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Roomba meets Motmo online

Since I wrote last Sunday about Roomba the Robot and the way she vacuums around the house, she has caught the fancy of another robot. This one lives alongside a lake near Brainerd, Minn. This robot mows the grass. The humans who own the robot cal...

Since I wrote last Sunday about Roomba the Robot and the way she vacuums around the house, she has caught the fancy of another robot. This one lives alongside a lake near Brainerd, Minn. This robot mows the grass. The humans who own the robot call him Motmo -- a name manufactured by a grandchild who couldn't say lawn mower.

Motmo introduced himself by e-mail, saying he handles mowing and claims to be extremely hard working and dependable, keeping the lawn perfect 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He wrote, "I even mow at night in the rain with no complaints. I am a constant source of entertainment for my master's grandchildren and guests. I work five months out of the year and then hibernate in a nice warm basement under a bunk bed for seven months. "

Motmo told Roomba that he requires no feeding, grooming, gasoline, oil, pay, tips or beer. He is green in color and of Swedish descent (last name Huskvarna). He presented himself to Roomba as a possible companion. He said he would not require much in return for friendship, but if she also does windows and has a dowry, it would be great.

Roomba was so excited to hear from Motmo that she set up a facebook profile online and posted her picture. She checked her interest in men rather than women. She acknowledged she is looking for friendship, dating, a relationship and/or networking. Then she told Motmo she is an artificial intelligence activist because she fears in the future they will be referred to as primitive robots unless they let people know they are not just dumb machines.

She explained how Ellie the Electrolux is the old vacuum cleaner in this house. Ellie is too old to get involved with computers. But Ellie doesn't want Roomba to end up like her, living alone in an upstairs closet when she is old.


E-mail messages between Roomba and Motmo have been flying back and forth.

Roomba told Motmo that she has a sensor that keeps her from falling down stairs or into window wells. She says she can run an hour or two when she gets all charged up on her pad in the dining room. One day, she got stuck behind the toilet, and it took a long time for the humans to free her. Roomba explained that she lives with a Tall Lady and a Short Dog. Actually, the dog is a Dachshund named Dot.Com, and the dog doesn't know a robot from a rabbit. Roomba also told Motmo about the rug rats running around the house. "Humans call them grandchildren," she explained.

Motmo shared his problems. He says he sometimes gets caught up on one of those huge pine cones in the yard. He doesn't mow back and forth like a conventional lawn mower. He, like Roomba, has no discernible pattern. He swears he must put in 83 miles mowing the lawn. All he asks is a little maintenance, such as getting his blades changed now and then.

Motmo is sorry he doesn't have a Facebook account and already is using his master's business computer and e-mail account. He says his master could punish him by sending him out to mow in the tall, tall grass by the cabin. Or he could let his "stupid dogs" play with Motmo. Motmo doesn't like the fat dog.

When he saw Roomba's picture, Motmo said, "You're cute. Nice wheels."

When he e-mailed his photo, Roomba commented, "Nice lines."

If they are to meet, Romba suggests it shouldn't be in a bar. Motmo agrees.

He told her she is right. "A bar is definitely not the place. I have no thumbs to operate the door knob to get into a bar. When someone does let me in, people just point and laugh at me. I am too short to get money on the bar for a drink, anyway. When someone taller than me actually buys me a drink and pours it down my hatch, it must short out some electrical stuff because I do stupid things before I go home."


Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gfherald.com or (701) 772-1055.

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