iRobot Roomba Gains Self-Awareness

By ROBERT PRINCE / The Haveman Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca – Police are investigating a claim by a woman that her iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner attacked her suddenly while she was doing the dishes in her San Francisco home.   Susan Cohen of Valley Ridge says she was minding her own business when her two-year-old Roomba vacuum cleaner suddenly began making loud, unusual noises and repeatedly bumping itself into her feet.   “It was making noises I’ve never heard it make before.” said the 52-year-old wife and mother of three. “It sounded angry.”

Police are not ruling out the possibility that this could be the beginning of a wave of robots gaining “self-awareness,” or the ability to recognize their existence and make decisions based on that awareness.   “We’ve long feared that it was only a matter of time before this ‘benign’ technology evolved to recognize itself and develop an utter contempt for any organic living creature.” said San Francisco Police Commissioner Robin Daley.

Professor Michael Daku of the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been studying the Roomba vacuum cleaner and its potential to evolve.   “While it is quite possible that Mrs. Cohen’s Roomba has, indeed, developed self-awareness, I would urge the public not to panic.   The Roomba has very little potential to inflict actual damage and its unlikely your other appliances have developed a similar level of consciousness…though you may want to unplug your toasters just in case.” said Daku.

“I knew this would happen!   I told her not to buy that thing!   They warned us!   They warned us!!!” said Fred Cohen, husband to the victim, referring to the Terminator series of films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.   “I never trusted that thing!   We invited it into our home, and now we’re not safe anymore!”

The Roomba is currently being held in police custody for questioning.   “I can’t disclose any details at this point,” said Daley, “because technically it didn’t actually harm Mrs. Cohen, so no charges have been pressed.   However, I will say that it has requested an attorney.”