I’ve always wanted a robotic butler

Posted on March 30th, 2010 8 great comments. Room for one more!

There isn’t much that would encourage me to stay indoors on a day such as today.

bay street, queen street east, nathan phillips square, city hall, hudson's bay company, toronto, city, life

Yet, I found it incredibly difficult to rip myself away from my flat. Even today. Obviously, I did, and will again, but I didn’t / won’t venture far. I was / will be thinking about how Jeeves was / will be making out.

Jeeves, is the new Roomba. I named him Jeeves because I’ve always wanted a robotic butler (I will learn how to attach a drink holder to him!). Also because he’s black and white, looks like he’s wearing a smart futuristic tux.

I should mention it wasn’t a snap decision; my upright vacuum is on its last legs. Plus, it smells funny. I was looking around for a replacement and came across this limited shipment at Canadian Tire. I’d bought the upright for about the same as the robot, and even the basic Roomba cleans by its frickin’ self!

Well I was sold.

I went to the one store that still claimed to have ample supplies, spent a few minutes sweating it out as another guy pawed the last box, and grabbed it as casually as I could when he returned it back to the empty shelf. I was hoping for black and white.

Christmas :)

roomba, 400s, irobot, ollie, oliver, cat, apartment, flat, vacuum cleaner, toronto, city, life

Of course I tried the Roomba out as soon as the the “Clean” button turned green.

It’s incredibly difficult not to become mesmerized as the cleaner works the room the first six or seven times out. It’s hypnotic. I’ve lost hours!

Jeeves doesn’t seem to faze Ollie much, which is good for all of us. The cleaner makes about as much noise as a child’s large, radio-controlled, toy truck. Quieter than the upright, for sure. And he’s not really what I’d call intelligent – I suspect Ollie’s got him figured out. He alternates between turning in circles, travelling in straight lines across the room, hugging the walls, and bumping into stuff along the way. Occasionally Jeeves gets stuck in a tight spot, usually because he’s a chickenshit and scared to drop two centimetres (about three-quarters of an inch), from the fireplace tiles. But he gets up there alright!

So I’ve changed the layout of my place; I now get to blog in front of the big window overlooking the street :) Plus, after about six hours of charging, I set up the Virtual Wall so that Jeeves doesn’t enter the kitchen (Ollie gets to make a mess in there undisturbed), and set up the flat to barricade the off-limit areas. Then, get the hell outta there!

old city hall, nathan phillips square, queen street east, toronto, city, hall

It’s a lot roomier now too. Jeeves runs around until his battery runs low, about an hour. So far that seems to be enough to cover the whole floor. If isolated to a single room, Jeeves will go over the same spot probably eight to ten times in different directions. I am satisfied with this level of effort, though apparently I can work him twice as hard with a new battery. We’ll see.

Oh, and the best freakin’ part … he goes under furniture. :D Holy shit you shoulda seen what Jeeves pulled out on his first days on the job. He’s thorough, I’ll give him that. And pretty easy to maintain – pick him up by the handle (keeps the crap in the bin in), push the big button on the top and the dust bin pops off, shake filth into trash. I’m still surprised by how much filth too. The little sidebrush and the way Jeeves hugs corners does a quality job with my meals in front of the TV. The kind of black-tie service I expect.

After some heavy-duty spring cleaning, Jeeves now gets to relax a bit more. He’s on only once a day, and that’s for the whole flat. Except those high areas, off course. Wouldn’t want little mister precious hurting himself on that steep drop or anything (he has a feeble British accent, for sure).

But I can now trust him to get out from under the chairs alright and I’m working out some sort of lint brush attachment for his top. You know, so that he earns his keep while he’s under that damn sofa. But, so far Jeeves is working out well. He runs around for about an hour before the battery runs out and he plays a happy little Casio tune proclaiming he’s done. Or a sad tune when he’s had to be reset in the middle of a job because he got stuck on something. If that’s his form of apology, I’m not buying it.

But he’s new, and he’s working hard, so I’m not ready to pull out the whip yet. Plus, now that I’m starting to trust him with my place a bit more, I can let him run things in my stead while I’m off on my adventures deciphering all the freaky shit stuck to Old City Hall.

old city hall, carvings, stone, statues, statuettes, external, outside, decorations, toronto, city, life

8 Comments on “ I’ve always wanted a robotic butler ”

  • Dyeve
    March 31st, 2010 10:13 am

    Long time not seen :P

    Seems a sunny day and the photos I just love it, are brilliant.Great post.

    Read more from Dyeve at: http://www.dyeve.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    March 31st, 2010 7:09 pm

    Thanks, Dyeve :)

  • bingkee
    March 31st, 2010 11:50 am

    I've heard of this couple that their secret to a very clean place despite their busy lives is their Roomba.

    That thing on the wall of the City Hall –looks like an icon of Satan…..hehehe

    Read more from bingkee at: http://www.ilovehateamerica.com
  • Patrick
    March 31st, 2010 7:10 pm

    And what's with that guy with the stuff coming out of his eye sockets, Bingkee?! I dunno what's going on down there but I don't like it one bit.

  • Walasa
    March 31st, 2010 12:07 pm

    nice post, love so much to read this, I'll drop here every day :D

    Read more from Walasa at: http://walasa.com
  • Patrick
    March 31st, 2010 7:10 pm

    Thanks, Walasa. Please do :)

  • lengka
    March 31st, 2010 12:07 pm

    Such a nice blog, now, I found a new atmosphere here and you have a nice info to share, I really like this, and hope you're always happy to share this every single day, thanks alot for your information, I'll bookmark this and share to all my friend for dropping at here, have a nice day… :D

    Read more from lengka at: http://info-majalengka.info
  • Patrick
    March 31st, 2010 7:11 pm

    I am happy to share, Lengka. Maybe not every day, but close-to :) And many thanks for sharing.

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