Roomba Driving Owners Crazy with Anthropomorphic Robot Love

Illustration for article titled Roomba Driving Owners Crazy with Anthropomorphic Robot Love

A study of 30 Roomba users found the owners of the robotic vacuum cleaner often developing emotional attachments to their little bundles of plastic, metal and wiring. Of the 30 people in the study, 21 of them named their Roombas, 16 of them referred to it as a "he," and some even went so far as to pre-clean the floors to make the little robot's life easier. In other words, Roomba is driving people stark raving mad, demonstrating signs of insanity and anthropomorphizing these robots that can sometimes barely do their jobs. The upside? iRobot, the maker of the Roomba, promises the fifth generation won't be quite so flawed. But then maybe their owners won't love them as much without all those quirks. [MSNBC]


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"...If we can design things that are somewhat emotionally engaging, it doesn't have to be as reliable."

There's a good deal of truth in this comment. A lot of people (myself included) feel this way about things such as cars or motor vehicles for instance. I personally can't imagine becoming attached to a robot vacuum, but I suppose the logic is the same.