Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Compound Robot Vacuum

pile of machines to clean my floor
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The recent success of hard floors over carpets means constant effort to keep them acceptably dust-free. Hoover, and all around is good, but close a door, and the gust of wind produced blows a hairy, blue tangle of filth out from the inch-high gap under the sofa. Irritating to me, it is nevertheless fascinating to my baby daughter; presumably she will enjoy candy floss in later life.

A good many robot vacuum cleaners exist, but they all seem to be big, round, noisy escapees from undergraduate robotics projects. Unable to sneak under things, or fit in between the legs of chairs, they wander aimlessly and piss off your dog. Do people actually use these things?

What's needed is a tiny robot, able to squeeze into the smallest spaces, and wipe the floors with its naturally dust attracting foam-rubber rollers. But this tiny form will be necessarily stupid, and unable to travel quickly, or carry much energy to keep it on the move. Even a modest room will prove too much work for this matchbox-sized machine.

Enter the mothership! A shoebox-sized host robot, too big for the intricate work, but able enough to cross rugs and thresholds between rooms. The big box can carry plenty of battery power for itself, and to constantly recharge a group of the little cleaners, just like those tiny radio-controlled cars that spend a minute charging their capacitor to be used for a couple of minutes fun.

The shoebox would carry the brains, and be able to detect its surroundings and plan its work. Six or eight cleaners would ride piggy-back, charging all the while ready to be dispatched by the shoebox for a minute of work. Perhaps there might even be different sorts of cleaners, to suit carpets or tiles, or skirting boards. Their dirty cleaning heads could be dumped into the shoebox's trailer, which would naturally have a 'dock' where clean heads can be picked up, and of course all the heads would be machine washable.

When you come home from work, the shoebox would detect the commotion, and park itself back under you bed, where its base-station is plugged in. Overnight It will recharge itself uncomplainingly, and plan which room it will clean tomorrow.

theNakedApiarist, May 21 2007

A naked apiarist http://www.zorpia.c...k_club/forum/194818
I still like the nickname. [coprocephalous, May 22 2007]

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       Welcome to the halfbakery.
Have a flaky croissant and get one of your compound robot vacuum doodahs to clean up.
methinksnot, May 21 2007
  

       Brilliant! Are the mini-bots able to find their way home if they have been relocated by the cat?
Galbinus_Caeli, May 21 2007
  

       so - a tiny robot + a mothership?   

       hang on? what size compared to the original robot that you previously despised?
po, May 21 2007
  

       my only real objection to the size of the other (real, available, relatively commercially successful) robots is that it prevents them performing their work in small spaces. The shoebox mothership never needs to get 'off the path' so to speak, as all the cleaning is performed by the mini matchboxes.
theNakedApiarist, May 21 2007
  

       Bun for the nick [tNA], bun for the idea!
coprocephalous, May 22 2007
  

       ahhh!   

       Did I steal the name? I searched the internet for a minute or two and couldn't find it.   

       Do you know where I stole it from?
theNakedApiarist, May 22 2007
  

       ahh. perhaps [coprocephalous], you don't mean nick like 'steal' you mean nick like nickname. Maybe I thought it up after all!
theNakedApiarist, May 22 2007
  

       He meant nick like 'nickel bag'. [cc] does all his dope transactions in croissants. Welcome to the 'bakery! [+]
placid_turmoil, May 22 2007
  

       Cute. Ed Regis proposed something similar in his book 'Nano!', although not exactly the same.
moomintroll, May 22 2007
  

       WTAGIPBAN
shapu, May 22 2007
  

       Thankyou shapu. I'd have guessed that most newbies post pretty good ideas. Don't people sign themselves up just to vent the idea they've been bursting to tell?   

       I'd have though that the 'tricky second album' was the real test of a newbie.
theNakedApiarist, May 22 2007
  

       Flocking vacuums...
RayfordSteele, May 22 2007
  
      
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