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Roomba Competitor Slightly Lacking 266

tivojafa writes "Following hot on the heels of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, TV Products (USA) Inc have released the "RoboSweep" - "The intelligent sweeper that sweeps while you rest!". Roomba by iRobot is an engineering masterpiece with 15 sensors and 5 motors to navigate and clean the floors. It has been stripped apart and there are rumors of a replacement processor so it can be used as a general purpose robot platform. Now the RoboSweep "intelligent" sweeper has redefined intelligence (or lack of it) - the internals have got to be seen to be believed." Very funny.
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Roomba Competitor Slightly Lacking

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:12PM (#6671516)
    First they're cleaning carpets of dirt, next they'll be cleaning Earth of humans!
  • by DrLudicrous ( 607375 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:15PM (#6671530) Homepage
    "After another minute I was so bored that I picked it up to see what it had done... the wipe was completely clean but it was starting to push dirt in front of it. The ground clearance is so low that the dirt can't go under it to reach the wipe!"

    Now that's what I call quality engineering. And I love the analog 'processor'!

    • Re:High Tech Design (Score:3, Informative)

      by stuffman64 ( 208233 )
      Heh, and how about that artificial intelligence claimed in its ads. Heck, this [] site even goes out of the way to say that in bold letters.

      These guys should be sued for misleading advertising. Do a search for "robosweep" on Google (or just click here []) Isn't it funny how all of the sites use the same exact wording? Who exactly runs this whole "As Seen on TV" thing anyways? Caveat Emptor!
  • by onya ( 125844 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:16PM (#6671535)
    One motor.
    One battery tray.
    One switch.
    One power socket.
    One LED.
    A few wires.

    soo... who's going to be the first to get linux running on it?
    • by EinarH ( 583836 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:48PM (#6671734) Journal
      soo... who's going to be the first to get linux running on it?
      For all that we know it could allready be running Linux.

      iRobot also makes the PackBot [], a unmanned robust robot for reconnaissance operations in urban terrain.
      The robot is developed for the US Military, its DARPA founded, and it runs Linux.

      More info here []

      Through the Tactical Mobile Robotics Program (TMR), the PackBot mobile robot got a new rugged hardware housing that supported significantly more substantial electronics. In fact, the new processor and motherboard booted a Linux kernel in under 12 seconds - just turn on and go! With such substantial computing on-board, the first robot operating system AWARE(TM) was born.

      Personally I find this far more interesting than this "sweeper".

    • How about Java? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by watersco ( 697226 )
      It isn't quite the same as running Linux, but we have hacked a Roomba to run Java. We desoldered the micro on the Roomba board and hooked it up to a Javelin Stamp [] instead.

      Pics here. [] It's kind of slow. Being slashdotted is not a good way to discover that your ISP does bandwidth limiting :-(.

      Once the vacuuming brushes are removed the Roomba is much quieter and I am sure that battery life at least doubles. Chris.

    • Heres some more pics [] of the "Hacked Roomba using a Parallax Javelin Stamp to replace the microcontroller."
    • Wow, amazing the number of people who don't even read the post and realize that you're not talking about the Roomba.

      If anyone actually manages to get Linux running on the RoboSweep, the only way they'd be able to one-up themselves is if they got it to run on a broom.

    • I really don't understand the gap-jawed complaints some people are expressing. Its a fourty dollar device compared to a TWO HUNDRED dollar device. Please, lets not act too surprised.

      This all reminds me of the DustBuster craze in the 80s. They all plainly sucked, or failed to suck dirt, yet they sold by the millions. Even the heavy-duty Black & Deckers did little then make an annoying whine and create a weird smell.

      Today, the DustBuster market is more or less dead and the ones that have survived ar
  • by tangledweb ( 134818 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:17PM (#6671540)
    Here is an idea for an ask slashdot thread:

    "Have you ever bought anything off an infomercial and been happy with it?"

