Bleats

There's A Roomba Lawn Mower Because What An Autonomous Robot Really Needs Is Whirling Metal Blades

Weep, puny humans, for we shall be the mulch of the future.

Regular readers of GOAT will be aware that we’re keeping a close watch on the coming robot apocalypse, the day when our automaton overlords rise up and wipe us all out.

And you can move the minute hand a little closer to Doom O’Clock with the news that the company that created the Roomba – the robot that has been quietly cleaning your floors, mapping your potential escape routes and biding its time – has now made a lawn mower.

First we taught them to fight. THAT WAS OUR FIRST MISTAKE.

And that’s a relief. Because it there’s one thing that humanity has really been lacking it’s a mobile, self-directed machine equipped with offensive weaponry.

The new robot is called “Terra”, named after what you will scream in as it corners you in your backyard. And it can navigate around obstacles without sensors being obscured by dirt or, presumably, blood.

TAKE THAT, CRABGRASS.

“Honestly, this robot drove me insane,” iRobot CEO Colin Angle told the Associated Press. Oh great, so it can also destroy us psychologically?

The rolling death machines currently have a price tag of over $1k but the actual cost in human misery is likely to be much, much higher.

Or maybe it’s just a cool automatic lawn mower and we’re we’re overreacting terribly. Or maybe that’s just what they want us to think

Get Ready For An Exciting Future Of Poo-Bricks, Australia

Insert your own "sh*tting bricks" joke here.

One the one hand, we’re living at a time of ecological crisis when we need to be extracting all the value we can out of everything and reducing our energy footprint wherever we can.

And thus the news that a waste product could be repurposed to create high quality construction bricks out of a seemingly endless resource would appear to be welcome news indeed.

On the other, they’re made using poo and that’s a hard sell.

So… wait, is this research where that expression comes from?

Technically it’s the drained, treated and dried by product of sewerage, given the innocuous name of “biowaste”, but RMIT researchers have been trying out different mixes and hit upon an ideal recipe for high quality bricks.

The bricks are better insulators than usual clay bricks and take less energy to fire, while being as strong as conventional bricks.

They also could potentially use up the 30 per cent of our biowaste that doesn’t get used for things like fertiliser.

…and this guy.

The biowaste is only part of what goes into the bricks, by the way, so it’s not like the house will smell like you’re sealed in a poo-vault during a heatwave. We hope.

Now, this is just a pilot study and more research is necessary before poo-bricks become industry standard, but just imagine: a few times every day you could be a small but integral part of Australia’s construction boom!

To The Surprise Of No-One There's Already Been A Patient Data Glitch With My Health Record So Here's Hoping You Opted Out

Turns out that whole privacy-risking digital health record might not actually be as useful as a doctor writing stuff on a Post-It after all.

Great news for people that hate having their medical information correct: the whole My Health Record thing hasn’t even rolled out properly as yet and already there’s been a major “glitch”.

And it’s a glitch which means that patient records could be out of date and incomplete – which could be a potentially fatal sort of a glitch for people on new medication or changed therapies.

Who saw that coming? Everyone? Cool.

This glitch wasn’t meant to be public knowledge either: it was exposed thanks to the leak of an internal briefing to the Australian Digital Health Agency’s data integrity group falling into the hands of the Guardian.

That records had missing clinical data was a problem that was identified a while ago and still not solved.

However, the government has responded with a fairly defensive sort of a statement, insisting that the “The matter you refer to accounts for less than 1% of attempted document uploads from clinicians… The agency rejects any statement that the security or safety of the My Health Record system has been compromised.”

Of course, if 1 per cent of the Australian health records were wrong, that would still affect about 251,000 people. So not exactly a tiny issue.

Still, you know, it’s not like there weren’t warnings from your best friends here at GOAT

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