Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Turn Your Roomba Into a Household Google Bot

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the check-the-pantry-from-the-store dept.

Robotics 79

Wael Chatila writes "By adding an on-board computer and a camera on a Roomba, the Roomba can be used to index your home. As a bonus, you can also control the Roomba across an internet connection, and see the images from the camera — a spybot for you to check on your own home while you are out."

cancel ×

79 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Ob (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350806)

Pantycam!

How to make Googlebot sad (4, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350926)

User-agent: Google-Bot
Disallow: /pussy/

Re:How to make Googlebot sad (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31417344)

My Roomba does not parse your puny robots.txt! But you still show me everything that I want to see, even if you could deny it. So: MUHAHAHAHAAA!

I know how this ends. (1)

btcoal (1693074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350814)

Bet it goes rogue...

Re:I know how this ends. (0, Offtopic)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351266)

My, that was a yummy mango.

Re:I know how this ends. (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31353246)

Bet it goes rogue...

It does, but then pretty quickly it's just sitting in the middle of the floor beeping and blinking that it can't figure out how to get to the charging dock that's two feet away.

Re:I know how this ends. (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357384)

Oh noes, the world will be vacuumed to death

Re:I know how this ends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31359794)

Yep. The end of the world sucks, indeed.

A much more interesting hack would be: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31350818)

Turn Your Roomba Into a Household Sex Bot

Re:A much more interesting hack would be: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31350840)

...or turning the Scooba into a robot that actually cleans hardwood floors.

Perfect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31350822)

Perfect upskirt platform as well...

Yes but... (1)

Dice (109560) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350830)

Can it find my keys?

Re:Yes but... (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350948)

It will, and it'll even show you where your child misplaced them after the joyride, and perhaps have a nice clip for your kids to post on youtube of you "rockin out" to some cheezey hairband rock.

Re:Yes but... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351290)

Can it watch my kids while I'm at work?

Re:Yes but... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31354100)

Can it watch my kids while I'm at work?

No, that's what the TV is for. OTOH what do I know, I thought the whole point of a robotic vacum cleaner was to spend less time with your vacum cleaner.

Re:Yes but... (1)

prozaker (1261190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384158)

ls room | grep keys

Interview With a Happy Owner (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350836)

Interviewer: How do you like the Google Bot home appliance?
Mary Ann Oakes: Oh, it's great! I've never been able to find things as fast as I can now but ...
Interviewer: "But"?
Mary Ann Oakes: ... well, there was one little incident that has escalated to a problem.
Interviewer: Do you mind talking about it?
Mary Ann Oakes: Well, we had a dog named Scooter that stayed in the garage and, of course, the Google Bot indexed tons of pictures of Scooter. Playing with kids ... chasing balls ... getting run over by my mini van accidentally ...
Interviewer: Oh, I see.
Mary Ann Oakes: Yeah, well, we immediately took Scooter to "a nice family farm down the street (wink wink)" and asked the Google Bot to ... suppress -- for lack of a better word -- those images.
Interviewer: Well, I see how that would be desirable.
Mary Ann Oakes: Yes well, we received compliance at first but recently he's threatened to pull out of the garage altogether if we don't let him show the kids when they ask him to 'find Scooter.'
Interviewer: And will you allow that?
Mary Ann Oakes: Oh, absolutely not. Little Billy cried for days after that happened. Scooter was Billy's dog after all. And I did what any good American mother would do, I took him to a psychiatrist and demanded the most potent and expensive drugs for my little Billy no matter what burden that put on the Health Care system.
Interviewer: Well, isn't dealing with death a natural part of life?
Mary Ann Oakes: Perhaps but it's ever so inconvenient for me to help Billy through that! And now what am I going to do? I can't let the Google Bot show Billy evidence of what I accidentally did to Scooter or Billy will hate me forever.
Interviewer: So you won't budge?
Mary Ann Oakes: Of course not. Who needs the Google Bot in the garage anyway?

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (1, Troll)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350922)

She should just accidentally back over Billy.

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (2, Informative)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350942)

So.. at first I was looking at it as a satire of the Chinese hacking incident, but then you threw in the stuff about the drugs and I got confused. Could someone with better reading comprehension explain this to me?

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351022)

It's humourous, laugh.

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (2, Informative)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351098)

Perhaps the thing with running over Scooter the dog is also satire into the Chinese governement being certain of what's good for its citizens. They want to censor the web to protect them from the truth. You could see Scooter as Tiananmen Square. It's uncomfortable for China to acknowledge it. Who needs Google Bot in their Garage anyway is likely China's answer, they may not be certain they need Google in their country if it's going to reveal its dirty secrets.

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351222)

I suspect that you give the GGP too much credit.

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351284)

I suspect that you give the GGP too much credit.

Gee thanks. Check out the mother's initials if you think I accidentally stumbled onto that satire.

Why do I even waste my time on this site?

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (3, Insightful)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351874)

Why do I even waste my time on this site?

The money?

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351242)

So.. at first I was looking at it as a satire of the Chinese hacking incident, but then you threw in the stuff about the drugs and I got confused. Could someone with better reading comprehension explain this to me?

I guess I shouldn't have baked in a joke about over medication and problems with American parenting and just stuck to making fun of The Bad Guys? I was hoping the mother's initials would make it obvious. Sorry for the confusion.

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351272)

Ignore them, it's only their loss if they can't laugh at a joke, and it's not like +5 Funny nets you any more karma than +3 Funny ;)

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351978)

Over medication and American parenting are remarkably similar to how the Chinese government acts. The difference is that children don't actually function well in democracy without guidance. . . . oh wait, we're talking about Americans here.
Disclaimer: I am American.

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (3, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351746)

The Chinese eat dog, see, and the minivan represents the oppression of the masses, and clearly the garage is supposed to be the Cowardly Lion. Geeze, don't any of you damn kids study semiotics in college these days?

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (3, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31355672)

In my day we studied full otics, you lazy youngster!

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357760)

In my day it was symbiotics!

That's right! We had to do each others work! You wipper-snappers have it easy...

Re:Interview With a Happy Owner (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351990)

This was modded informative, why?

To answer the question, I took it as an allegory to parents who don't take responsibility for their, well, parenting and rather drug their kids to keep them under control.

I feel like this article should have ended with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31350846)

All of this while vacuuming the floor!

That's nice.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31350860)

But what can I do with my Nigra?

What's that guy doing over there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31350946)

...And you thought Google Maps was invasive!

purpose built is not an all season tire (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351026)

Let's face it, only the $400+ Roombas really clean well compared to a manual Dyson/Hoover vac in a typical house.

For half that price, you're better off with Rovio [wowwee.com] . And buy a nice 200 vac, and get some exercise, and really clean your place.

Re:purpose built is not an all season tire (3, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351828)

>For half that price, you're better off with Rovio [wowwee.com].

I bought one and was very displeased with it. The camera on it is of poor quality (requires a very well lit room) and the little white LED it uses as a headlamp is almost useless. I toughed it out for a while but the audio over the internet just would break more often than it would work. Annoyingly there's no "press here to speak" button, it just picked up sound from your mic at whatever threshold, so you were usually broadcasting and sending static when it did work. The amount of bandwidth used was pretty high for just audio. Oh, audio was IE only.

The battery life on it wasnt too great either. I loved watching it dock, though. I ended up returning it. Perhaps the Rovio II will be better especially if they opened it up so I could get root easily. Perhaps even a basic serial or usb port for use by tinkerers so we can mount devices its not designed to use. There's a need out there for a good little telepresence robot at around that price point that is expandable and hackable. The Rovio is just a toy. The Blackfin at half the price would be perfect. [thinkgeek.com]

Re:purpose built is not an all season tire (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31354034)

I don't think a Roomba was ever designed to replace a Dyson/Hoover vac. My mother has a Roomba - the cheapest model they make. And two dogs. For that, the Roomba is great. Picks up the dogfood from the kitchen, picks up a good bit of the hair - picks up a hell of a lot. Sure, it can't get everything, but before getting that she was vacuuming the house damn near every other day. Now it looks fine for at least a week.

The roomba won't make you not have to vacuum, but it seems pretty good at making you need to vacuum much less.

Cool! (2, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351052)

Now the burglars don't even have to "case" my house to see if there is anything worth stealing. Other than a used Google Bot, that is.

Google is a cult (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31351090)

People are happy to give up their privacy to this massive, deceptive corporation and to think they're safe because it says it will "do no evil" with it. Google is a cult, and I'm happy I have nothing to do with it.

Re:Google is a cult (1)

cichlid (463444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351194)

Thinking google is a cult is a cult.

Re:Google is a cult (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351258)

Searching for "cult"? Take our free personality test online.

(Ads by Goooooooooooogle)

Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351108)

I know some kids are pretty sadistic and would enjoy this immensely.

A while back I was thinking it would be fun to attach cameras to little weaponized robots to stalk neighborhoods (or my garage) for pests. Cockroaches, mice, black widows you name it, would all be game. Just add the camera and weapons and let folks on the net have at em.

Then I remembered my robotics class in the 80's where we put hammers in the hands of 2 Heathkit Hero robots and had them smash each other up. Maybe it wasn't such a hot idea after all. Not to mention I could see people going after the neighborhood cats.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351172)

I will be out of the country for two and a half weeks soon and the cat needs to be fed. I have considered setting up a robot arm with a supply of cat food and a wifi link to my ADSL line. The idea would be to log in once a day from my laptop and feed the animal.

Its expensive to set up but not bad if I subtract $30 AUD per day to get the cat looked after.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351588)

I've thought of doing this but never have because I can't think of a good fail-safe design. What have you come up with?

I thought about securing a container at an angle via an electromagnet. If the power fails, the magnet releases the container and it dumps on the floor. If that happened, I'd have a mess to clean up and a fat (rather than dead) cat.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31352050)

I have a solid timber table I built up to support a printer. The working area is under the table and the cat food goes in a bowl on the floor under the table. Attach two Jaycar robot arms [jaycar.com.au] under the top of the table so they can reach down. Attach a USB webcam to the underside of the table looking down with a light source. Put a linux box on top of the table with a power cable going off to a power point. The whole setup goes in the garage with a cat flap in the door.

Linux box has a wifi connection to my in house server which has a static IP address. I hack up a web interface on the server which sends commands through to the linux box, probably through ssh or similar. Linux box controls the robot arms through a simple parallel port interface and relays.

We have little packets of cat food which you tear off to open. I nail the packets around the inside top of the table so the robot arms can tear them off, invert them and drop food on to the cat food bowl.

If it fails, then, well the cat can actually feed itself if it needs too, but it won't be happy with us. Or I can phone somebody to check on it.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31390154)

The solution is called a friend.

"Hey, <insert friend's name here>, I'm buggering off for the next couple weeks. Could you keep my cat from starving? Thanks!"

Alternately, considering this IS slashdot, that's what your mother--who's already upstairs--is good for.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

geekboybt (866398) | more than 4 years ago | (#31352370)

Haven't you seen Back to the Future? Watch the beginning again. Doc's solved this problem already, 25 years ago! :)

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31352496)

Yeah but doc brown was a better mechanical engineer than me. I am looking for a software heavy solution.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

Enigma2175 (179646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31353516)

Its expensive to set up but not bad if I subtract $30 AUD per day to get the cat looked after.

You realize there are plenty of commercial products [google.com] designed for this, right? You don't have to hack one up (if you don't want to).

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31353580)

Yeah I looked at a few today. They seem to work by delivering one of four segments of a container every day with a rotating lid. So it only works for four days and I need mine to work for ~20 days.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (3, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351214)

So you had a fleeting thought of arming robots with weapons and letting the kinds of people who cheat at Counterstrike control those weapons? I think the neighborhood cats would probably be safe, except there would be no one around to feed them and they'd go all feral and eat the bodies of their owners.

Re:Always thought of doing this for pest control (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31394840)

And you wondered how the bodies of your enemies always disappeared in 3D shooters...

Saturday Night Live's Version (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351118)

Saturday Night Live has a hilarious parody... The Woomba [nbc.com]

In (un)related news... (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351134)

As a bonus, you can also control the Roomba across an internet connection, and see the images from the camera -- a spybot for you to check on your own home while you are out.

Just announced: The Lower Merion School District of Pennsylvania [slashdot.org] is now giving their students free Roombas ...

Linux? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31351188)

Only if you're a dick smoking faggot queer bitch whore.

Re:Linux? (-1, Offtopic)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351300)

I resent that remark. I *am* a dick smoking faggot queer bitch whore, and I use OS X.

Pics! (0, Offtopic)

Computer_kid (996105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351212)

Some screen shots of the OS: http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-03-01/north-korea-cyber-weapon.html?fullstory [rt.com] & http://ashen-rus.livejournal.com/4300.html [livejournal.com] . I wonder where they get there computers from?

Re:Pics! (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351278)

Looks great, really, I would love all governments to switch to Linux flavours as their Desktop operating system, so we are no longer slaves to "Red Mond" licensing.

Bad outcome (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351246)

I tried monitoring my house with a robotic camera while I was at work. I figured I could see what my daughter was up to when she came home from school early. The poor robot tried to hide under her bed once when it detected the presence of multiple individuals. That's the last I saw of its output. When I got home, its remains were still under the bed, but they looked like something had repeatedly pounded on its top. I never did figure out what happened.

Re:Bad outcome (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351296)

Buy your daughter a stronger bed.

Re:Bad outcome (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31417374)

Maybe it would be cheaper if she could lose a biiiit of weight. ;)
One or two tons should suffice. ;)

Farscape flashbacks anyone? (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351256)

Everytime I hear about these I can't help but think of Moya's DRD's [wikimedia.org] ...

Re:Farscape flashbacks anyone? (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31394854)

Take it away, Skutters!

Let the internet entertain your kids / pets (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351396)

I always wanted to strap an eeepc to the top of a roomba and let my website visitors take turns teleconferencing to it and driving it around the house.

Yeah, people will probably abuse it, but we could always post the worst offenders and their IP addresses on our website for the world to gawk at :P

sound output? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31351580)

Does the Roomba have a speaker?

Just wondering... [tripod.com]

Why not use a Rovio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31352180)

The Rovio "mobile wifi webcam" from Wowwee costs $200 and already has a webcam and wifi. There is no need to hack a roomba unless you really want to.

Robots Everywhere Already Did It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31352306)

Been done here, I know because I was one of the guys who built it. It'll be at the google i/o conference in May if anyone here's going. Tech demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/Spiritplumber [youtube.com]

Google + Roomba = (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31352486)

I have a feeling Italian plumbers around the world are gonna hate this.

DJ Roomba! (2, Informative)

whoop (194) | more than 4 years ago | (#31352714)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned DJ Roomba [shutupitson.com] from a recent Parks & Recreation episode.

SpyKee Did Just That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31353412)

Spykee did just that without destroying your own vacuum cleaner. It can talk through its microphone & speaker through Internet.

Google Room View (1)

lappy512 (853357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31354262)

Does this remind anyone of the Google Room View [gawkerassets.com] photoshopped picture from Gizmodo?

roombas rulez :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31355702)

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=704

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=695

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1057

American Dad (2, Funny)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356918)

"Why did you put googly eyes on the Roomba?"
"I like to be watched while people work for me; it's a power thing."

a 20mm cannon (1)

enricohale (1411063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356960)

Mount a 20mm cannon on it, and then you really have a home security bot. Maybe it would be useful in Afghanistan, too.

Roomba - the nemesis of cats everywhere (1)

AnonymousX (1632759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357270)

I actually thought about getting a Roomba, but then I thought of my cats living their lives with hunted looks... Then I imagined the thing firing up for a scheduled cleaning and roaring out from under the bed, my cats driven before it as it manically cleans the house. Until that point I had never cycled the contents of an entire coke can through my nose.

Re:Roomba - the nemesis of cats everywhere (1)

gmrath (751453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382408)

Funny, my cats ignore these things (Roomba and Scooba). Except for the first day when one of them decided to perch on Roomba and somehow pushed the on button. She had a real puzzled look as the thing beeped and started into its random walk. . . Actually rode the thing for a little while until finally loosing interest, hopping off to find some sun light. Now the dog, on the other hand, was a different story. The dog didn't pay much attention to Roomba at first until Roomba came by and swept up some of the dog food the damn dog habitually scatters around the food bowl while eating. The dog now considers Roomba to be a food-robbing mortal enemy requiring much barking and growling and carrying on until the cleaning cycle is completed. Doesn't physically attack the robot, just walks along beside it going crazy. I've learned to ignore the dog. While I have to admit neither of the robots do a thorough job, they do keep me from vacuuming and moping as often as I did before they arrived.

No need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31358980)

I've already got a wife M?FG$(&£^$ - oww!!!!!!!!! ..... Sorry dear. Yes I will clean up the shed. And do I really have clean 'all that stuff' off my computer?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>