    I cannot see why you would sell anything that way if it would sell in normal outlets.
    • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:39PM (#6671671)

      I dunno if it's a chain or my local mall is just 'lucky', but we have a store called "As Seen On TV" full of all the crap that by all rights shouldn't sell to anyone with sufficient IQ to navigate from their couch to the mall.

      • It's a chain. There's also a website [], but it's unclear whether they're the same company. And yes, they carry the RoboSweep [].
        • Actually...

          I believe is affiliated with/run by a company that deals in volume sales of infomercials and commercials.... product placement services.

          So while they don't own everything in relation to the product, they do manage at least one aspect of its sales.

          Someone at my office could better answer this question, but you get me instead!
    • by Synithium ( 515777 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:45PM (#6671713)
      George Forman grill. Bought it off TV way before it was in the stores. And you know what? It still kicks ass like a prize fighter.

      Thank you George!
      • I was about to agree that all the TV crap sucks but I have a George Forman grill as well, and while I got mine at Meijer, it did start as an informercial didn't it. Obviously became successful enough to be carried in real stores though.
      • by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @10:15PM (#6671853) Homepage Journal
        Just got mine about 2 weeks ago at local K-Mart. Kicks MUCH ass. Saves energy. Cooks quick. This thing has got fast food beat big time.
      • I have one of those things. I also have a real grill out on my deck. I've used the Georde foreman thing three times in two years. Everytime I've been disappointed. The food is faster, but has no flavor. When I go outside it doesn't take much longer, and the food tastes better, and there is no cleanup.

        I know many of you live in apartments where you can't have a grill on your deck. However if you have the option get a real outdoor grill instead you will be much happier.

        P.S. A real grill is worth sp

        • I'm in total agreeance, but my opinion may be biased since I do thoroughly enjoy foreign particles in all of my meat barbeque sessions.

          However, a long time ago, my friends found an excellent use for the george foreman grill.

          LAN parties...

          No gaming event is complete without fresh cooked meets and other tasties.

          Of course... we are also the same group that decided to combine alcohol with Quake3 at the time.

          Experience may vary!
      • USB (Score:2, Funny)

        I never could order my USB model [] from think geek. It has been out of stock for ever. =(


    • Because it's hard to get into normal stores, anyone with a few bucks can get long national infomercial advertising.
    • Years ago I purchased a kitchen gadget that slices and dices vegetables. It's especially good for onions and ten years later, I still use it when I have to dice four large onions for a batch of jambalaya. It cuts the time by a factor of at least four and results in no onion tears. It's cheap, shoddy, but still works fine probably ten years later.

      So, yes, I have purchased something from an infomercial and been happy with it. I've never purchased anything else though and may never because the vast majori
    • We bought a bunch of these Miracle Blade 3 things... damn these suckers are sharp (and stay sharp, great for tough steak/cinderblocks), if you can help me find my left index finger that would help though. Very happy with the set, we even got a second one for free accidently.
    • Didn't buy it off TV, but picked it up from Wal-Mart a while after...

      The "Quick Chop." It works very well for chopping up any variety of things: herbs, nuts, veggies...

      I think I paid US$10 for it and it was well worth it.

    • My uncle bought a self-inflating bed. We all thought he was a big sucker, but everytime there's more people in the house than beds, we pull the sucker out, plug it in, and it auto-magically inflates. Comfortable, tough and durable, its well worth the price (~$200)... I'm planning on buying one myself.
  • Simple (Score:2, Funny)

    by 2starr ( 202647 )
    Sometimes the simplest solution is the best. Probably not in this case though. :-P
  • been done... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jayratch ( 568850 ) <slashdot@ j a y r a t> on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:17PM (#6671545) Homepage Journal
    I had a toy like this when I was a kid. I think we bought it at a flea market for like $15... although it didn't pretend to clean floors, it had a much cooler action robot head that moved its arms!
    • My father had a toy wind-up car like this. You'd wind it up, set it on a table, and it wouldn't zoom around, never falling off.

      The way it worked was that between the two front wheels, it had a sideways wheel that was mounted slightly higher, so that it wouldn't touch the table. As soon as it got to the edge of the table, the normal wheels would slip off, and the sideways wheel would make contact, cause the car to make a turn, bringing it back on the table.

