Is your vacuum cleaner a type A personality? Does it constantly need to have everything around the house just so? Or is your vacuum cleaner sullen? Neither, really? Because vacuum cleaners, even robotic ones, don’t tend to have personalities we mere humans can make sense of? Don’t be ridiculous, of course they do! At least according to Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, who recently conducted a study based on just that.
The study carefully assembled a group of people and questioned them about what types of behavior they look for in a robotic vacuum cleaner. Yes, really:
“…the actors were asked to act out situations—as if they were the robot vacuum cleaner—making use of motion and sound […] In general, the actors either crawled about or walked around at a slow pace to imitate a vacuum cleaner. Often, a typical vacuuming sound was simulated by them.”
After this group had finished simulating their preferred vacuum behaviors, another group was brought in to assess their work, choosing from the videos they’d taken of the other group acting as a means of deciding which personality they’d prefer hoover their home. The results tend to mesh with the assumed values one looks for in a vacuum:
“We have investigated what kind of personality is desired for a robotic vacuum cleaner and found that people prefer a calm, polite, and cooperative robot vacuum cleaner that works efficiently, systematically and likes routines.”
Actually, I take back what I said in that first paragraph about vacuums not having personalities. We are clearly about to be taken over by a well-organized (and clean!) team of particularly maniacal robots vacuums. This club-hopper shall be their leader:
(Photo via Nos Contra Mundum)
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