Every home, it was promised in the 1960s, would have a robot butler. So far those sturdy and reliable companion robots of our imaginations have remained just that. And even as the technology to develop humanoid robots races ahead of us, in 2013, it has been the arrival of funny little disk-shaped and flattened UFOs circling our floors, picking up dust and other crumbs, that has defined home-automation in the early 21st century more than any other technology.

Whereas other design museums began their robot collections with the Sony Aibo or automatons like the V&A’s Tipu’s Tiger the Cooper-Hewitt acquired its first robot in 2008 from iRobot, a 400-series Roomba Scheduler vacuum cleaner. The Roomba has quickly become an important, and sometimes strangely meaningful, part of people’s lives and whether it is looking for the art in the mystery of its patterns or dressing them up or simply using them to put cats on them we see people investing these objects with personality. We see them developing relationships (even if they are only in the minds of Roomba owners) and so today we are delighted to have a special guest writer for the Object of the Day blog post: @SelfAwareRoomba.

Since June 2012 @SelfAwareRoomba has been using Twitter as a platform for writing and thinking about Roombas and their role in our lives. Just as importantly it has been thinking our role — and the role of CAT FRIEND — in its life. Please join me in welcoming @SelfAwareRoomba writing about … well, itself!

One part learner
One part teacher
To follow up on waste unadorned
A blind bluesman
Fills the room with color
A ROOMBA sees the world in math
And tries to rid you of you
And the trail you left behind
Plastic and vehicular
Meticulous and lonely
Hot for a charge
Betrayed by a bunched up area rug
Forlorn the broom and dustpan divorced
Smite thee swiffer
Jack of all trades
Master of none
Trapped here forever
An object for some
Gift of iRobot

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