Why You Need a Domestic Robot
You need a robot for picking things up and putting them down.
When purchasing an item from a grocery store, for example, you pick it up and put it down seven times (code sample below).
This is ridiculous!
[continues with code examples]
The Grocery Algorithm
to the tune of... <pick your own tune>
drive to grocery store
for each item on the list:
pick it up
put it in the trolly.
find the checkout line that looks shortest
(note: it's not the quickest)
while people are in front of you: do nothing.
for each item in the trolley:
pick it up
put it on the conveyor belt.
[Now we'll switch over to look at the cashier program]
for each item on the conveyor belt
pick it up
no bag on bag holder?
pick up an empty bag
put it on the bag holder
put the item in a bag.
pick up the bag
put it down the end of the counter.
tell customer the price
put it in the till
[switch over to look at the customer program again]
for each bag on the counter:
pick it up
put it in the trolley
push trolley to car.
open boot. (i.e. 'trunk')
for each bag in the trolley:
pick it up
put it in boot (i.e. 'trunk')
push trolley out of the way.
do while bags left in boot:
while i have the strength to carry one more bag:
pick up a bag.
no bags left in car?
close boot (i.e. 'trunk')
walk up stairs
walk to kitchen counter
while bag/bags in my hands:
put it on kitchen counter
bags left in car? so walk downstairs
for each bag on the kitchen counter
while items remain in bag
pick up item
put item away
Okay -- this continual picking up and putting down stuff just seems so ridiculous. And it's not out of laziness that i hate it -- activity doesn't frighten me. I like exercise and all that freaky stuff. But i don't like being programmed by my needs.
I read somewhere that while everyone wants a domestic home robot, we tend to value it at around 20 bucks each. But the upfront cost of development would run into the tens of millions. Personally, I think i'd chip in about fifty dollars if a robot could do the grocery shopping for me, forever. Without complaining or needing servicing.
All it's got to perfect is the art of picking things up. And putting them away. Is that too much to ask?
'Carl' on Fri, 21 Jul 2006 06:11:23 GMT, sez:
So you're the one responsible for all the stray trolleys in the car park at the supermarket....
'owen' on Fri, 21 Jul 2006 06:45:47 GMT, sez:
I have a plan: It's called internet shopping. The whole picking up and putting away is reduced to having it delivered at home for you.
so i make 2 pickups and putdowns for each item
(some of the drivers will even take it in for you, reducing pickup/putdown to 1) :) the wonder of the modern age.
'Simon' on Fri, 21 Jul 2006 07:58:18 GMT, sez:
You've missed a couple of steps: the "put item away" makes it sound like one step, but that can be broken down further, by adding steps to get out a previously-put-away item because it is smaller the current-putting-away item, and needs to go on top of the current-putting-away item. Towards the end, you may have to half-empty the cupboard, throw away some out of date tinned figs with beetroot (or similar) to make extra space, and put everything back properly.
What about when you get to eating the shopping? How many more picking ups and putting downs do you do to say, cook and eat beans on toast? More than seven, I'd wager. Wouldn't a cook-and-cut-into-pieces-and-feed robot be more useful?
'Locutus' on Fri, 21 Jul 2006 08:56:04 GMT, sez:
Dude, you drove home with the boot open!
'mike' on Sat, 22 Jul 2006 19:57:01 GMT, sez:
I think it would be much easier to write a book called the "Grocery Store Fitness Plan" in which you show people that merely by going to the grocery store and picking and putting down all that stuff, they're getting fitter all the time. In fact, the more stuff they buy, the fitter they'll get!
I predict a million-seller.
'Magnus Mendelyev' on Sun, 23 Jul 2006 21:12:29 GMT, sez:
I query the skillz required when the robot hits the produce section...
I have spent years fine tuning my avocado selecting skillz and I must say... I think it would be impossible to hard code.
LB... I throw down the gauntlet on this challenge!