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Cracking cleaning lad: Keeping it clean with Wallace and Gromit

Cracking cleaning lad: Keeping it clean with Wallace and Gromit

Cracking cleaning lad: Keeping it clean with Wallace and Gromit

Of all the characters in popular culture who demonstrate innovative skills, few can top Wallace and Gromit.

Whether it is creating a device to get Wallace straight from his bed to the breakfast table while putting his trousers on too, a 'bully-proof vest' or even a rocket to take our heroes to the moon (which is, of course, made of Wensleydale cheese), the dynamic duo have invented some amazing devices.

Of course, all this innovation comes with a health warning. Robot trousers can turn into the wrong trousers, and the Tellyscope only works as a remote control device as long as its supply of tennis balls doesn't run out. All too often, these inventions seem to come with drawbacks.

As one would expect, cleaning devices are among the list of inventions. The 525 Crackervac is a robot vacuum cleaner that automatically hunts down any broken cracker fragments and sucks them up.

 

"I think you've met our new autovac," Wallace tells Gromit. "Watch this!" He promptly hurls a cracker across the room, which breaks on the floor, and the device hurtles after it, ready to suck up the debris.

"See? It has a built in cracker sensor," Wallace tells his canine companion.

Unfortunately, the 525 is not very discerning. Having been programmed to seek out dropped crackers, it then turns its attention to the table and goes for the half-open packet. Wallace orders it to put them down and manages to snatch the packet away, but by now the device is in voracious hunting mode, its red eyes glowing and metal teeth snapping away as it follows a retreating and panicking Wallace with menacing intent.

In desperation, Wallace takes cover behind an armchair and hurls the packet to Gromit, who catches it and bravely faces up to the snarling, fearsome vacuum cleaner. He hurls a cracker to distract it, and then pulls out a rope to lasso it. However, Gromit then has to endure something akin to a bucking bronco ride as the device tries to shake him off.

Finally, Gromit ties the suction pipe in a knot and the cleaner collapses for lack of air. But it then backfires, showering Wallace and the wall behind him with dust.

"I think you'd better get the dustpan and brush," says Wallace.

In an age when debates about the power of robots possessing artificial intelligence have spawned fears that robots could go rogue, like the Skynet system in Terminator, the experience of these fictional plasticine characters may be a further sign of how developing robots to do everything might be unwise.

Thankfully, here at Aurora we would never consider trying to invent a vacuum cleaner that does the job all on its own. Instead, we make sure every device we have is being used skilfully by one of our well-trained staff.

Using our services, you can be sure there will be no Wallace and Gromit-style calamities, just a swift and efficient job done well and professionally.

However, we can confirm that some of our staff are partial to the odd cracker with a bit of Wensleydale.

 

Posted by Becky Cheall