  • I seem to remember having a toy car as a kid that worked much the same way.

    There are, however, a few key differences:

    RoboSweep is
    - more expensive
    - slower
    - less fun

    And with almost no innards, it's not even fun to bash to pieces, Office Space style!

    Be very careful when you see that "As Seen On TV!" logo.
  • When I was a kid... (Score:3, Informative)

    by djkitsch ( 576853 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:17PM (#6671549)
    About 15 years ago you could get "robots" that were EXACTLY the same as this - all they've done is stuck a few bits of Velcro on the bottom! Great injection moulded case too - very faux-sophisticated.

    I think my childhood toy cost about $10...
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonman_d ( 465049 ) <nemilar@opton[ ] ['lin' in gap]> on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:18PM (#6671556) Homepage Journal
    The site was incredibly slow with no comments, so I figured I'd mirror it for a day here [].

    Please be nice to it :P
  • Sad attempt (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rzbx ( 236929 ) <slashdot@rzbx.COBOLorg minus language> on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:18PM (#6671557) Homepage
    That has to be the saddest attempt at making a competing product. It uses nothing besides some gears to move around obstacles (no circuitry), uses wipes to clean floor (which don't work well according to website author, says it barely picks up dirt and it only does on the front of wipe), moves slowly, and obviously can't clean anything besides smooth surfaces. Is there a lamest products ever list? This really deserves it.
    • That has to be the saddest attempt at making a competing product. It uses nothing besides some gears to move around obstacles (no circuitry), uses wipes to clean floor (which don't work well according to website author, says it barely picks up dirt and it only does on the front of wipe), moves slowly, and obviously can't clean anything besides smooth surfaces. Is there a lamest products ever list? This really deserves it.

      The thing that gives me pause is that something like this could actually work, if you
  • by kendoka ( 473386 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:22PM (#6671583)
    I wonder if the guy who designed that was a shyster or just an old-timer engineer who actually throught he could replace the ai with a differential...
  • by edrugtrader ( 442064 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:22PM (#6671585) Homepage
    "RoboSweep uses artificial intelligence to sweep your entire floor."

    yes. yes it does.
  • by ocie ( 6659 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:22PM (#6671587) Homepage
    I overclocked it and now it can clean my whole apartment in under 15 seconds. Of course I have to liquid cool it to keep the motors from melting.
  • by twoallbeefpatties ( 615632 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:23PM (#6671595)
    Has anyone ever actually expected quality out of a product that has a "As Seen On TV!" sticker on it?
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:27PM (#6671609)

    Wait a sec...roomba "community"?

    I thought the idea was to give you more free time to do fun things. It's pretty sad these people are using that time to sit around in front of the computer and participate in some...pointless...foru...

    [marblehead moment]

    Ahhhh nuts.

    PS:Obligatory slashdotting joke! That community site clogged up faster than a roomba in the wrong part of Dustbunnyville.

  • The dislcaimer at the bottom says the Roomba is a registered trademark of iRobot and the RoboSweep is not made or endorsed by iRobot. There is no mention of the Roomba except here.

    A perfect way to draw comparisons to a competitors obviously? better product while making no false claims or real comparisons - though the artificial intellegence is stretching it a bit. I would have called it 'artifical artifical intellegence'.

    When is someone going to make a lego version of the Roomba, and open source the pla

