Commercial Robotics

A Gaggle of Vacbots

Posted 7 Sep 2005 at 13:22 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

When you go to Korea, check out their floors! They must have the cleanest floors because every time you turn around it seems there's another Korean vacuum cleaning robot out on the market. Not just Korean companies but companies all over the world are cashing in on the success of iRobot's Roomba vacuum cleaning robot. They're all vying for a piece of the Vacbot cash pie. There's more vacbots now than you can shake a stick at and it's estimated that there will be 400,000 vacbots by 2006. So let's review the various vacbots out there. The latest Roomba clone is the Yujin Robotics icleblo Q that looks amazingly like a Roomba but comes in pretty colors like electric pink. There's Hanool Robotics OTTORO that has a front attachment for getting the corners and uses cameras to help it navigate. iRobot, of course, has many other versions of vacbots such as the Scooba mopbot. Many other companies have vacbots such as LG's Roboking-2, Microbot's Largo, Dyson's DC06 vacbot, Hitachi's Robovac, Kärcher's Robocleaner 3000, Floorbotics vacuum, Friendly Robotics Friendly Vac, Samsung's VC-RP30W and Electrolux Trilobite to name a few. More companies like Daewoo are planning on vacbots. I'm sure there's probably even more robovacs that I've missed. There's even Smart Carpet being produced to help robovacs navigate. Of course, let's not forget the competition of being first in some way for robovacs. Our future looks bright and clean, very clean.

The sorcerer's apprentice, posted 8 Sep 2005 at 10:48 UTC by marcin » (Journeyer)

I've got a book (I bought for my daughter) which is the sorcerer's apprentice, but where the sorcerer is an inventor, and the apprentice is a robot that is told to clean up the lab ... it creates a copy of itself, which creates a copy, etc as per the disney thing.

Funny how life imitates art.

Cheers, Marcin

Gaggle of Vacbots you say..., posted 8 Sep 2005 at 15:00 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

So is that the correct collective noun then? How about a suck of vacbots?

Any (obviously better) suggestions?

N.B. I'll head this off at the pass: Researcher A: "Herd of vacbots?" Researcher B: "Of course I have, I read!"

A gaggle of vacbots go horribly wrong..., posted 8 Sep 2005 at 17:05 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

I guess "Gaggle" means "Flock". So the thought of a flock of vacbots flying overhead might could make a cheezy B-Movie horror flick? Sort of like that Star Wars spoof call hardware wars? Look up in the sky! AHHHH is a gaggle of vacbots! Wha? It's a flock of Vacbots! Wha? It's a bunch of vacbots! For goodness sake, who cares what it is just run for your lives!!! [Morbid image if victims being sucked into the mother ship]

Word fun..., posted 8 Sep 2005 at 18:16 UTC by jeffkoenig » (Master)

Would a vaccuum robot, by itself, be a collective noun? Tee-hee...

I've always thought a group of geese was a gaggle. At least that's how my dad refered to them.

We've got two Roombas, which my wife has named "Judy" and "Elroy".

Gaggle of stuff powered by a backpack, posted 8 Sep 2005 at 22:41 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

What a coincedence! I found an article that used the word gaggle in describing a bunch of electronic instruments. Perhaps they read and were inspired to use the word?

Collective nouns, posted 9 Sep 2005 at 13:43 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

Yes, it's a gaggle of geese. There are lots of collective nouns in English. Some of them are used everyday, but many of them have poetic, or comic origins.

a flock of sheep; a herd of cows; a business of ferrets; a fall of woodcocks; a shrewdness of apes; a cete of badgers; a dopping of sheldrake; a tiding of magpies; an unkindness of ravens; a parliament of rooks; a murder of crows; a murmuration of starlings; a drunkship of cobblers; an eloquence of lawyers; a superfluity of nuns; a pride of lions; a pack of dogs; a flight of stairs; a flock of birds; a string of racehorses; a kettle of hawks;

There's a book on the subject by James Lipton called "An Exaltation of Larks" that is filled with them. I haven't read it. I doubt anyone with Internet access really needs to. ;)

I'm a firm believer in the meaning of language being determined by use, but there seems to be no real consensus on robots. It depends on the architecture. Some robots come in "teams" but that is a specialist use of the phrase. You can find "teams" in other animals, like within a troop of baboons. Similarly I've seen "flocks" and "swarms" of robots. This is more based on the animals that the robot is emulating than anything else. So, I'm interested in what we might call a collective of vacbots, since "vacbot" already tells us more than "robot."

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