Category Archives: Research

Research for American Missing

Robot of careP.S. Yes, I know P.S. is supposed to go at the bottom but the image moved my heart.  I found the picture after writing this post. As someone who cares for and watches an aging family member struggle to maintain her independence, I  see how important autonomy is to  her.  The day robots can serve our aging population in a meaningful way will be a great day. Not because their children can’t or won’t help, but because freedom from dependence is so precious.

Okay on with the research:

In American Missing, some things need to go missing. To know what could go missing, I needed to know what’s available. Needed to be up-to-date.

So off to the internet searching to discover my state of un-hipness.  Hip isn’t a hip term anymore, but what can I say?  Child of the sixties.

Personally, I want a robot like Rosie on the Jetsons. My biggest pet peeve is carrying in the groceries. By the time, I return from shopping it’s time to feed the cats. I’ve been away from the house and the animals for the whole sum of a couple hours committing the huge cat felony of leaving them without their personal assistant.

Anyway, cats are swarming, dogs are barking, and family members can’t access things. And then there are the groceries that must exit the car and enter the cupboards and refrigerator. Online I found a robot that will actually carry your groceries. Doesn’t seem like it does much but carry. Hey, at least, it is a start. You can read more about it here. http://5elementsrobotics.com/.  Now, if it could fetch, might be a little more impressed. How many times have you  walked out to the flower garden farthest from the house only to realize you needed a rake, or another length of hose, or gloves?

Also found a roaming personal assistant available. If she/he/it had arms to carry groceries and dust  could be interesting. Here is a link https://www.autonomous.ai/personal-robot.  It does take pictures for you which would be handy. And it acts as a security guard. Wonder how it would fare against a rambunctious black lab chasing it through the house. Maybe a great way to exercise my overweight pug on sub-zero days, tie a dog bone to the robot and let the pug chase it.

Here are a few more links to some cool things that just either arrived on the market or are in development.

http://time.com/4115398/best-inventions-2015/

http://money.cnn.com/gallery/technology/2015/08/18/coolest-inventions-2015/index.html

http://binscorner.com/pages/2/29-smart-new-inventions-in-2015.html.

Have an Awesome Day.

Research for The Crystal Ballroom, Michigan Islands

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse on the Upper Peninsula, MI
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse on the Upper Peninsula, MI

I set The Crystal Ballroom, my next series, on a fictional Island in the middle of Lake Michigan. At first, I thought will anyone believe there is an island in the middle of Lake Michigan and then I slapped myself upside the head and said “Of course they will. Mackinac Island is already a famous tourist attraction.” Granted it isn’t in Lake Michigan, but it is in the Great Lakes. It was early. What can I say?

So just for fun, I googled Islands in Michigan and was amazed at the large number of islands. Me thinks this summer would be a great time to go Michigan Island hopping.

Anyway here are some links: Video Tour of Mackinac IslandIslands of Michigan,  Drummond Island

The Fox Islands might be a great place to bury a fictional body in a future book.