Zombie-Friendly Pick-To-Light Home Kitchen

The new father is a walking zombie. mornings are the worst -- i'm a stumbling dribbling dementia patient.

Confession continues...

I get up in the morning and i make breakfast for the wife and i, but i'm fast asleep at the time. i wander back and forth in the kitchen, open the fridge and forget what i'm after.

I pick up the milk, walk across the kitchen, walk back to the fridge and put the milk back with ever using it. I take it out again, put milk in my coffee, put it back in the fridge before i've put milk on my cereal.

Waiting for the kettle to boil i fall asleep in the lounge room, wake up to find one of my shoes in the freezer, my watch is missing, i stagger around, uncertain where it is... i put off shaving for another day, put on a four minute timer to have a shower (there's a water crisis in brisbane) then fall asleep standing up.

My real wish is that i'd have a domestic robot to perform repetive little inane tasks for me, giving me just one more minute to sleep. but domestic robots cost too much.

In warehouses they use something called "pick to light" systems, so they can employ human zombies to perform simple tasks, without buying expensive robots.

"In a typical Pick to Light system, the operator scans a bar-coded address label attached to a shipper, carton, or tote box. Digital displays located in front of each pick bin tell the operator which SKUs to pick and how many."

(from here)

Every morning in this foggy state I vaguely wish for a Pick-to-light system in my kitchen.

First a light goes on in front of the kettle. So I pick up the kettle.

Now a light goes on at the tap -- so i walk to the tap and fill the kettle (still fast asleep)

A light goes on back where the kettle goes -- so i walk back with it and plug it in, set it to boil.

Now a light goes on where the cereal bowls are kept. I take them out. A light goes on above the cutlery drawer -- i open it and a little screen tells me -- "two teaspoons, two table spoons". I take them out. The fridge begins to blink "milk", i go and get the milk. a light blinks above the sugar bowl... and so on for twenty more steps.

Final step: a light goes on in my head. It's time to wake up for the day.

Of course, for any of this to work i'd still have to put things back when i'm done with them. i'm a "managed-runtime" developer -- we don't believe in manually deallocating the resources we acquire. so i need an automatic garbage collector to return the items to their rightful place when i'm done with them. my wife isn't willing to take on the responsibility. i'm sure not. maybe i can train the baby to put things away for daddy. clean up your toys, put away dad's empty beer cans, there's a good kid. who knows.

~~~~~~zombie dad.

(p.s. see also -- kitchen kan-ban, Why you need a domestic robot, Where's my damn robot and The Ezy Fridge)

(p.p.s. new idea: for every item in the house, attach a piece of string with the other end fixed to the item's 'home position'. Then, to find an item, just go to home position and pull on the string. This would be perfect!)

(p^3.s i gave a lecture on Zen Buddhism for Amputees but only one guy turned up to hear me speak. it went well. i got a standing ovation and the room was filled with the sound of one hand clapping.)


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