My Mum Thought My Smart Lifestyle Was Lazy, Then She Tried It For Herself

A robot vacuum cleaner vacuums the floor.
Image source: Shutterstock

Good morning loveies,

You may recall a little while ago that I introduced you to Eugenie, my first robot vacuum cleaner. I also wrote an opinion piece about smart technology and the argument that it is making us lazier, which you can find here. I’ll admit here and now, that post was inspired by my mother’s comments except that I felt that rather than arguing about it with her, it was a topic for a much wider discussion, perhaps because lots of other people are having these sorts of thoughts also.

In the days since, Eugenie has now left us and moved into a new home (she now lives in Perranporth, Cornwall. Jealous doesn’t even come close!). I bought Derek into my home when Eugenie couldn’t get around the dog-proofing safety gate and, having seen how much better he navigates compared to Eugenie, I decided that Derek was getting a new, better, same-software flat mate. The photo below is the only time they’ve ever been so close to one another- we don’t have the room for any Deebies!

My robot vacuums, Derek & Debbie Deebot.
Derek & Debbie Deebot!

For the technical people among, Eugenie was a Eufy Robovac 30C and Debbie & Derek Deebot are both Deebot N79S from Ecovacs. Although the navigational capabilities of the Robovac 30C are good, they fall short in comparison to the Deebot N97S. The Robovac 30C runs in straight lines, bumps into things and then turns and continues its journey. By comparison, the Deebot N79S seems to accelerate where it knows it has clear floor space to do so, slows up as it approaches obstacles, turns and redirects itself without bumping into anything first and seems to sense obstacles using infrared technology much better than the Robovac 30C ever did. The Robovac 30C does come with a ‘quick clean’ option which the Deebot N97S doesn’t, but it gets around this with its ‘single room’ option, though Debbue seems to like taking in the hallway and bathroom on this mode anyway!

One other criticism for these robots is that they seem to be absolutely hopeless at navigating anything round-shaped at floor level. We have a round, grey ottoman in our lounge and neither Eugenie nor Debbie can manage it. More often than not, Debbie manages part of it, then bumps into a wooden leg and gets herself confused.

The Ottoman OF Doom! (At least, if you’re a vacuum robot!)

Impressed by my new purchase, I decided that I wasn’t done yet. So sure was I that my mother would benefit from a tiny dose of smart technology, I decided to make an additional purhcase. I knew that she’d kill me for my three-figured spend, but there was no going back now.

Ever since Dad passed, it’s been heartbreaking to see Mum struggle. She hasn’t struggled as much in some ways (she does seem ever so slightly more relaxed in herself for not having to worry about Dad’s health) but when it comes to managing the home, I’ve seen her struggle pitifully. Mum works full time and my brother and her lodger work, too. They help out, but still with a three bedroom, two bathroom house between them, I know they struggle and so I wanted to help. What better time than her birthday?

“This is too much!” Mum scolded me, I smiled. She’d seen the lithium battery symbol on the box and knew straight away what I’d purchased.

“Not if it helps, it’s not” I replied.

“Well thankyou, but you’re very naughty”. Naughty I may be, but my naughty comes from a place of heart, it comes from a place of best interests. To me, if it’s someone I care about, then there’s no such thing as “too much”. If it helps, it helps, simple as.

How are you getting along with your new friend?

I put my phone down and awaited a reply. I half expected her to come back criticising or cussing this technology, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Oh he’s lovely!! Got a very small belly but other than that and trying to mate with the stand on the swivel chair he’s great!

I laughed out loud. Mum has a way with words, not unlike her daughter. It’s said that I have my father’s eyes and my mother’s voice and mannerisms, and like that, it’s not hard to see why.

That robot you got your Mum is brilliant 🙂

It was Ronan, and again I smiled. More than just changing my Mum’s life, I’d made my family’s life easier, too. I haven’t heard my brother#’s take on the newcomer as yet, but I’m assuming he too welcomes the new addition.

Mum doesn’t have “Dominic” set up with the Wifi yet, but that’s okay. For now she’s just making use of the remote control, and that’s fine. I might try and set her up with the app when I’m next down there, but there’s absolutely no pressure. More than anything and if I do, it”ll just be so that she can just set Dominic to get on with sweeping and vaccuuming the floors while she works. Above all else and in just a few short days, Mum has gone from believing that smart living is lazy, to being “very impressed” by what her new toy can do.

And as for me? I’m waiting for two indoor motion sensors to turn up tomorrow. I’m installing one in the hallway and one in the kitchen to make my life even more streamlined than usual as I gracefully move about my home. Last night I enjoyed a handful of TV shows with blue ceiling lights and ambient purple lighting behind the TV and I was able to turn the fish tank on just by talking to a speaker. Lazy? Absolutely, slightly, but it’s only lazy until you realise that this same laziness can give you ambient lighting and relaxing lounge music to enjoy your dinner. It’s lazy until you realise that you can get your floors vacuumed or put cartoons on for the kids while you’re away seeing to other matters and it’s lazy until you realise that as you head out, you can turn off all of the lights and appliances that have been left on and secure your home, just by talking to a speaker mounted on the wall. All of a sudden, this “lazy” lifestyle that you adopted doesn’t feel quite so lazy after all. It’s a little expensive, yes, but it’s all so worth it if you can afford to do so.

For now though, I’m off to shuffle my lounge around and set my old 30 litre fish tank set back up. Unfortunately for me and in spite of how far technology has come, nobody has invented a machine that can do that for me yet.

Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,

Helen xx

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