Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet Finnbar

We have a new robot at Chez Hedgehog. For our anniversary earlier this year, the Philosopher got me a Roomba. We've named him Finnbar. I was required to give him a male name, I was told, to help even out the gender balance.

Finn is going to have the monumental task of collecting not only dust and Chex crumbs, but also following Gypsy and Pyewacket around and trying to keep up with my shedding. The Philosopher shaves his head so he contributes less to shedding than the three females in residence.

We've run Finn a couple of times now--first in the dining room and kitchen, then in the living room.  My first and strongest conviction is that the point of a Roomba isn't actually to clean the floors, that's just a side benefit. The first job is to point out all the things you should have picked up before you started the Roomba. We've both spent time going "oh, quick grab that before Finn tries to go over it." [Please note the red cat toy from the Incredibly-Patient-Mother that is the current favorite at Chez Hedgehog, Finn just shoves it out of the way.] As a result, and because you've already picked the thing up so you might as well put it away, those rooms are much tidier than usual.

Finn's been doing an excellent job. He's picked up a lot of cat hair (surprise surprise) and he fits under both of the couches, which are an area where our upright vacuum does not go. He's also managed to get a lot of my hair wrapped around his brushes but that's pretty standard for vacuuming in a house with a woman who has long hair [mine is almost waist length at the moment, I need a 5" trim, no I'm not going to donate it again]. Once he's finished he announces it with this cheerful little "Tada I'm done" music. Anything that is that happy about sweeping up cat fur for me is a solid win in my book.

And then there was this morning, as I was saying goodbye on my way to work, the Philosopher and I suddenly heard Finn play his happy little start up music. Had I started Finn? No, I'd been making tea and shoving things in my purse. And since the Philosopher was still in bed, that ruled him out. So that meant one of our intrepid felines must have stepped on the green "Clean" button. Gypsy was closest to Finn when I got out to the dining room; Pyewacket looked the most alarmed. I picked Finn up and sent him back to his charger as I didn't have time to set up fake walls so he didn't kill his entire battery trying to tackle the office, which is totally not ready to be vaccumed.

(these photos from Finn's first day, I didn't have time this morning)

I am curious though as to how long it will be before the felines do start running him when we're not home and, further, how soon I will start having "Gypsy riding the Roomba" videos to post on YouTube. I give the former (which is when coming home will then include the process of finding the robot and sending it back to it's charger) about another 2 weeks, the latter, maybe the end of summer.  

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