Tag Archives: funny

Robot Hot Rod: Souping up my Mint

I was in the store the other day and happened to be looking around in the cleaning section when one of these mop heads caught my eye. Seeing that it was “microfiber” like the other regular cleaning cloths for the Mint robot, I wondered if it would make for an interesting experiment. Besides this, I thought it would be kind of funny. Seeing as how this was obviously a Swiffer competitor, I figured it would probably be about the same size. At worst, it would be really wild looking. At best, it would be a great new cleaning sensation.

Microfiber cloth mop head on a Mint robot

As you can see, it was basically the exact right size. There were two modifications that needed to be made. First off, since the mop cover was built to put on a mop head that folded, it wouldn’t go on the Mint robot without having slits cut in the top parts. Second, the green part was simply too thick. The robot couldn’t get enough traction to push it around, because it was at a funny angle. So I ended up cutting out half of the green fingers. This reduced the volume enough that the Mint could run around the room.

Here it is trying to mate with our area rug.

Just for the sake of the experiment, I ran the Mint in two different rooms, just like I would any other day with a Swiffer cloth or one of the microfiber cloths that come with the robot. On the plus side, the robot sweeper was still able to see things, and also was able to tell that it had run into something when it bumped a piece of furniture. On the minus side, its cliff detection stopped working altogether, and it threw itself off a (luckily short) landing. So try this at your own risk!

Mont Robot with Microfiber Mop Head Cover

I think this answers the question: “What would you get if you crossed a Mint with Animal from the Muppets?” Unfortunately, the mop head didn’t really seem to clean the floor very well. It mostly seemed like it pushed things around, whereas the Swiffer cloths and the microfiber cloths that come with the Mint definitely do pick up a lot of dirt.

Papercraft: iRobot Roomba 400 and Darth Maul Mashup

iRobot Roomba 400 and Darth Maul Mashup

When I first set out to do these papermodels, I was planning on doing a series. It’s been a few months since our last papercraft, and our Roomba 562 Pet Series and Hal 9000 Mashup proved to be so popular that it was obvious that we should do it again. Our newest diabolical creation is a mashup between Darth Maul and the iRobot Roomba 400 Series, or as I like to call it, the iDarth Roomba 400. Pretty catchy, isn’t it? Click here to download the papercraft (PDF, 1.1 MB).

iRobot Roomba 400 Mashup bottom

I feel compelled to point out that in place of the usual corner brush, the iDarth Roomba 400 has a dual-bladed light saber. There are also important instructions for use on the bottom. To activate the robot, you place it in the middle of your floor and press the “maul” button. What could be more simple?

Have fun printing these out and putting them together!

iRobot Create Project: Hamster-Guided Roomba

iRobot Create with Hamster Ball

This is admittedly old news, but it’s definitely cool enough to post here. Among the many products they create, iRobot has a robotics platform for eduction and tinkering that is called the iRobot Create. See here for a thorough review of this item and a page of different projects they have done internally with the iRobot Create. Among these projects is an amazingly amusing hamster-guided Roomba vacuum cleaner.

It’s hard to make out the mechanism they’re using on this robot project, but it looks like the ball is on some rollers. The rollers are probably hooked up to an optical encoding system, a lot like how the old fashioned computer mice with the balls worked. The Roomba is programmed to adjust its speed and direction to match that of the hamster.

Now all they have to do is figure out how to train the hamster to vacuum the most dirty parts of your floor. Maybe there would be some way to train the hamster to follow your shedding pets or messy kid around the house. Either way, I find it fascinating and amusing at the same time.