Amazon is Offering a $499.00 Toilet-Cleaning Robot and We're Officially Over 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 - 9:56AM
Robotics
Tuesday, 22 January 2019 - 9:56AM
Amazon is Offering a $499.00 Toilet-Cleaning Robot and We're Officially Over 2019
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Screenshot: Altan Robotech/YouTube

The first two decades of the 21st century have been quite a wild ride, haven't they? We've gotten up-close and personal glimpses of planets that we once only speculated about. We've seen robots that can do backflips. We've witnessed the rise of holodeck-like virtual reality experiences. We've seen artificial intelligence become exponentially smarter, even to the point of becoming cunning and moody. We've even launched a pot-smoking billionaire's electric car into space. All of these incredible advancements were once fodder for science fiction: things and events only imagined. In the age of Alexa and Siri, one wonders when we'll have our own domesticated android servants: personal robots to fetch our slippers, feed our children, and clean our homes while we live out lives of idleness and conspicuous consumption, carefully curated for social media. 


You'll be glad to know that we're a step closer to that paradise with a robot designed specifically for the unpleasant task of cleaning toilets. BGR reported yesterday that the Giddell Toilet Cleaning Robot, made by  Altan Robotech, is now available on Amazon (alas, not eligible for Prime at presstime). The best part? Besides a sparkling clean bowl? Free shipping and an instant $100 off its $499.00 price tag. 




The waterproof device, which the company claims will free you from the "disgust and tedium of cleaning your toilet," attaches to brackets that lock it down beneath the back of the seat. From there, it acts sort of like a toilet-mounted telescopic robot arm with the brain of a Roomba, to scrub the innermost depths of your family throne "as thoroughly as possible from the top of the rim down to the drain" with a detachable brush and reservoir of cleaning fluid according to company literature.

Like its ground-cleaning cousin (we hasten to point out that the devices are made by two entirely different manufacturers and are "related" in function alone), the Giddell is "programmed to detect and safely navigate around unexpected obstacles" as it labors, thus ensuring domestic safety for children and pets, though the company does recommend that young children and pets stay out of the way as it executes its five-minute cleaning cycle. Give a robot a little peace, please! When not in use, the robot can sit in its charging station, waiting for its next chore. 


At the risk of becoming too analytic, we'll point out that the Giddell does not appear to clean the part of the toilet that needs it most: the very place that it latches onto, behind the outer edge of the seat's – ahem – rear end. Likewise, it does not clean the exterior of the bowl, which marthastewart.com recommends disinfecting and cleaning from the top down. Finally, there's the question of how one cleans the robot itself? Altan Robotech notes that the Giddell's plastic body is "doped with antibacterial materials to keep it germ-free" and recommends the occasional wipe-down with an antibacterial wet wipe, with a variety of crevices, the device itself has the potential to become quite disgusting unless subjected to regular detailing. 


Now, in fairness, the Giddell does look pretty cool and has received a couple of high reviews on Amazon. Still, one questions the cost-benefit value of such a device for the average person. For a fraction of the price, one can own a sturdy-looking hand-operated brush that will, with a little white vinegar, baking soda, and effort, complete the same task. 


We'll just wait for the full-sized model that can pour drinks and do windows.

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