Taking technology back to the hoover

An intelligent robot to do the vacuum cleaning, computer games with education as well as fun in mind and a platinum disc with your name on it. Well, everyone needs a little delusion, says Malachy Browne

Finally, a robot with immediate and obvious uses. Named after an extinct anthropod that lived 600 million years ago, the Trilobite sets out from its docking station at the push of a button, maps the room and automatically vacuum cleans the entire space before returning to its docking station. The latest model is programmable, meaning that cleaning times can be set in advance and the chore of hoovering is completely automated.

Trilobite seems to be of greatest use in open spaces with few obstructions. However, the robot easily navigates around objects by using ultrasonic signals that are picked up in a 180-degree field of vision. A suspension system prevents the machine from getting stuck and a sensor stops it from falling down the stairs. Trilobite doesn't travel over the eaves of a doorway and magnetic strips can be placed on the floor to prevent it from crossing other boundaries. The vacuum cleaner is as effective on deep-pile carpets as hardwood floors.

More: an expensive gadget at £795 on www.letsautomate.com


Educational computer games

My cousin spent most of her childhood perched opposite the computer screen, engaged with what she sarcastically described as “mind-improving games”. She might have passed the justification off had the “Nitro Vision TV Learning Station” been her console of choice.Nitro Vision
Designed by Vtech, Nitro Vision is a cartridge-based computer that hooks up to a television and allows children to play educational games in mathematics, English, Spanish, science and nature. A wireless keyboard and mouse develop typing and other computer skills. Nitro Vision also has a built-in performance tracker that shows progress in each computer game. 
Some customer reviews have complained that an AC adapter is not included with the computer, but it can also be powered by batteries.

More: The Nitro Vision is suitable for children aged six and up. Costs $50 at www.amazon.com 


Faking rock stardom

Fake stardom embodiedDelude yourself into rock-star repute with these personalised gold and platinum discs of your favourite albums. The display plaques usually bear the wording: “Presented to [recipient] in recognition of the worldwide success of [artist and album title]”. However, we-sell-it.co.uk can exercise “artistic licence” to engrave alternative wording of a purchaser's choice.
The record awards are “manufactured to the same specifications as those supplied to record companies and performing artists”. The displays are 35cm x 48cm with a felt backing and engraved plaque. Gold awards are mounted on a red background with a gold frame, and platinum awards are mounted on a black background with a silver frame.

More: Available at www.we-sell-it.co.uk or £165 (plus £15 postage outside of the UK)