>A Boss that Looks Like a Vacuum Cleaner


This is too much…an article and picture in MIT Technology Review (September/October 2010) of a robotic boss, called Anybot—but this boss looks like a vacuum cleaner, costs $15,000, and is controlled remotely from a keyboard by your manager.

So much for the personal touch—does this count toward getting some face time with your superiors in the office?

With a robotic boss rolling up to check on employees, I guess we can forget about the chit-chat, going out for a Starbucks together, or seriously working through the issues. Unless of course, you can see yourself looking into the “eyes” of the vacuum cleaner and getting some meaningful dialogue going.

This is an example of technology divorced from the human reality and going in absolutely the wrong direction!

2 responses to “>A Boss that Looks Like a Vacuum Cleaner

  1. >Andy, I'm a big fan of your blog posts. Your comments on the robotic boss are really funny. I personally see advantages in automating the management of people, if that's what these new technological developments are meant to accomplish. For example, you know how we all want to be recognized for the hard work we do or clever ideas we share with our teammates. Well, our bosses are sometimes too busy with their own set of worries to think about what we may want to hear from them. The robotic boss could be programmed to provide immediate feedback, boosting egos and motivating employees through verbal, written, and small financial incentives in order to make sure we continue working hard without wondering what our bosses think of us. 🙂 What do you think?

  2. >Thanks, glad you like the blog–really enjoy writing it. I see what you are saying about automation and I'm all about that, however, "programmed feedback" to me does not sound the same as genuine, personalized feedback and "small financial incentives" from a machine sounds more like an ATM at work versus having a manager or leader.

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