I'm a lazy piece.

Right now, even as I type, my Killbot (to which I have given the completely awesome and totally original name of "Killbot") is hard at work cleaning my floors.

I'm still waiting for Professor Wernstrom to send me the bottom half (which includes the machine gun and Lotus Notes add-ons), but even so, I have to say that the floors in my house have never been cleaner.

www.irobot.com is offering a 30 day money-back trial on these things, including reimbursement of shipping charges in both directions. Seriously, how could I go wrong? I would get to mess around with a new geek-gadget, terrorize the cats and keep the floor clean all at the same time.

The problem with having pets and working a full time job is simply this -- when you are at work slaving away, they are sitting at home. What are they doing, you ask? Well, they are doing what they do best, which is eating, sleeping, and losing fur at an alarming rate. Since we have no carpet in the house and also have leather furniture, an amazing amount of that fur ends up on the hardwood floor. You can clean it every day, and every day their follicles reject another massive quantity of it.

Killbot does a great job of cleaning it up. Much better than I would have anticipated, actually. I ordered the cheap one -- they have a more expensive one that has a charging/docking station, and when the battery is weak, it will find its way home for a recharge. They have an even more expensive one with a scheduler, so you can tell it to start cleaning while you're at work so you don't have to listen to it. I'm a little leery of that one because while I don't know exactly what would happen if my Killbot ran over fresh cat puke, I have a pretty good idea that it wouldn't be good for anyone.

We generally run it when we leave the house or when we're outside, since it's pretty loud. Sometimes I run it when I get home from work. Eventually, you almost get used to the loud noises and the way it randomly bangs into stuff before it staggers off in a different direction and then eventually gets stuck in the bathroom. I find it strangely comforting. For some reason, it reminds me of college.

Sadly, today is my last day of evaluation and Killbot is packaged up and on his way back to the iRobot factory. While adept at cleaning floors, it turns out that he sucks big at disarming IEDs, surplus military ordnance, land mines and other incendiary devices. I think I am in luck, however, because iRobot also makes these:

I might try this one for 30 days too. If this hardcore mofo also vaccuums the floor, I am totally keeping it. It has a claw, a video stalk, and apparently, (and most importantly) it can project your face on its little video screen.

If this eval doesn't pan out, who knows. I might have a line on a used Spider Slayer Mark II, so we'll see what happens.


  1. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Make your own robot out of a roomba, a transformer and a Cubloc. Tough dust? Transform into a truck! Because we all know that semi trailers clean up dust like nothing else.

  2. So are they paying you for this endorsement, JV?

    Leather furniture with cats? They are either declawed, or you and the wife moonlight as cat wranglers!

  3. Might I suggest something like this.

    It comes with its own Guttenberg.

  4. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I don't think the Killbot would help where dogs are concerned. In addition to shedding, dogs like to amuse themselves by tipping over the trash and scattering it all over the floor.

    Then they sit on the couch and wait for you to come home.

    I think they secretly relish the look on your face when you see what they've done.

  5. I have five kitties and I want Killbot!! I brush them every night and regularly pick up tufts of fur from the carpet & couch. But it always looks like a major cat battle just took place at my house.

  6. I want one of those robot cleaners that picks up everything and I mean everything, you leave it on the floor. Oh well, it is gone dumbshit, should have picked it up. Pet hair, Gone!, toys, Gone!, socks,Gone!, dogs to slow to get out of the way, GONE!

  7. If it's so great why are you sending it back??? I mean besides the whole not good at army stuff thing??

  8. Alan - not sure I know what a cubloc is...

    Sassy, no they aren't paying me, but they should be...and yes we are horrible people and have our cats declawed.

    Sarah, does it come with a hot young Ally Sheedy too?

    Mike, it would work, you would just need to get used to having garbage pushed into every corner of your house.

    KK, for 5 cats you might need two of these.

    Scoop, see sarah's comment.

    Lindy, I'm sending it back because (1) it cost $200, and (2) I'm deciding if I want the one with the home base.

  9. Looks kind of fancy-schmancy to me. Couldn't you just settle for a vibrator like everybody else?

  10. JV- I won't have cats unless they are declawed. Of course, I don't have cats. It's the four dogs that have torn up my furniture...

    And I'm kind of disappointed. I would have loved to hear that you and the wife are cat wranglers...Hrumph!

  11. Shit, tfg's comment made me choke on my water. Classic.

    Get the home base, JV.

  12. tfg - 30 days. free. Try it and you'll never go back.

  13. Anonymous2:37 AM

    On a more serious note, check out what declawing actually means. They cut off the last joint in the cat's fingers(toes?), in some cases causing lifelong pain and inability to walk/jump. There's a reason it's illegal in many places.

    For those of you expecting something funny here: Tittyfuck.

    Oh, and a CUBLOC is a kind of microcontroller. Like a little computer, used in robots, etc.

  14. yeah, I know all about the declawing thing, but my cats seem perfectly happy, and they have no problem jumping anywhere.

    I figure it's the price they pay for being alive right now. If I gave you a choice between lethal injection, the gas chamber, freezing to death or losing the first joint of every finger, you'd lose the finger every time.

  15. I support iRobot as a subcontractor on the less cat-friendly model. I hate them with the fiery heat of a thousand burning suns. I never understood loathing until I loathed them.

    Many years ago, they also made My Real Baby. You can see a picture at http://www.generation5.org/content/2001/mrb.asp?Print=1. See? iRobot = blueprint for Chucky = pure evil.