Confessions of an iBot riding fool....

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2009/07/02 10:01 -04:00, original URI:

The following story is entirely¹ true.

The iBot naturally raises questions in people's minds, questions beyond those that are answered in Google^H^H^H^H^H^HBing² searches.

Like what happens if someone crashes into me? Or if I crash in to someone/something?

Now no one was willing to do the former³,  but the latter seemed easy enough.

There was not a whole lot of room in my office⁴, but I turned the iBot toward the wall,said watch this, and crashed into the wall.

Now the wall was maybe a foot from me.

The chair immediately moved back and dropped down into 4-wheel mode.

Ronen, my neighbor, was a little bit freaked out, but I reassured him I was fine.

And what is more, the wall was completely unharmed⁵.

My neighbor was surprised and thought the end result was pretty cool. He understood that any time the chair was in a catastrophic situation where there was some potential danger, it would move itself to a safer mode to keep me from having any damage done to me.

He asked me a few times to make sure I was fine since the mode change was pretty fast. But truly I was quite unharmed.

We were being kind of loud about all this, so a few curious onlookers who were passing by stopped, curious.

We tried to explain what was going on, but it was probably easier to just show it.

Of course what with all the boxes, things were pretty cramped in my office, so we moved this little exhibition out into the hall.

So here I was, out in the hall, about 6 or 7 feet from the target, and I was explaining what would happen.

Even in advance everybody thought it sounded pretty cool. The fact that I had one witness to it already just made it more plausible, and to take everyone's mind off the pain in the ass of unpacking⁴, this little demonstration seemed like the perfect way to take everyone's mind off it all and take a break.

Now remember that I was a bit further from the wall now then I was last time when I was all cramped in by the boxes.

Anyway, I turned to the wall and proceeded to head right for it.

You may be able to guess at the result.

On one side (the right side) everything was fine.

On the left side, the end of the footrest and the side piece of the footrest went right through the wall.


Everyone turned to me first -- was I okay? I was. I was just fine, and the iBot had backed up and dropped down to 4-wheel mode as expected.

Almost as one we all turned to look at the wall, not knowing quite what to say.

We all knew about the stories about Ballmer and Cutler putting things through walls during emotional displays. But those guys probably had whole morale budgets that could absorb costs of such things.

A hole in the wall of the shape of a piece of the iBot right across from the office of the guy with the iBot? You don't need the NCIS folks to figure this crime out; the Barney Fife level of investigation could discern the culprit here!

Ah well, we decided. We'll just walk away. If anyone asks, we'll tell the truth, but maybe no one will ask.

And you know what? No one did ask.

Then the other day, we noticed someone had filled in the hole:

The hole in the wall, filled in 

I decided to come clean and write this blog -- if they send me a bill then so be it.

It was kind of dumb, and it was all predictable -- in retrospect at least.

Though if you ignore the part that was a mistake, the interesting part was how in both cases the iBot kept me from danger or problems -- it dealt with both situations in a way that kept me safe in case of potential danger. That part was pretty cool.

And it caused me to be much more prepared for the later situation where someone crashed into me from the side at high speed³. :-)


1 -Yes in the truth and nothing but the truth, though it may not be the whole truth since I am not including last names, and I don't hqve pictures of everything.
2 - Does this one even need a footnote?
3 - Someone accidentally did the crash into me whole they were not looking while I was in Los Angeles recently, and the result was identical -- they were injured and I was perfectly fine. Plus I got a date with the girl I was explaining it to who witnessed it.
4 - We had just recently moved to building 9 from building 24 and the office was cluttered with boxes, lots of boxes.

5 - I'll admit this surprised me a little bit; I expected the usual wear and tear that you  see on walls when you are in an office like a smll scrape or smudge but there was no mark whatsoever.

# Nancy Nelson on 3 Jul 2009 10:50 AM:

You are not the first to knock a hole in the wall with your iBOT.  It's actually rather easy to do with the 2007 version that has the foot rest that extend out quite a ways.  I took off a freezer door in the grocery store a while back.  I was in  balance mode, leaned a little forward when reaching for an item and bumped into the open door.  The chair drop down to four-wheel drive and in doing so my feet got stuck under the door which took the door off its hinges.  The door landed on top of me.  Luckily, the door did not break.  The store employees were able to quickly remount the door.  Needless to say, I was rather mortified.

When you get a chance, would you please send me step-by-step instructions of how you travel on an airplane with your iBOT.  I haven't traveled by air since my last exacerbation left me unable to walk more than a couple of feet, and I have never put the iBOT on an airplane.

Do you travel alone or with someone?

How do you deal with your luggage?

Do you also travel with a manual chair or walker?  If so how do you deal with all the extra equipment?

What do you mean by planeside?  Does the airline actually allow you onto the tarmac?

How do you get to and from the restroom on an airplane?

Once you get to your destination, how do you get your iBOT, luggage from baggage claim, etc. and then manage to get to ground transportation?

The airlines have really screwed-up my manual chair in the past.  I have always checked my chair at the gate.  I can't imagine what I would do if the airlines severely damaged or destroyed my iBOT.  However, vacations are just not much fun without the BOT.

Thanks -- Nancy

# Wm Crow on 13 Jul 2009 11:38 PM:

It is a shame that these are no longer availabale due to cost and the unwillingness of certain agencies to assist those who need assistance. Once again the poor and the elderly are made to "stay" in their place.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 21 Jul 2009 9:39 AM:

It is obviously a bit more complicated than that -- I will be writing about that soon....

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referenced by

2009/07/21 No disassemble #5! Redux

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