electronic brain surgery since 2001

The Age of Robots

About a year ago I asked Where's my robot? – Today the age of robots has officially begun.

I'm now proud owner of an iRobot Roomba 5601).

While I'm writing this post, the little guy is busy cleaning the living room. Since I just got him, I can not say too much about it yet. But here are my first impressions:

  • The Roomba tries to slow down before bumping into walls or furniture if it can detect the obstacle. This doesn't work for thin objects like table legs though. However once he bumps into them he tries to clean around the obstacle by moving a very close circle.
  • He's about 10cm high and fits under most of our furniture. Our couch is a bit too low but he does an impressive job by moving around its edges and cleaning as deep as his little spinning side brush reaches.
  • He can climb small edges like door sills or carpets but he failed multiple times to move across the bottom part of an IKEA Poäng chair.
  • The Roomba cleaning pattern looks a bit random at first, but once you watch him a while you'll recognize several different behaviors that are quite effective.
  • I haven't used the “lighthouse” guiding posts or the scheduled cleaning, yet. I wonder if he will be able to move through our whole apartment on its own with their help.
  • It isn't as loud as a “real” vacuum cleaner but not exactly quiet either.
  • It's great fun just to watch the little guy doing his work :-).

PS: Sorry for the crappy photo quality. I forgot to switch back the ISO mode to a sane value :-/.

robot, gadget, future, roomba
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I love it how my first robot is manufactured by a company named after an Asimov story