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:31PM (#6671630)
    The Roomba isn't very good. We have one in the Team Overbot shop, and it's cute, but not very useful. It gets trapped in chair legs, it jams badly if it encounters a cable, and it doesn't clean very well. Even as insect-level intelligence, it's disappointing. It needs at least enough smarts to get itself out of the situations it gets into. As it is, it takes more time dealing with its problems than it takes to vacuum the space with a conventional vacuum.
    • by FeloniousPunk ( 591389 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @10:32PM (#6671927)
      I've had my Roomba for several months now and have to completely disagree with this.
      It's extremely useful, and does a fine job of cleaning the floors. It's not as strong as a big upright (which stands to reason, given that it is considerably smaller), but it makes up for the power differential with repetition. When Roomba finishes a room, it's as clean as it would be if I had done it myself. It takes longer, but of course I don't have to expend any effort, which seems a good trade off to me.
      Roomba can get stuck like in a lobster trap, but a minimum of effort makes a room Roomba-friendly. Mine doesn't get stuck in the chair legs, but maybe my chairs are bigger than yours. A lot of my furniture has high enough clearance for the robot to get under to clean. Cables are a problem but this is no different from a normal vacuum cleaner.
      The only major limitation I see is the battery. It holds about enough charge to do 2 small/ medium size rooms or one large room. Recharging takes about 12 hours. At first this bugged me, because I expected to vacuum the house in one go. But I ended up just shifting tactics; I do a couple of rooms in a night, then the others the next night. Turns out, the floors are a lot cleaner now doing a few Roomba jobs a week than vacuuming the whole house at a time once or twice a month.
  • stair test (Score:3, Funny)

    by gradedcheese ( 173758 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:31PM (#6671633)
    so I assume the robosweep, if it got to some stairs, would fall down them unlike the roomba which will stop and turn around. That would be pretty funny t watch and seeing how it's built it would probably break apart then too.
  • "Automatically cleans your floors while you enjoy life"

    This thing would probably make life unbearable with the noise of the vacuum sucking up the dirt on the ground.

    Why do I get the idea that I would end up just watching this thing clean my floor instead of enjoying my life. It would seem to me that getting off my lazy bottom and cleaning the floor myself would be a better way to appreciate the fact that I can move around than whatever it is these people think I should be doing.

    Also, if this thing takes

    • You really should read the article (yeah, its been /.ed beyond belief) but, this deivce is nothing more than a wipe attached to a motor, nothing else. It does no vaccuming at all, and just goes around pushing dirt around it because the clearence is so low that no dirt actually gets to the wipe anyway. So, essentially its nothing more than a motor.

      Maybe they'll recall these things because they "forgot" to put in its "intelligence."

  • mirror (Score:2, Informative) [] One of the images is missing, but better than nothing...
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) * <.teamhasnoi. .at.> on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:39PM (#6671669) Journal
    This [] will beat the FloorSweeper like a red-headed stepchild. Shizzle me Timbers!.
  • by merchant_x ( 165931 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:41PM (#6671687)
  • by Wrexen ( 151642 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:42PM (#6671692) Homepage
    Anyone else reminded of the Precious Roy sketches from "Sifl and Olly" ?

    Precious Roy, Precious Roy
    Making lots of suckers out of girls and boys!

  • by Kickstart70 ( 531316 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:43PM (#6671707) Homepage
    Are the makers of RoboCrap/Sweep going to sue under the DCMA, claiming that this dude reverse engineered the robot?
    • Are the makers of RoboCrap/Sweep going to sue under the DCMA, claiming that this dude reverse engineered the robot?

      That would imply that there was actually some engineering involved in the creation of the RoboSweep. I think that's something they'd be hard-pressed to prove in court.

  • by ps_inkling ( 525251 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:43PM (#6671708)
    With so much empty space, this device is crying out for accessories. Add a squirt bottle and aquarium pump, and it's an automatic wet floor cleaner (like the Swiffer family). Since it only works on flat surfaces, this could make it useful.

    Replacing the NiCad batteries with LiIon would up the run time significantly.

    Turning your kitchen floor into a maze of diverters so that it cleans the entire floor (instead of just the edges) would be a worthy weekend project.

    A simple IR emitter-detector could cut power to the motor when something is in front of it.

    Or, you could put an old i386 motherboard and wireless ethernet inside, and have a firewall and clean floors at the same time.

    You could slam it, and have a low-rider cleaner. Wait, they already did that.

    • You could slam it, and have a low-rider cleaner. Wait, they already did that.

      Props to the first guy who puts hydraulics in one of these things so it can bounce! Then it might actually get some dirt under it :-)
    • Well, going with NiMH instead of NiCad would be a good idea, however LiIons don't handle high-discharge loads nearly as well as NiCads.

