Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Dr. Howard Schneider

I'm sure you are a nice man and that the majority of the things you've done in your life have been for the good of those around you.

However.... I personally want to tell you that your evil robot creations aka self-checkout lanes at the supermarket are the most despicable things around. I don't personally have a desire to learn how to identify the product code so that I can weigh and enter my produce selections. I don't want to hear that bleeping robot tell me to return my items to the bagging center and least of all I don't want to wait in a queue while an attendant finds a moment from snacking on a Twix bar to assist me. I do actually have things to do Mr. Schneider.

And to that kid snacking on the Twix're lucky it was only a bag of peaches I threw at you to get your attention. I did have a watermellon in the basket.


  1. I'm with you, sister! Those self service checkouts are enough to send me completely over the edge. Tried it once, never again. What makes these businesses think I want to be stressed and overworked, liked the totally underpaid staff that are employed with them. I'd rather wait on a long queue, with the pleasure of having a civil exchange of comments with a human, than deal with a robotic voice to which I must utter obscenities order to relieve my stressful encounter. Uhhhh!

  2. Hi Jennie,

    I just set up a tiny website for my work (nope...nothing to do with robots) and Googled myself and your website was at the top of the search items.

    Wow. Been a long time. Younger years. I'd been working on artificial intelligence since I was about 8 years old, took an electronics engineering course at 11 years old, and dreamed of the robots I'd build one day.

    My original supermarket robots (PriceChopper in Clifton Park) actually had lot more features. Personality module -- if you bought a lot of junk food it would ask you if you really needed that. More cameras for better and almost automatic produce identification. Actually better experience than current ones.

    I couldn't get financing for my company and had to leave when others took it over. I had lots of dreams of my robots everywhere. Forget about the supermarket. They would have been everywhere, everywhere, I assure you. I was the best robot designer (well, in my mind anyway).

    Others will design them and they will appear in the years to come.

    Anyway, new life for me that last two decades. I guess that's how it turns out. Too old to do anything anymore I guess.

    Dr. Howard Schneider :)