Roombas have given humanity so much—clean floors, kitten transportation, wonderful GIFs. But how can the grateful owners of the world reward they? Roombas care not for trinkets. So, apparently, the vast majority of people give them names.
That's according to Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot, which produces the whimsical machines. In an interview with the New Scientist, he offered up a surprising stat:
If you ask people who doesn't own Roombas if they would name them, they almost violently say, "No, why would I name my vacuum cleaner?" Yet once they own one, more than 80 percent of people do. In the beginning of Roomba, we all took turns answering the support line. Once, a woman called and explained that her robot had a defective motor. I said, "Send it back. We'll send you a new one." She said, "No, I'm not sending you Rosie."
You don't name your toaster, or your coffee maker, or your upright vacuum. Why the Roomba? "You really appreciate it because it works hard for you, and it deserves some kind of recognition," speculated Angle. And it certainly sounds like his household Roomba (named Roswell, by the way) is getting a workout:
When my daughter was 3, she was eating Cheerios and spilled some on the table. So she swiped them onto the floor. I said, "Darcy, what are you doing?" She said: "Don't worry, Daddy, the robot will get it."
So this presents two questions: What else are you people naming? Friends of mine, for instance, have a plant named after Christopher Walken. Second: What in the world does one name a Roomba? I call dibs on "Rumpelstiltskin."