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April 22, 2005

RoboMaid — Poor Man's Roomba

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Sure, you could pay $280 for the newest tricked-out vacuuming robot but why would you want to when for $10 — that's correct, $10, you are not hallucinating — you can have its poorer but still great fun cousin?

I bought a Roomba for a dear, now-departed girlfriend (full disclosure: she kept the Roomba) and she loved it.

So when I got word of this low-priced version (above) I didn't believe it, at first: how can something with this kind of technology built in sell for $10 and still make money for the manufacturer?

After buying one and watching it in action — as I type these letters it's rolling around on my bedroom floor, picking up dust with its electrostatic pad by the second — I still don't understand how they can sell it so cheaply.

Watch the movie on the website and see for yourself.

For your ten bucks you get:

• A cleaning frame

• A robotic ball with a built-in brain

• An AC battery charger

• 8 electrostatic cleaning pads

Here's what you do:

1) Charge the robotic ball for 3-5 hours

2) Attach a cleaning pad to the Velcro tabs on the underside of the frame

3) Place the cleaning frame in the center of the room

4) Push the green button on the ball to select one of three pre-programmed cleaning times: 30, 60, or 90 minutes. Note that the time selected appears on the ball's little LCD display

5) Insert the robotic ball in the cleaning frame

That's it: the thing starts roaming around your room picking up dust and continues until the preselected time is up, when it automatically shuts off.

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Toss the disposable pad and take a deep breath: nice!

A lot better than destroying your lungs with a Sharper Image Ionic Breeze™.

Bonus: if you're not allowed to have a pet where you live RoboMaid can be a nice substitute.

Here's what you do:

1) Give it a name

2) Scotch tape a picture of your favorite animal on top

3) Instant pet!

[via Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools]

April 22, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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