Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Radar guided carpet protector

No more stains!
  (+6, -3)
(+6, -3)
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Strategically positioned miniature radar units in the corners of every room continuously monitor all moving objects, focussing especially on falling small objects and masses, like blobs of chocolate pudding, splashes of red port, tomato soup, gravy, coffee, maple sirup, mashed potato's, blood, pieces of brain etc.

Information of the trajectory of falling objects is instantly transmitted to any number of miniature high speed robots. They are very low, fast and manoeverable. They sit silently, lurking under furniture and in corners, awaiting their turn to race towards the impact site immediately to catch the carpet treatening substances in a special sponge-lined recepticle (not for protecting the object, but for absorbtion of impact related droplets).

During dinner time, all available units will converge around the table. They will each have their collision detection program, to avoid crashing into furniture, feet, pets and eachother.

After a succesful catch the lucky robot moves to a base-station where the recepticle is cleaned. Additionally, a game program of the set could be voice-activated. The game would consist of trying to throw a small ball in such a way that the robots would lose (miss the catch). Great fun, and a learning capability would train the set in developing more effective movements in the room, effectively improving the odds of catching the next (potential) stain.

Ehrm, Oct 03 2002

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       I like this, with a house hold of elderly pets it could save on carpet cleaner and disinfectant. croissant.
po, Oct 03 2002
  

       Our dear pedantic misstress of bliss.
Now I'll read the idea....
NickTheGreat, Oct 03 2002
  

       (po-I thought that said "with a household of elderly pests", and I had to laugh, granny with her walker trying to trip you, grumps leaving his depends on the bathroom floor, you know..)
blissmiss, Oct 03 2002
  

       I wonder if you could hang a little bag somehow under your pets just for those times. While it would make me less-likely to put 'em in my lap, the carpet would stay fresh.   

       Teach your catcher to throw as well, and keep the dog entertained for hours with no hassle.
RayfordSteele, Oct 04 2002
  

       I have visions of this thing preemptively vaporising the family toddler the moment s/he steps in the room...
DrCurry, Oct 06 2002
  

       Love the idea, the application of starwars technology to the simple spittoon. Combine it with a high adhesive automatic shoe removing doormat and Mrs I will have little to complain of, although she won't be stuped for long.
IvanIdea, Oct 07 2002
  

       Don't come home falling down drunk!
hollajam, Oct 07 2002
  

       Nice one!   

       What about adding some artificial intelligence (AI)to the protectors, similar to the flocking road cones? Flocking protectors that have an inclination to follow people.   

       To my cats I would like to add some "mouse" AI, so they can chase the protectors instead of live animals.
spekkie, Oct 07 2002
  
      
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