Dyson Intelligent Vacuum Cleaner Is Self-Diagnosing
James Dyson has added a new feature to his vacuum cleaners - they can tell service personnel exactly what the problem is. All you need to do is "phone home" - that is, call the service center.
(You think you've got problems? Here's mine...)
Once you've dialed the phone for it, the machine transmits a binary message to service center engineers, telling them what is wrong and what parts to order. And what's more - this is my favorite - it even states its own serial number. I hate getting down on my hands and knees and examining every square inch of an appliance (are you listening, computer makers?) in order to find the serial number. The helpful appliance even talks about when it was purchased and how long it has been in use. This little household gem is already in use in Japan, and will be available in the UK soon.
One can only hope that this leap into the future will be accomplished without any of the problems that computers and machines have had in science fiction with self-diagnosis. In the following example, the Hal-9000 computer from Arthur C. Clarke's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey makes a very simple diagnosis regarding an anticipated communications failure:
"Sorry to interrupt the festivities," said Hal, "but we have a problem."
"What is it?" Bowman and Poole asked simultaneously.
"I am having difficulty in maintaining contact with Earth. The trouble
is in the AE-35 unit. My Fault Prediction Center reports that it may fail
within seventy-two hours."
"We'll take care of it," Bowman replied. "Let's see the optical
"Here it is, Dave. It's still O.K. at the moment..."
"Do you know where the trouble is?" asked Bowman.
"It's intermittent and I can't localize it. But it appears to be in the
"What procedure do you suggest?"
"The best thing would be to replace the unit with a spare, so that we
can check it over..."
Bowman studied the diagrams for a moment, then whistled.
"You might have told us," he said. "This means going outside the ship."
"I'm sorry," Hal replied. "I assumed you knew that the AE-35 unit was on
the antenna mounting."
"I probably did, a year ago. But there are eight thousand subsystems
aboard. Anyway, it looks a straightforward job. We only have to unlock a
panel and put in a new unit."
Yes, just another straightforward repair job. And we all know how that one turned out. Just hope that you don't wind up talking about your vacuum cleaner like Bowman and Poole did about Hal.
(What do you mean ... you think it's losing it's suction?)
Can you think of any other instances of self-diagnosing robots? Please leave me a comment so I can add it to the article. Also, read the original article at (roughly 98% worksafe) It's Dyson the windbag.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/24/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 9 )
Related News Stories -
It's Time For Robots With Soft, Sensitive Skin
Sure, solid metal skin robots looked great once - like in science fiction movies of the 1920's.
Microscopic Robots On The March!
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
MOFLIN AI Robot - Yes You Can Have A Tribble
They're really no tribble at all!
Ford Uses Obedient Robot Dogs To Update Facilities Maps
'If he sent out two or three of the small tele-operated devices... [he] could see machinery and construction details in real time from both above and below.' - Niven and Pournelle, 1981.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'
LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Will ATT Offer Ad-Subsidized Cellphone Service
'For long-distance calls the ratio of commercial to conversation was as high as 10 to 1...'
Gyro-X Self-Balancing Two-Wheeler Car
'Indeed, the gyrocar was a sight to make a man look twice.'
Beat Covid-19 With AIR By MicroClimate - At Last I Get My PAPR
More than just a bubble.
Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition OLED TV
The Look of Things To Come.
Metalenses Now Reconfigurable With Liquid Crystal
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension...'
'Alexa For Residential' A Landlord's Dream (Tenant's Nightmare?)
'...unseen mechanical entities... that are in our very midst. One of them following each of us.'
Gather Ye Moonrocks While Ye May
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite.'
InMotion V11 Electric Unicycle Gets Air (Video)
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
Rid Thyself Of Ads On The Newsbox
'Can't we scramble that commercial?'
A.I. Jesus Proclaims Machine Gospel
'... he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth; inside he put a dime into the slot and dialed at random.'
Google's Remixed 'Your News Update' ala Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl
'Perhaps we had better use the soundtrack and let it hunt.'
iSphere Plastique Fantastique Face Mask Alternative
'Among these were some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.'
Inkjet-Printed Wearable Solar Cells
Ultra-thin wearable organic photovoltaic material.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories