Armchair CEO: Apple
Saturday, August 02, 2003
Itchy & Scratchy Land

Robots. Long have I dreamed of creating a robot. Anyone interested in building a robot, let me know.

But what I've long been disappointed by is the lack of progress in the consumer robotic field. Years ago I subscribed to a monthly electronics magazine. I remember reading an article (series of them) on building a lawnmower robot. Now, someone makes one. But it took over a decade to create such a product. Why?

It can't just be battery technology. Granted, a lot has been done there, and there's still a lot to do... It's probably price point. Hoping I'll gain more insight into this in the coming years as I begin an MBA program.

Right now there are only a couple of consumer bots that have any level of success. The Sony AIBO line, the Roomba vacuum, and that mowing bot. Notice I'm talking about REAL robots, not the stupid toys sold in stores...

But I could see many more robotic applications. For instance, a constant problem at our house: spider webs and spiders in general. We aren't slobs, we just don't do all the details. So, house spiders sometimes build tiny webs in corners and crevices (under less used toys for instance). Wouldn't it be nice if there was a small, wall-climbing robot to take care of this? Something with enough suction to safely climb a wall, and still remove the webs.

Something else is the development of a true robotic assistant. I had blueprints of an iMac sitting atop a moving base with arms when the new iMacs came out. Granted, it'd probably have to run Linux... But you could actually have an iBook inside the bot, running linux, running the subsystems, and network it with the iMac atop. The iMac would serve as the interface (obviously the screen would be modified to become a touch screen) and possibly be motorized to move, hey, even mounting an iSight on it!

iGuy? iMan? iDude? I guess that irks the ladies huh? Hmmm...

iBot, no that's taken. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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