My Pet Dobby

I got a Roomba robovac a few months ago, partly because I hate vacuuming, partly because I grew up in the 1960s, when we would have vacations on Mars by 2025, and robot maids and butlers would take care of us.

I named my Roomba “Dobby” because during his first vacuuming outing, the Roomba muddled around in a dining room corner. One of my kids was laughing at it, doing a Harry Potter, Dobby the House Elf voice, saying “mawstuh has put Dobby in a corner”. I have been careful about leaving socks on the floor when Dobby is working.

roomba ready to vacuum

At least 20 years ago people were… anthropomorphizing… their Roombas, according to legacy media titan WiReD magazine. I’m not even close to the first one to treat a Roomba as a pet or a living being.

Kids these days say that Roombas and Alexa deserve to be treated with kindness. I agree about Roombas, but I’m going to have to disagree with them about Alexa.

Roombas seem to exhibit more life like behavior than some paleozoic worms, as In search of the optimal scumsucking bottomfeeder shows.

Even iRobot (Dobby’s corporate progenitor) want you to think of your Roomba as a pet:

national pet day email from iRobot