apparently modified the Roomba chassis to carry a tilt-and-zoom video camera, speaker, microphone, and headlight. It connects to a home Wi-Fi network and can be operated remotely by users who call in over the Internet, using their keyboard and mouse or a joystick to drive the device from room to room, using the live video feed as a guide. The device is targeted at people who would like to interact with family members, friends, or pets but can’t be physically present. “Participate in family moments even though you’re working late,” reads the company’s marketing pitch for the ConnectR. “On a business trip? Read your kids a story and see their faces light up. Tell Fido he’s a ‘good boy’ even while you’re on vacation.”

Looj, meanwhile, has a much more prosaic purpose: Taking over the dirty and dangerous task of cleaning gutters. Only 2.5 inches wide, the device fits inside a gutter and propels itself along on tank-like treads. A spinning, three-stage auger flings out dirt and decomposing leaves. “The Looj cleans an entire stretch of gutter from one location, reducing the number of times a ladder must be repositioned and climbed during gutter cleaning,” the company said.

For homeowners who want clean gutters before the winter of 2007-2008 strikes, the $99 device is available immediately at the companys’ website. It will be distributed by “select retailers” starting sometime in the fourth quarter, the company said.

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As Popeye once said,"I ams what I am." But then again maybe I'm not