The New Pet Craze: Robovacs
Just as owners of robot pets like Sony's Aibo develop emotional attachments to their mechanical companions, people are acquiring similar feelings for their robot vacuum cleaners. The two leading robovac manufacturers -- iRobot and Electrolux -- report that owners treat their robovacs somewhat like pets. More than half the owners of iRobot's Roomba name their device, claims the Burlington, Massachussetts, company. Owners often talk to their machines, and many treat them as though they were alive, or semi-sentient, anyway. Some even take them on holiday, unwilling to leave them at home alone.