WonderVacuum Reads Your Mind, Cleans Your House

By Rachel Cernansky | March 31, 2009 10:41 am

robot1.jpgWhen you’re feeling stressed, do you need everything clean now? Do you also find everything and everyone getting in your way? Then the emotion-sensing Roomba vacuum cleaner is for you—it can sense if you’re feeling stressed or relaxed, and act accordingly.

If your stress level reads high, the robot will start cleaning but keep its distance, while if your stress is low, Roomba will come closer to you, as a pet does its owner.

A special headband captures biolectric signals from your forehead, and control software then translates your muscle tension readings into how much stress you’re feeling. The more tense your muscles, the higher your stress level is interpreted to be.

If your reading falls in between either extreme, the robot will continue in its current mode until the stress level reaches a threshold that tells it to change behavior.

What differentiates the vacuum from other robots is that it’s controlled by human emotion, and doesn’t rely on express verbal commands—like the perfect (nonexistent) boyfriend or girlfriend, it can read your mind and do what you want, not what you say.

Related Content:
Discoblog: In Japan, a Robot Works the Catwalk
Discoblog: “Sweating Robot” Built to Test High-Tech Athletic Gear

Image: Virginia Commonwealth University

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

See More

Collapse bottom bar