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 -
Robot Surgeons No Better Than Humans
"Take care, sir. (2-1B medical droid)" - George Lucas, 1980.
K5 Autonomous Data Machine The Future Of Mall Security
''Halt!' A robot guard appeared…'- Philip K. Dick, 1955.
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
That's a lot of languages - but there's room in our imagination for more.
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Ray Bradbury, 1953.
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.
Can Gut Bacteria Make You Smarter?
'Vergil had trained the lymphocytes in the past six months to interact as much as possible with each other and with their environment...'
Shimuzu Luna Ring Solar Power Project
'This was really free power... Power carried across millions of miles on Addison's tight-beam principle.'
AllSee Low Power Gesture Recognition
'It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course...'
Must Breaking Up Be Hard To Do?
'Whoever was placed inside the apparatus instantaneously experienced all the charms, lures, wiles, winks and witchery of all the fairer sex in the Universe at once.'
PillCam Colon Now Approved By FDA
'You're going to take a picture of my insides?'
RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'
3D Printing Your Winter Reality
'It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells...'
Roboroach Now Shipping!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'
MeCam Selfie Nano Drone Like Karen Traviss' Bee Cam
'He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'
AeroLife Inhalable Food Powder
'Now shall the brutal murdering of fellow animals and brother vegetables forever stop...'
Harvest-Time On The International Space Station
We will come rejoicing.
Pop Secret Pop Dongle Lets You Smell The Corn A Poppin' On Your Smartphone
'The joymaker in his hand hissed and sprayed him with something...'
Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support
As described by Frank Herbert.
'Smart Silk' In Quantity
'Strongest stuff in the world, stronger than the best steel. Synthetic spider silk...'
Motorcycle Racing Suit With Airbags
'She jerks the manual release on her cervical collar and goes into full Michelin Man mode...'
Lapel Cameras For LAPD Officers
'Every move they made, were being transmitted to their home unit...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories