Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

I, Roomba
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Heard of Roomba, the housecleaning robot? Well, we got one last week. It's pretty cute; not much larger than a stack of three or four Frisbie disks.

We tried it once on Friday evening, to our amusement, on its basic cleaning setting. It's fascinating to watch scurry about the housee, in what seems to be a totally non-optimal cleaning pattern. It picked up dirt well on the wood and tile floors but not the tall shag rug (which we knew would be limiting).

I've got it going right now, though, on a more thorough test of its capabilities. It's set to maximum duration, since I want to see whether it will do the whole house with no intervention on my part. This model came with two virtual walls (infrared light beamers), currently set up to keep it out of the media room and off the rug.

We bought the model that allows scheduling, so as long as it can do the whole house and doesn't get caught up on too many obstacles, we'll probably keep it. It's definitely on the loud side, but the schedular will let it run while we're at work and therefore it won't be a problem.

Some models, including this one, allow the use of a device to hack it. I don't expect to do that right now, but I'll check out the user posting area and see whether anyone has come up with better algorithms for its cleaning pattern and go from there. It might also be fun to attach a wireless web cam to it, but that would probably get in its way when it wants to go under the couch or other low places.

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