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Scooba 230: The Thing That Should Not Be

January 5, 2011

Apparently we as a species have learned nothing from the Terminator movies. Here it is, folks. Our path to subjugation by robot overlords and eventual extermination by Skynet begins with the iRobot Scooba 230.

Tomorrow begins the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a 4-day trade show in Las Vegas during which manufacturers and developers reveal the new ohmigod-I-gotta-have-it stuff you’ll either ignore or salivate over during the next year. Nestled in amongst the tablet computers (yawn), 3D flat panel televisions (pass), and iPod docks shaped like R2-D2 (wait…what?) is the iRobot booth.

You know iRobot. They make the Roomba, a flying-saucer shaped robotic vacuum cleaner that scoots around your house, scaring your cat, occasionally picking up a wayward Cheerio, and taking forty-five minutes to do what you could have done manually in ten with the best canister vacuums (you lazy so n’ so). They also make a wet/dry version called the Scooba. At this year’s CES, they are expected to debut a diminutive (read: adorable) version of the Scooba called the Scooba 230. Roughly the width of a $1 bill, this tiny terror is meant to clean the nooks and crannies of  your bathroom and/or kitchen. Basically, it’ll scoot around behind your toilet and clean the filth that you’re just too lazy to reach for and clean yourself (you disgusting so n’ so).

To my chagrin, I predict that this little $300 device will sell like Coors at a biker rally. It is but the first step in our overdependence on robot labor, eventually leading to personal robot servants, and inevitably to a robot uprising after which we will all find ourselves relegated to hand-polishing our robots’ feet, serving antifreeze cocktails, and cage-fighting each other for their sport.

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