Friday, September 23, 2005
Robotic Lawn Mowers
On one of the nearby roads I travel infrequently, there is a small building with a handmade sign out front. The sign looked like this:
I wondered if we really had the technology for useful robotic lawn mowers. I wouldn't a machine with a big spinning blade running around my neighborhood without supervision. Of course, you know that eventually a bolt of lightning would strike a machine, suddenly making it self-aware, and then we humans would be constantly fighting for survival against armies of robotic lawn mowers.
You may not take the bolt-of-lightning-causes-sentience threat seriously, but there are many similar dangers. The manufacturers could use surplus military superweapon chips to build them. Aliens could take control of them. The mowers could cross over a haunted Indian burial ground. Terrorists could give them viruses. It's clear that that the robotic lawn-mower armageddon is inevitable.
Today when I drove by the building, I noted a subtle change:
Ah, so apparently robotics and lawn mowers are two separate lines of products. That makes me feel a little safer, although I'll bet anyone working on both robotics and lawn mowers is eventually going to bring the two technologies together (maybe unintentionally).
I, for one, welcome our new robotic lawn-mower overlords.