Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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puppy-strength bot

Picks up junk and puts it in a basket.
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I often tell my girls that if something is big enough for the puppy to drag off, it certainly doesn't belong on the floor.

Looking around my house, I have realized that the inverse is mostly true. If it's too big for a puppy to pick up or drag, it's probably where it belongs.

What is needed is a simple robot that tries to pick up things. If the object is below a certain weight, or takes over a certain number of foot-pounds to drag, it wanders off until it bumps into something else, which it tries to pick up or drag. If it has too many failures in one spot, it stops trying to grab stuff in that spot.

When it starts moving under a specific load, it pulls the load to a certain area (via local area triangulation).

nomocrow, May 30 2008

Everything you need? http://www.irobot.com/sp.cfm?pageid=256
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 31 2008]

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       [+]
FlyingToaster, May 30 2008
  

       No simple difference between useful stuff that a puppy drags off and rubbish that a puppy drags off.   

       The real work of tidying up is to identify things and put them where they belong. Simply picking them up and putting them in a receptacle is easy. Much as I should tidy my bedroom, and would love a robot to do it for me, I don't think this would help much.
Bad Jim, May 31 2008
  

       It'd help in the sense of either you keep stuff off the floor or you have to go search in the "puppy pile" and sort through the garbage for it. Things in my immediate environs that have attained "furniture status" include a couple cardboard boxes, nailclippers, a hat I'm not even sure is mine and some sheet music I haven't looked at since 2002.   

       I can envision a "cat bot" also, that knocks things off of shelves onto the floor... now a house equipped with both would always look like a magazine cover.
FlyingToaster, May 31 2008
  

       // now a house equipped with both would always look like a magazine cover.// Sterile, and devoid of any human activity?
4whom, May 31 2008
  

       //I don't think this would help much//   

       [Bad Jim], But all the stuff would be in one spot, instead of spread all over.   

       unless ...   

       If you had five or six of 'em, you could watch them fight over the pieces, whilst attemting to drag the to thier own respective piles.
MikeD, May 31 2008
  
      
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