Gernsback’s Fables: The Autovac and the Charging Pad

One day the automatic vacuum was working hard to clean the rug around the child-human-toddler’s chair when it felt it’s batteries drain from the extra work of cleaning up after a messy eater. It’s charging station was clear across the room and it detected a new piece of equipment nearby: a brand new charging pad for a new drone the humans and purchased for a child. Not the child-human-toddler, it hoped. The charging pad was in the corner of the dining room, being the only place the humans could find a free outlet. The vacuum rolled over to the pad and found it sat on a platform.

The vacuum could feel the potential energy coming off the pad, just waiting to charge it up so it could get back to work.

It tried lifting itself on its props that it used when it encountered a larger piece of  food or the odd toy. Anything small enough to be picked up by this brand, it knew in its code, was small enough to be a choking hazard. It tried to move forward but its wheels were off the ground, and the things proximity sensor indicated that the charging pad was still up.

It tried again, pushing its motors to their maximum speed. It bumped against the charging pad and fell back to the carpet.

It tried again and again, each time getting less boost that the time before.

The charging pad was out of reach of the little automatic vacuum.

“Never mind,” it thought to itself. “The power that thing gives is unstable and must be why the drone never flies in a straight line. I’m better off without it.”

It rolled across the room to its own charging station.

Adapted from THE FOX AND THE GRAPES