For Christmas I was blessed to be given a roomba by my loving husband and children. The roomba is a robot vacuum. They were all excited to give this to me. I wonder what this says about their satisfaction with my cleaning skills?

I know that secretly this vacuum was not for me, it was for Bryan. The man the who loves technology in our house. He was tired of sweeping the kitchen after the kids work their magic on the floor… and he loves cool new robot toys.

So the first roomba had troubles though. It charged up nicely, it turned on, it sang songs to us. One of those songs being the uh-oh song and then it was followed by 4 distinct beeps. Those beeps mean the wheels won’t turn. Very nice song, but not very effective at vacuuming. We had a long string of email conversations with the makers of Roomba and the final conclusion was that the wheels don’t work properly (duh) and that we need to send it to them at our expense and then they will fix the wheels and send it back since it is still under warranty. So our brand new roomba was going to cost us the postage money to fix. That didn’t sound like a great deal to us. So we exchanged it at Target and what do you know, but this one actually works!

It takes 45 minutes to vacuum… I take 10 to 15… but it is pretty cool. Isaac’s exact words were: “this robot vacuum is awesome.” Nice. Micah got excited and chased it around for the first 10 minutes. My only hope is that it motivates the kids to pick up the floor so that they can watch it go.


Nolan January 6, 2008 at 7:57 p.m.

The roomba supposedly is quite hackable, and I'm sure Bryan will be testing out his Computer Engineering skillz on it soon!

Bryan January 6, 2008 at 8:34 p.m.

"This robot contains an electronic and software interface that allows you to control or modify its behavior, and remotely monitor its sensors. For software programmers interested in giving Roomba new functionality, we encourage you to do so."

That is from part of the Roomba packaging. You don't see that on too many products! So yeah, there could be some hacking to do :)

Katie January 6, 2008 at 10:28 p.m.

I have a roomba, too! Everyone made fun of me for buying it but I love it! I have the iRobot roomba, the white one. Which one do you have? I love building the virtual walls and programming it. You'll have a blast with it!

Nolan January 8, 2008 at 8:52 a.m.

They must be the popular item this year! My mom just got one for Christmas too, and I told my brother that he should figure out how to hack as a good precursor to his computer engineering education! It didn't sound like he wanted to try... But if you (or I) could figure out how to get him started, I bet he'd like it!

Ily January 8, 2008 at 9:08 a.m.

Our roomba is silver. It does have the virtual walls, but ours is not the one with laser walls, it has the infra red ones. It is funny to see how the kids react to it. Micah was so excited to turn it on yesterday and then he refused to go downstairs because he was afraid of it!