Roomba Baby

Reading this post about a roomba‘s amazing ability to immediately run into a lamp and get stuck despite having a wide zone of open floor to clean, I was reminded of Edith in her walker.

My furniture is all still at my old house for staging, so currently, there’s a huge great room and a massive long hall, both entirely clear of obstacles. Edith has all the terrain she could possibly desire for running around in her walker. And yet, every time I put her in it, she immediately plows into the nearest wall and gets stuck there.

On Saturday, I experimented with this for some time. I placed her walker in a variety of different locations — at one end of the hall or the other, smack in the middle of the living room, in the entrance to the living room — but no matter where she started off, into the wall she went. I wouldn’t have believed it would be possible had I not been watching her.

It seems there must be some principle of physics at work that I don’t understand. Like the atoms of the walls exert some magnetism toward smaller things in motion. Something to do with vertical and horizontal planes? I don’t know, I’m just a humble idiot, but something has to explain this, because the experiment is infinitely reproducible: I consistently achieve the same results every time (or Edith does).

Try it yourself: put a baby in a walker and let them loose in an empty room. See what happens.

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