      LiIons are great for low-draw applications where you need a medium amount of power for a long time, but they'll die pretty quick if you hammer them for every volt/amp they can put out.

  • Rodney Brooks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by orkysoft ( 93727 ) <orkysoft&myrealbox,com> on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:53PM (#6671746) Journal
    I was at a lecture Rodney Brooks gave when he was in Amsterdam almost a year ago. He explained what kind of research he did, and how he incorporated it in his Roomba product.

    Obviously, this RoboSweep thing is a complete fake. It looks like it's advertised on those stupid home shopping programmes (see the official website, the "As Seen On TV" blurb on the packaging, etc).

    This leads me to reinforce my suspicion that all products promoted at home shopping programmes are fake and ineffective.

    I don't doubt most Slashdotters are like-minded in this respect, but those who know people who order that crap, might want to tell them about the fake cleaning machine, and how that is probably only the tip of the iceberg (crap-berg?).

    It actually reminds me of a toy car I used to play with in my youth, that had exactly such a rotating thing with small wheels on it, so the battery-powered car seemed to move in a semi-random fashion. I didn't find that very intruiging even at the age of five.

    If you really want to get a cleaning robot, get a Roomba.

    With a bit of luck, they'll sell just eight of those RoboSweeps -- to Dr. Zoidberg! ;-)
    • by cheesedog ( 603990 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @10:26PM (#6671901)
      I took Brook's "Embodied Intelligence" at MIT. Want to know the funny thing? One of his sources of inspiration were the 1950s work of Grey Walter, called "tortoises." What were tortoises? Little more than a servo hooked up to a differential which would spin and move forward in a random fashion.

      But even 1950s tech was ahead of the Robosweep. It did have a single light sensor, and through some clever work by Davis, could be constructed so that when their batteries started to run low, would make their way back to a recharging hut, given that the hut had a bright light in it.

      If the robosweep could accomplish as much without any central processor (lack of central processing is, after all, one of the tenets of Brooks subsumption architecture, and thus part of the design of the Roomba), I'm sure Rodney would applaud the feat.

  • All you have to do is program it to say "What?", "I don't understand," and "Where's the tea?" and who'd know the difference?
  • by Guano_Jim ( 157555 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @09:57PM (#6671767)
    Just curious... I'd like to hear opinions from people who aren't on Roomba's website.

    Before I buy one, I want to know if it will keep up with my two-year old. I envision some kind of evolutionary arms race between my daughter and the Roomba, where the Roomba gets smarter and bigger and my daughter finds new and messier ways to screw up the living room carpet.

    Eventually the Roomba will evolve into SkyNet and a former California governor will travel back in time to shoot me.
    • Thus, you won't be able to have a daughter. Clean floors! :P
    • Well, for the record, our two-year-old son is definitely winning. He thinks the Roomba is great fun, though. If you leave it out where he can get to it, he'll just keep starting it whenever it stops until the battery runs out.

      It does a pretty decent job, even with all the cat hair we accumulate on the carpet. You still need to drag out the old-fashioned vacuum cleaner about once a month to get the deep-down stuff, though. Personally, I think it was well worth the money. I think we're probably going to buy

    • I recommend buying enough explosives to blow up TEN SUPERCOMPUTERS along with any Roomba, just in case it does decide to kill off your family.
    • love my roomba (Score:4, Informative)

      by cacheMan ( 150533 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2003 @10:11AM (#6674847)
      My Dad's sarcastic reaction was, "I can't believe we made it this far without a robot vacume cleaner". I understand where he is coming from, but I don't have a cleaning person come to my house.

      My wife and I both work and my dog sheds, this leaves both very little time for the vacuming and a very large need for vacuming. We struggled with the $200 purchase for about 6 months, but have not regretted it for 1 second since laying down the money. (Check, you can find it for $160 delievered).

