Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/11/self_replicating_hoover/

Dyson unleashes self-replicating hoover

Bagless assassin menaces humanity

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 11th March 2005 13:27 GMT

The Rise of the Machines™Those readers living north of the border (that's Scotland, not Canada, btw) are today warned to be on their guard against shifty-looking hoovers with malevolent intent. The reason? Vacuum cleaner magnate James Dyson has developed an intelligent hoover which can order its own spare parts.

We gather that the Cyberdyneson, sorry, CyberDyson will inform its owner if it claps out or needs a new part. The owner then dials the Dyson number, holds the receiver up to the machine which then conducts a telephonic diagnostic with misson control, ordering its own spare parts.

Of course, it also takes the opportunity to receive digital instructions as to how and when to attack its human master. The preferred method is to knock him down the stairs, as one shaken Scotsman can attest.

Chillingly, and as several readers have noted, Miles Bennett Dyson was the man behind the Terminator. Coincidence? We think not.

But who, or what, is at the other end of the Dyson hotline, dutifully packing replacement nozzles into boxes and popping them in the post? Simple: monkey-brain-controlled cyberarms, the University of Pittsburgh's equivalent of the rat-brain-driven attack aircraft.

Gripping stuff: that monkey-controlled cybernetic armScientists say they have successfully tested a roboarm controlled by thought alone. They inserted probes into monkeys' brains, like you do, restrained their subjects and then watched as a computer interpreted signals from individual nerve cells in the motor cortex which it then translated into movement of the arm.

The cover story is that the technology may one day be used in prosthetic parts for humans, but anyone with any sense can see that there will be nobody left alive to benefit from the research after electroactive polymer-powered, cybersimian limbs have arm-wrestled their way to world domination.

The solution? A clone army of Panna Felsens - the 17-year-old high school student who recently defeated a roboarm uprising at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, California. We can only hope that human cloning techniques advance sufficiently to allow her successful mass replication before the CyberDysons send a bagless hoover assassin from the future to knock the poor girl down the stairs. ®

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