This isn’t going where you think. It isn’t about sharks that swim. It’s about Sharks that vacuum clean the house. Yes, Janis decided we needed a Shark vacuum cleaner, one of those semi-autonomous devices that meander around your house sucking up dirt. Or, if you have a dog that leaves stool piles lying around, it redistributes that all over your house. Fortunately, we no longer have inside pets, so that was not a concern.
You can manage these things from your iPhone now, but it requires you to give it a name. You can leave it as the default name, which is something like “Shark,” but I decided to name mine “Tank” because it reminds me of a round tank, like the one Leonardo Da Vinci designed around 1485. That was the beginning of “Tank” becoming a family pet.
As soon as I unpacked him, I released Tank and followed him around to see what he would do. Turns out you have to get wires and other small entanglements up where he won’t run over them. Tank gets snagged on the fringe of the carpet in my den. He struggles and usually fails to free himself then cries for help. No, really, he does. Tank beeps out a distress signal. I guess if you could translate the beeps, he would be saying something like, “Help! I’m stuck!” If you don’t come to his rescue soon enough he shuts down. Tank’s final beeps might be translated, “Oh well, he isn’t coming. Screw it!”
He has sensors that tell him when he is close to some object, and he changes direction. He also has sensors that detect stairs so he won’t take a tumble. Tank wouldn’t last long if he wasn’t so equipped.
Tank seems to move in a completely random pattern. He will run from one room to another never finishing what he started but often coming back a dozen times to run over the same three square feet, like the dirt in that spot is particularly tasty. I am compelled to wonder if Tank ever vacuums everything or very thoroughly? His little dirt compartment does, however, get full, so he is doing something—or my house is really dirty.
Tank is afraid of direct sunlight. (Maybe there is some Transylvanian vampire blood in him?) Whenever he hits an area of the floor illuminated by direct sunlight, he backs off and changes direction. So, any sunny floor area never gets vacuumed.
Tank has a docking station where he goes to recharge his batteries when they become exhausted, you know, kind of like a feeding bowl for the cat. He uses Wifi to find it and makes several jerky lunges at the dock before he gets properly lined up and plugs himself in. I swear I heard him sigh when he docked.
I guess by now you have figured out that Tank is almost like an electric cat and just about as affectionate, but at least, he cleans up after himself, in a manner of speaking.