Thursday, July 03, 2008

On having a reborn robot servant

So last week we thought the Roomba died. We heard it whirring away in the other room, when we heard its musical "help me" beep. Trev went in to find it spinning in a circle. He restarted it, same thing. The female voice, which may or may not be Roomba's own, eventually said "Please inspect and clean Roomba's wheels." One wheel was pretty much stuck, but we couldn't find anything wedged in there or any other reason for the problem. On the third restart, we watched in misery as the thing spun, stopped, tried to shake its wheel loose, and kept spinning. Finally we decided we had to send it back, and Trev filled out an online form for that purpose. As he carried the disabled bot into the other room, both cats gave off a distinct "our work here is done" vibe. Their tails went up and they swanned around the living room. It was hard to tell what, exactly, they had done; but if wishing could make it so, they're responsible.

Anyway, a few days later, Trev got an email advising him to flip the Roomba over and bash the wheel repeatedly with the heel of his hand (I paraphrase). He did, and after a few tries--it worked! The Roomba shot across the carpet and cleaned steadily for longer than it ever had before. It didn't even want its brushes cleaned.

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