I’m willing to be that right now, the software could reside in the physical Roomba. So explain again why it’s uploading these images?
The game-plan for future Roombas may fit them with cameras that send images of your home to a remote service that identifies obstacles and lets the little robots clean around them
…And why exactly would it have to be a remote server? Make it an app that runs locally, and downloads obstacle-definitions from a server on a regular basis without having to send image data. Problem solved.
This was my immediate thought. This seems like the clunky first version of the system before it gets properly streamlined and miniaturized. Even if it can’t store and run the software in the unit, why can’t you run the software on a computer on your home network instead? How gracefully does it fail when the server or your wifi is down?
Why should a vacuum cleaner know what object is what? Its role should be to understand floor, and everything else is outside of its sphere of influence.
Cloud-based systems leak data from the red zone to the black one like a sieve with a big hole. The tragedy is that the plebes do not realize this because they do not spend the two minutes needed to familiarize themselves with the principle of functioning of whatever crap they decide to consume.
Don’t current SoC chips have enough power and cores for such tasks, entirely offline? Couldn’t we be happy with a notch worse speech recognition that doesn’t act as a bug, a notch dumber dumb vac puck that can’t recognize a table leg from a chair leg but still can navigate around either? And what happens when the net connection is down for a while?
Why does everything have to be a cloud, anyway?
Because all of this is impossible without the Power of The Cloud (Just like SimCity5!). Our desire to allow our trusted business partners to present you with advertunities™ tailored to your personal lifestyle and interests is purely secondary.
If it runs on your home network it’s still on the internet.
There is a difference between internet and intranet. The latter may but does not have to be connected to the former.
Ah; but that’s just the advantage! Owners of a Good Citizenship Security Roomba enjoy substantially reduced chances of a friendly visit because we already know what is inside their house and don’t need to check as often!
Simple answer for those who don’t understand why the internet needs to be involved: Siri and its ilk need the internet connecting to servers to process voice data, despite having pretty powerful processors locally. Video is orders of magnitude more difficult to process so every trick in the book will be needed, and cloud processing is a good trick.
Siri needs near-realtime responsivity (and even then and there cloud is a dangerous double-edged thing (edit: and there are decent offline solutions too, and those could get improved instead)). A stupid robovac can take its five to ten seconds to process the image locally into higher depth if it gets confused. It can stop anytime, it is only quasi-realtime.
I for one would feel highly uncomfortable streaming my lair data to third parties. Do it locally or don’t do it at all.
So it doesn’t have sex with your cat.
Share and Enjoy.
If you ever tried to get a cat to submit to something nonconsensual (claw trimming, pill, bath…), you’d realize that either the robot has no chance or the cat wants it.
But the “problem” you’ve just solved only exists for the user, not the Roomba corporation – so why should they implement it? Especially when doing so might prevent them from further revenue “opportunities.”
What could be easier to spy with than an appliance you already own that can be remote-controlled to move and look around? This is like something out of The Simpsons. But it totally fits with what an Intelligence State would want.
Because we are supposed to be customers, not products.