Monday, July 30, 2012
Robots! From the Past! In the Future!
dream. It was a dream instilled into me by educators born with the heady 1950s ideal that rapid technological advances could and would make our tedious human lives easier and faster, leaving more time for us to sit by the pool smoking our pipes, listening to Sammy, Frank or Deano whilst our apron-donned wives swiftly brought us our martinis and newspapers, and our two point five children played fetch with Rover on the well-groomed and picket-fenced yard, all while we pondered our healthy pensions and whether or not we should retire early to Florida. I'm sorry, what was I saying? Actually, most of my teachers throughout the 1980s were former hippies who still clung to the counter-culture dogma of the early 1970s and would have dropped their jaws at the picture I just painted. Nevertheless, many did come from an era where the prospect of fast, cheap computers and personal robots were just around the corner, and that we as a society would use such tools to transcend our baser animalistic attributes, hopefully becoming better and more enlightened human beings in the process. And while our futurist educators eagerly beamed with the prospect of machines that could walk our dogs and pills that would supplant the need for meals, there was one potential technological advancement that struck a chord with me in particular, especially with me being that child who invariably got nauseated at the idea of pushing around my dad's rusted old Lawnboy every Saturday for two bits (just kidding, I got 5 bucks, 25¢ didn't buy you anything in 1984 either). So what had caught my young eye then, and has stuck with me to this day, was a picture of a robot in a science magazine, sketched roughly in charcoal, and it was mowing a lawn while some relaxed-looking dude, presumably "Dad," lay snoozing on the patio in total bliss. Yup. I was ready to cryogenically freeze myself just so I could make sure I'd live to see the day when this amazing miracle breakthrough would be available. Well here we are in the gritty and oh so real 2010s and my childhood dream of taking afternoon naps on the weekend while R2-D2 takes care of business has finally come true, so I'll waste no more time in presenting to you...Robomow. Yes, Robomow. You can almost feel your bald spot tingle, can't you? Available in four configurations, Robomow has the power to cut up to 17,200 square feet of luscious lawn and still make it back to its charging dock for a good week's sleep, all automatically while you lie on the couch watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. The robo-mowers run anywhere from $1299 to $2700 depending on the model and since they're electric, there's no oil, gas or emissions plus they're much quieter as well, resulting in less noise-pollution for your neighborhood. Awww, my old hippie teachers are probably welling up right now somewhere over their herbal teas and copies of I'm OK, You're OK. So get your wallets ready, true believers, because greener lawns and greener living await you HERE!