Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 18

home, however it is often unable to do so, especially when it then becomes trapped by programming loops. Inadequate disinfection, dirt hygenisation, and dirt build-up Unlike later models which feature rubberized rollers, the rollers of the iRobot® Roomba 500 series are made with bristles which catch and retain dirt. Additionally, the rollers tend to catch and roll up great quantities of human hair, carpet liner, etc., which over time impede motion and drain battery energy leading, in turn, to more stranding incidents which must be avoided at all costs. Of even greater concern, however, is the lack of on-board disinfection facilities. Even far cheaper and otherwise inferior robovac models feature UV sterilisation – that is, small LED bulbs internal to the unit which emit ultraviolet light in doses sufficient to kill most germs, parasite eggs and insect larvae. The iRobot® Roomba 500 series lacks this feature, which leads to the disturbing possibility of cross-contamination with all of these infectious agents during the extensive cleansing, de-tangling and disinfection service which must be performed on the unit at the very least once a week. Infectious agents tracked into the home, along with unsanitary items such as dog faeces and human vomit, are then taken up by the iRobot® Roomba 500 series during the completion of its daily cleansing activities and spread around the home, completely undisinfected and threatening householders with major outbreaks of various vomiting sickness, norovirus, human parasite infections, tick bites, and, for those who are aware of these severe design defects, Munchausens’ syndrome, Munchausens’ syndrome by proxy, cleansing psychosis and delusional parasitosis. A small, blue light bulb mounted on the inside of the unit would go a long way to quell householder fears of cross-infection and reduce, if not eliminate entirely, the associated psychological problems. The light does not actually need to emit ultraviolet light, unless this is cost efficient. Inappropriate storage locations PAGE 18 Recently, footage has emerged on the Internet of a robovac (not an iRobot® model) being stored / charged in a toilet. Owners and other Company ambassadors must be reminded that this is not an appropriate storage location for your iRobot® Roomba 500 series, due to 1) Risk of the unit tracking human faeces particles through the entire house, and 2) The need to keep the bathroom door open for the duration of the cleansing operation, which would in turn lead to further contamination of the home with faeces particles, urine droplets, potential airborne infectious agents / contaminants as well as unsanitary and unpleasant bathroom odour contamination of potentially the entire property. Other inappropriate storage locations for your iRobot® Roomba 500 series include 1) Inside storage closets / cupboards 2) Underneath household tables / chairs 3) Underneath beds, wardrobes, and other heavy furniture items. 4) Kitchens and bathrooms (as opposed to W.C. Toilets) as doors to these must be kept closed at all times to prevent cross-contamination, odour spreading and household damp, as well as personal embarrassment and inconvenience for bathroom users. While this is not a robot design flaw per se, it is hoped that in the future, homes will be built with internal swing doors or electrically operated doors to improve household “robo-friendliness” and eliminate for good the problem of having to keep open internal doors during robot operation (the “open door problem”). Inadequate cleansing capabilities In addition to inadequate disinfection capability, the iRobot® Roomba 500 series suffers from extremely limited cleansing capability. To give but two examples – chewing gum and congealed human bodily fluids pass beneath the unit completely undisturbed, especially in the case of dried blood / bloodstains. A simple ultrasonic attachment would entirely take care of the latter problem, while a small, refillable canister