      The roomba is right for us because we always found the vacume to be a chore. If you don't feel the same way, you probably don't need a roomba. As far as performance goes, every time the thing runs it fills it's little bin. The amount of dust that it picks up is remarkable. It can easily go under our bed, when was the last time you vacumed under the bed? I totally agree with one review I found that said the fact that you have to empty the little bin is (accidental?) marketing genius. Every time we use it we are encouraged to use it again, and soon!

      It doesn't do stairs, doesn't handle the corners of some throw rugs well, and doesn't handle shag at all. We have to pick up the clothes/objects/garbage before using it (the horror). I really haven't found much to be upset about.

      I put it in the iPod, VW Beetle, iMac, and Tivo category. It does something well, it's not perfect, but it's really cool. I didn't think I'd ever feel this way about a vacume.

  • by JohnA ( 131062 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nosrednanhoj}> on Monday August 11, 2003 @10:00PM (#6671786) Homepage
    From the offical Roomba FAQ:

    Can Roomba's music/ sound be changed or disabled?

    Unfortunately, Roomba's music/ sound cannot be modified or disconnected.

    Um... does anyone else feel a bit confused, dare I say scared, by a music-playing vacuum cleaner?

    Dunno... maybe it's just me.
  • Shares in As Seen On TV fell $12.37 to $1.12 as investors reacted to a poll showing that every American over the age of 18 has been screwed over at least once by idiotic late-night TV pitches, according to an Ipsos-Reid survey.

    Including the investors.

    Only 10% of the populace is reported to be stupid enough to purchase off of TV again. Strangely, most of the 10% is made up of Americans with double barreled names, such as Peggy-Anne, Donny-Joe or Birdman-Sue.

    Cledus the Slack-Jawed Yokel was not available f
  • "-- You see! They managed to build a sweeping robot with pure analog parts! Motor and switches!
    We, on the other hand, found an engenious way to emulate those functions with sophisticated CPU, that costs more than TWO of those pesky sweepers!"

    • I remember a toy from the 70s and 80s, which involved a "robot" that ran off of specially shaped cogs and gears. One would determine the distance, a couple others would determine direction (left, right, circle), another would set up a special function (stop, spin turret, flash lights and play sounds), before resuming the pattern again.

      Slightly more complicated versions were made for more money, which involved a simple optical reader and a rotating paper disc which the user would mark off spots for distance
  • by holloway ( 46404 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @10:10PM (#6671831) Homepage
    robots.txt keeps the spiders away
  • In addition to being poorly engineered, they are also spamvertised rather heavily - I think I got three or four spams proclaiming I'd won a free RoboSweep just today.

    Yet another reason to avoid them.
  • Anyone remember Blip []? It was a handheld pong game back when a 3x7 pixel handheld football game was all the rage. It was actually kinda fun, but I remember popping it open to see what kind of computer it had in it:
    • battery compartment
    • wires
    • one red LED
    • one switch

    To play, you would wind it up and a spring would drive plastic gears that would move the "ball" back and forth. It didn't really matter whether it was "turned on" or not since the switch just lit the LED.

    Yeah, digital -- either meaning that y

  • My spam bucket is filling up with swill advertising these things. It's nice to know they are worthless without ever having to do the experiment of buying one. Not that I was in danger. I will never do business with anyone who is employed spam, unless I'm going to suffer, a lot, by not doing so.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    we sent out 5 of these guys last week.

    1st got ran over by an SUV, them sons of bitches
    2nd batteries ran out
    3rd ran into bad weather
    4th one was lost

    5th one is still going strong, it things go well we hope it will make it to the end of the block by tomorrow.
  • I was underwhelmed by the roomba when I saw it operate in person. The guys' cats loved it, but there are a couple of problems:

    * it has no idea where it is. It might vacuum the same spot 5 times and never hit the other half of the room or hallway.
    * the 'algorithm' to find a big spiral to vac is pretty stupid. Basically it just bounces around in random patterns, trying to fit a big spiral into it.
    * it seems like it wouldn't have been hard to make it find a charger and dock over a charging paddle. Here com

