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Bizarre Tech: Novabot, Wizard Smart Switch and Shock Clock 3

Image credit: E&T

Why, hello digital friends! I thought I would show you some gadgets that I found on my internet browsing journey recently. They are shocking, magical and… cutting in equal measure! Have fun!


Look at that cute little garden fun guy.

Novabot is apparently an “intelligent, automated robotic lawnmower and the innovative solution for the perfect lawn you have been waiting for”. Well, I haven’t really been waiting, but hey. Let’s get mowing!

It’s developed by LF Intelligence, an AI-driven robotics start-up aimed at developing and promoting “affordable” autonomous lawn management robots.

According to its makers, Novabot keeps the grass greener while you “kick back” and control it via the Nova app. I wouldn’t be kicking back, I’d be watching it doing its thing, all cute and AI-ing everywhere.

“Cutting-edge” technology (excellent pun, LF Intelligence) means Novabot apparently mows in straight lines, trims borders in multiple zones, avoids objects with computer vision, and returns to its base after mowing. Aww, it has its own wee bedroom. Cute.

The Novabot does not need perimeter cables to work, so it doesn’t look “unsightly on your lawn”. You vain autonomous lawnmower owners won’t have to worry about this eyesore in your garden, thanks to “the RTK-GPS System with 0.8in. level accuracy & NovaVision™ System, which integrates AI algorithm with self-driving technology”. Ah, yes, gobbledygook and big words to confuse and convince us into buying one. Novabot apparently detects edges and trims borders without wires or “breaking a sweat”.

Robots don’t sweat. Durrr.

Novabot has a 360° HD Panoramic Camera and ‘VSLAM’ Technology, whatever that is. It also scans and detects all obstacles. Novabot identifies people, pets, and even wild animals too, and then runs them over with its “robust off-road tyres”, and destroys it with its brushless motors.

Scattered pieces of raccoon everywhere. Grim.

Anyway, it has a 7.5Ah lithium-ion battery and mows up to 2000m². ZOOM ZOOOOOM!

Novabot also comes with an anti-theft system so you can track if your bot’s gone a-cuttin’ somewhere else, and the 360° panoramic view means Novabot can be used as a home security system. Not just a mower. It’s a show-er.


Wizard smart switch

Swish and flick!


Oh, it can’t do that? Booo.

So, the Cauldron Co., an entertainment studio that produces and operates brands like The Cauldron and The Wands & Wizard Exploratorium, has come up with a Magic Wand-activated Smart Home.

Called The Wizard Smart Switch, it lets you control electronic items in your home with the “flick of a magic wand”. Amazing. I’m in.
It’s an IoT Smart Home Hub – a trio of objects (Magic Wand, Runestone, and Smart Plug) that lets you control plug-in electronic items with a ‘magic wand’. The Wizzy Wand controls the Runestone, which wirelessly operates the Smart Plug. So, items plugged into the Smart Plug, like a bedside lamp, or Christmas tree, or the Novabot mower, can be wirelessly turned on and off with the wand. Sweet.  

The Runestone is rechargeable and has a 150ft (45m) wireless range. You can also create multiple magic wand ‘touch-points’ for lots of Smart Plugs. So, you can create some sort of chaos and disorder while your family is watching television, turning it off during pivotal moments of Eastenders, while shutting the electric blinds and flickering the lamp like some sort of poltergeist that really hates TV soaps.

It costs £56, a cheap thrill indeed!


Shock Clock 3

Mild torture? Perhaps.

The Shock Clock is a wearable that electrically zaps you to wake you up.

It is safe, right? I didn’t read whether it was suitable for people with an iffy ticker, so perhaps avoid this if your heart’s a bit, well, meh.
Manufactured in Canada, the alarm is completely silent, and it’s guaranteed not to wake anyone else up – unless you yelp in shock and pain.

The alarm has a seven-day battery life, is sweat and water resistant (because you’ll probably be anxious that you’ll be electrocuted so you’ll be perspiring like a piggy), and it comes with a silicone wristband. Glad it’s not metal, otherwise that would be unfortunate.

Five years ago, the team behind the shock clock – Pavlok – released the original device. So, what makes the 3 so different? Does it have a super-suave system? Does it turn your bedroom into a laser rave when it’s wake-up time? Does it make you breakfast in bed??
Well, it’s got a longer battery life than the others. Oh. Poo.

According to the Pavlok team, most alarms are built to remind you to wake up, but Shock Clock trains you to wake up.

Like a shock collar for dogs? I do not approve.

Anyway, to train your brain to wake up, the Clock does a vibrate, then a shrill beep that cuts through background noise, then zap sequence, which burns your hand off.

I jest. It’s a static discharge which jolts you awake. Pleasant.

There are a couple of ways to disable the alarm. You can scan a QR code to turn it off – by placing a QR sticker in another room, you must get out of bed otherwise you’ll be punished.

Another way to turn off the alarm is by doing jumping jacks (star jumps for the non-Americans). That’s exactly what I want to do as soon as I wake. My stiff back would not thank me.

There’s also brain puzzles and games which will turn the alarm off when you solve one.

Friends and family can trigger the alarm remotely – good idea. Especially if they dislike you.

A locking solution makes it harder to take the device off, which feels more like some sort of capital punishment, but there you go. Whatever works to keep you awake.

If you go back to bed, the alarm starts again. Yippee.

You can also compare your scores with other users (there are over 85,000 members and counting) – get a winning streak and wake up before it zaps ya!

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