No matter how much I explain that I design digital devices and interactive objects using open sourced software that can sense and control objects in the physical world, my folks just don’t get it. It’s too techie for them. So I decided to show them what I do and how it applies in the real world by taking Arduino kits and building all my gifts for Christmas. Luckily I’m from a small family and have the time to do this without flaming out of grad school. It wasn’t long before I realized a Battle Bot like robot would not make an impressive gift for my grandma. Worse, it could hurt her. Blinking lights can be interesting, but useless. Creating things like robotic arms are good for demonstrating how this stuff works, but pretty boring once you get the drift. So I decided to heed my girlfriend’s advice and shop online for more traditional gifts.
She told me to go to Groupon and check out the deals at Steinmart. I was impressed with the selection and quickly realized I could find something for everyone in the family, including a bed for the dog. And it was priced at 50% off. Shopping the site was easy, and didn’t require me going out to fight my way through traffic at the mall, which I hate. Parking, waiting in longs lines, grabbing items and walking through piles of stuff on the floor are not for me, so I loved that free shipping was included.
I found cashmere sweaters for my sister and mom, Harry and David signature chocolates for the dessert table, and wine for dinner with friends. And here I thought building a robotic arm was radical. I’ve been studying too hard. When did shopping become so convenient? And best of all, the stuff ships free! And I got all my shopping done at one site with the click of a mouse. You’ve gotta love this new technology.
There is one thing I’m still going to build, however. Before Christmas day is over, I’m going to program a little drone (that was also on sale at Steinmart) to circle the room and land on the table in front of my girlfriend, carrying the ring I’ll use, to ask her to be my wife.