I was 11 years old when The Jestsons"made their television debut in 1962. This was a space-age cartoon show set in the year 2062.
It was all pretty far-fetched. They could rocket to the moon, work on Jupiter and vacation on Neptune. They could push a button and all their work was done. Their housekeeper was Rosie the Robot.
As a kid, I thought it was great fun to imagine what the future would be like. Mom thought it was a stupid show and I shouldn't watch it.
Stuff like that could never happen," she said.
Guess what? Only seven short years after the first Jetson episode, we had a man on the moon.
Now, it's mind-boggling what machines are doing for us today.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting Harry at a job site and the owner invited me inside to show me what he had bought for his wife.
It was Rosie the Robot!
Well, not quite.
It was a Roomba, a robotic vacuum cleaner. His wife can schedule when it should run and while she's out shopping or taking a bath, this handy dandy round disk that looks like a flying saucer runs around the rooms vacuuming up dog hair, crumbs and dust bunnies. When it's done, it makes its way back to its docking station to be recharged.
He wanted to know when Harry was going to get one for me.
Yeah, Harry, when are you getting one for me?
This morning on the radio, Sam and Becca were talking about a news release about a robotic lawn mower which can avoid hard surfaces, water and other barriers and sense uncut grass.
So I had to check it out and yup, there on a site for iRobot it has all about robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers.
But wait, there's also Scooba, a hardwood floor washing robot. There's a Dirt Dog, a robotic vacuum for patios, decks, garages and basements that sweeps up leaves to nuts and bolts. Here's a great one for this time of the year, Looj, a gutter cleaning robot. And of course, Aquabot, to clean your swimming pools.
So I asked myself, do I really need robots to do my work for me?
In fact, I want a robot to clean my toilets. We could call it FlushBot.
How about a robot to fold laundry? A LaundraBot.
Here's one I would really love. LineBot. It would be a robot to stand in grocery store check-out lines. Who wouldn't love that one at Christmas time in the stores?
I would like to see an ExerciseBot. This would be a machine that would do an hour's worth of extreme exercising and the caloric loss recorded would be somehow applied to my body and I would lose weight and become physically fit.
OK. Maybe that one's a little farfetched but I can dream. After all, my mom didn't think a man would ever land on the moon either.
Let's face it. Man keeps inventing more and more ways to make our lives easier. When my grandmother was a girl, she could never have imagined that someday she would have electric lights, an electric vacuum cleaner, an automatic washing machine or a refrigerator that didn't need a hunk of ice to keep things cold. Space travel? Heck. There weren't even airplanes when she was young. She was just getting use to the idea of a horseless carriage.
I guess the scary thing about robots is how easily they have replaced us in the work world. Robots have been used in manufacturing for the last 50 years and is now being used in hospital surgery rooms. They are even used in the military.
Will I live to see the day when a Rosie is available to housewives?
Maybe. But the question is, would I like to have a Rosie? Do I want a machine to sweep my floors, clean my gutters, mow my lawn?
In the song, In the Year 2525" the lyrics are: In the year 5555, your arms are hanging limp at your side, your legs got nothing to do, Some machine is doing that for you."
Those words are scary in that we are definitely seeing machines doing more and more for us, leaving us with less physical involvement.
In the end, does man have a choice now that all of this technology has been introduced?
I just had a mental flash of all my friends having a Rosie and having more time to play, shop and socialize and me refusing to have a Rosie and having to stay home to do my housework manually.
See how that works? I would probably succumb and have a Rosie, too.
The next phase for robots is they want to take over the world! Aaagghh!
Well, that's what happens in the movies.
At this point in my life, I'm content with the machines I already have. As long as I can push a button to wash my dishes and recline in my heated massaging chair, I don't need a Roomba.
Check back with me in about 10 years. I'll be 10 years older and if they've come up with a meal-making, housecleaning, toilet bowl-washing, laundry-folding, lawn-mowing, gutter-cleaning, pool-cleaning deluxe all-in-one RosieBot for $49.99, I just might be interested.