Growing up, one of my very favorite books was Lazy Tommy Pumpkinhead (very sadly, out of print). It’s a story about a boy, Tommy, who lives in an ‘electric’ house, where robotic appliances do everything for him: waking him up, brushing his teeth, feeding him, etc. Until one day, when things go terribly wrong…
Clearly, home automation and the broader Internet of Things (IoT) have many benefits to offer. But I often find myself thinking of this book when I hear about new smart home gadgets and appliances that seem like they’re not…quite there yet. The fantastic Twitter account @InternetOfShit does a great job of compiling these stories.
Taking this a step further, Simone Giertz, a Swedish inventor and roboticist, wins the title of Lazy Tommy Pumpkinhead 2.0. She has a YouTube channel of maybe-not-so-useful house robots, like this lipstick robot:
The Nerdist article is pretty great, as is this video of a typical morning in Simone’s home.