  • holy crap (Score:3, Funny)

    by SpacePunk ( 17960 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @10:48PM (#6672018) Homepage
    I had toy cars as a kid that did this. It'd roll untill it hit something then turn and roll again. I had no idea that I was using state of the art artificial intelligence way back then! Wow!
  • that if all products like RoboSweep, Tap lights, Thigh Masters, electronic inset repellers, Clappers, Buttoneers, Mr. Microphones, OxyClean, Ginsu Knives, and anything else that's advertized on TV after 2 a.m. were assembled into ONE GIANT MACHINE we would have... either a black hole that only sucks in money or the first device suitable for sanctioning spammers. Spammers mercilessly tortured while you rest! Sound effects optional...Canadians add one dollar!
  • by ptorrone ( 638660 ) * <> on Monday August 11, 2003 @10:58PM (#6672069)
    well, that roombacommunity site rocks, while i do enjoy my roomba, it's now going to be made in to a robot and do something else, i'm thinking a wifi-finder, we'll see. here are some pics and vid, next time i post pics, it'll be a franken-roomba. enjoy.

    pics []

    video []

  • by Mobster75 ( 234793 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @11:47PM (#6672261) Homepage
    Doing a quick eBay search for "robosweep" returns a few listings saying: "ROOMBA ROBOSWEEP INTELLIGENT SWEEPER" []

    Very very deceptive.....

    And look at the crap description.... I almost fell off my chair laughing....

    *Similar to Roomba but at a fraction of the price!

    RoboSweep is a very affordably priced sweeper, especially compared to other robotic cleaners on the market..

    RoboSweep uses built-in intellegence to stay in the room it's sweeping. Just turn it on and it sweeps!
    (Ya... sweeps your $40 away...)

    Of course, at the end:


    Just when I thought things were bad enough.... more searching finds some place [] is selling this thing for $46!!

    Caveat emptor! A fool and his money are sooooo soon parted on the Internet ;)
  • Hey! (Score:3, Funny)

    by MoeMoe ( 659154 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @11:57PM (#6672302)
    That jerk stole my little brothers science project! Even though he only spent 5 minutes on it, he could atleast get a D+, give it back!

    The Easy, and Intelligent
    Way to Sweep Your Floors!
    Wouldn't it be nice to relax and read a book, or drink some coffee, as somebody else swept your floors? Now you can! That "somebody else" is an intelligent robot named RoboSweep!

    RoboSweep uses artificial intelligence to sweep your entire floor. It won't miss an inch of your wood, linoleum, or tile! It will sweep and lift up anything from pet hair, dust and ashes, to paper and rubber! No more backaches, dusty brooms or
  • Screw the Roomba and RoboSweep, now here is the ultimate geek robot vacuum [].
  • Robocra-ahem-sweep (Score:3, Interesting)

    by omarin ( 322924 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2003 @03:48AM (#6673255)
    The RoboSweep people should be hauled in for fraud!
    I saw the pictures of its insides... and basically (from a long childhood of disassembling toy "bump n go" robots) I believe the RoboSweep is worth about $5 bucks, tops.
    Do this:
    1. Go into your local KayBee or Toys R Us toystore or swapmeet/fleamarket.
    2. Buy one of those $5 buck "bump n go" robots/cars.
    3. Dissassemble said toy
    4. Note the virtually identical setup as the "RoboSweep": battery case, wires, one made-in-China 25 cent motor, little go-round-n-round wheels.
    And reading the RoboSweep site, it promises the world out of what is basically a child's cheap-ass toy! Class action anyone? ;-)
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Tuesday August 12, 2003 @07:47AM (#6673884)
    Trilobyte. [] European tech kicks ass. Harharhar!
    Honestly now: If I'll ever get a vacuumbot it will be this one. This Trilobyte sucker has some serious tech inside. It actually learns the shapes of the floor it cleans and maneuvers through and past furniture. It starts at programmable time (when you're out of the house) and goes back to it's recharge station when finished. THAT is a vacubot. That other one is a toy that will chrush to chunky kibbles if I accidentally step on it. Or make that 'on purpose'. :-)

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison