Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Seek and ye shall find
  [vote for,

It’s just so annoying when something is mislaid. Sometimes it's necessary to find it straight away; but mostly, it’s just a case of “Where the hell is the stash of two inch woodscrews/old DIMMS/cake cases/sunglasses/tins of paint ?” You know you’re going to need it next weekend, but you just can’t remember where “it” is. Which mean’s you’re going to have to empty the lumber room/shed/garage yet again, probably in the pi55ing down rain, too.

Enter the fetch-and-find robot, or FetchBot; a physical search engine for houses. Equipped with a sophisticated binocular vision system, manipulators, and heuristic AI, this small, autonomous ‘bot can be programmed to painstakingly go through everything you own, looking for whatever you’re seeking. Just show it some pictures of what you want and FetchBot will spend hours or days painstakingly going through your house room by room, opening cupboards and drawers, unpacking, checking and repacking the contents. Whenever it finds anything a reasonable match for the target image, it takes a picture and records the location. Then, just browse the pics to find what you want. Quiet, persistent, tireless and determined, the FetchBot is the perfect household accessory for the busy owner of a cluttered house.

But be careful to remember where you put the FetchBot when you’ve finished with it …

8th of 7, Oct 17 2002


       does this damn thing sleep?
po, Oct 17 2002

       Technically, no; but you could program it to only operate when you were out, that way you wouldn't be disturbed by the gentle clicking and rattling as it went through the kitchen cupboards. You go to sleep, it goes on standby - a good time for recharging batteries ?
8th of 7, Oct 17 2002

       I have a pretty good homing device for those kinds of things. I think it's a knack for 'willing' myself down divergent vectors of multiple universes that result in the appearance of the item I'm needing at the time. All said, I can't keep up with keys.   

       I've memorized the 'bends' for duplicating the jimmy rods that lock smiths use for both the truck and the car. But $5.00 worth of steel rod every time I lock myself out adds up. Magnet boxes are a story of their own. Could this bot just always follow me around everywhere? I could use that. Big croissant.
hollajam, Oct 17 2002

       You'd have to open... oh, I see, that's what you meant.   

       I too would like a robot that tells me where Rod has stashed his four million.   

       I don't have a problem remembering where I put things last week, but I do have a problem remembering why the screwdriver/tape/mug I was holding five minutes ago is nowhere to be seen. If the FetchBot could follow me around, that would solve the problem. If it would hold things for me and follow me around that would be even better. Or I could just tie a shopping trolley to my belt with a piece of string. Scissors, scissors...they were here a second ago.
egbert, Oct 17 2002

       I really like and need this. If It could come equipped with a special spot, say on it's face, whereas I could store my reading glasses, it would be a real winner with me.   

       btw-I prefer the name "Find and Fetch bot" better, or something similiar.
blissmiss, Oct 17 2002

       Rods: Maybe it would have to go through everything first to inventory and photograph the lot. All new purchases would have to be documented also.
FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2002

       The image processing to match a photograph to an object would be pretty difficult to do.   

       Face recognition, in CCTV systems, is difficult enough but made possible by a programmer that matches specific points on a face to objects in a 2D image. There are designated areas of light and dark , with specific features of interest. That way, changes in lighting and orientation (and wearing a phony beard)can be overlooked as long as the desired features are present. Just scanning in a photo (if you have one in the first place) probably wouldn't be enough - even if you are looking for a 'reasonable' match.
Nevertheless, I NEED a Fetchbot (+).

       Unlike a Letchbot... an over-sized eyeball on robotic spider-like legs that leers over people in a creepy and sleazy manner. Nobody wants that.
Jinbish, Oct 17 2002

       //an over-sized eyeball on robotic spider-like legs that leers over people in a creepy and sleazy manner//   

       I demand recompense for the use of my likeness.
calum, Oct 17 2002

       How about a fetch-bot that homes in on your alpha waves therefore no need for pictures. Then again the bot would do very strange things while you were asleep.
lazloquezos, Oct 18 2002

       Now where did I put that croissant?
whimsickle, Oct 18 2002

       If you could give stuff to Fetchbot to put away, you wouldn't have to worry about it having to search. It would already know it left your shoes in the cupboard by the stairs.
TBK, Oct 18 2002

       Robofinder: For those of us who habitually leave our keys where we can't find them, our favorite CD's in a jewelcase clear across the house, and the book we are reading on top of a major appliance. Robofinder has three modes: Follow mode, where watches us from a discreet distance and notes where we put things; search mode, where it meanders slowly through the house, cataloguing the location of everything its CCD camera and pattern-recognition software can detect; and sleep mode, where it plugs itself into a recharging station so we don't trip on it in the middle of the night.   

       Lose your keys? No problem! Robofinder reacts either to direct queries or swear words -- "Dammit, where the *bleep* did I leave my keys?" will have Robofinder answer "Your house key is still in the lock, and your car keys fell out of your pocket and are near the couch in the living room."   

       -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- mrouse, Dec 11 2002
8th of 7, Dec 12 2002


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