Tuesday, March 5, 2024

An engineer turned robotic vacuum cleaner into a drone

Roomba robot vacuum cleaners are self-driving cleaners that can independently drive around the house and remove trash and dirt. Advanced models can map a house and remember already taken places, but they are often not able to overcome obstacles – thresholds or stairs.

To solve this problem, engineers turned a robotic vacuum cleaner into a three propellers drone that can fly over obstacles in its path. An autonomous vacuum cleaner is also able to rise to the heights of several centimeters. A video demonstrating the capabilities of the robot was published on the YouTube channel of engineer Peter Sripol, who modified the Roomba vacuum robot.

Sripol created this flying RoboVac vacuum cleaner by adding a trio of ducted fans. The ability to fly allows it to overcome various obstacles and clean the whole house – regardless of how many floors it has. Watch the flying Roomba in action in the video given below.

However, the flying is not autonomous, you still need to control the flight with a remote, just like you’d do with a regular drone. Besides, you probably wouldn’t want it to clean your home anyway. As Sripol quickly found out, the propellers kick up more of a mess than the Roomba cleaned in the first place.

The only reason behind this experiment was to see if adding fans, a motor, and an extra battery would be enough to make the robot vacuum fly. The flying Roomba doesn’t look attractive that you would like to buy; it is just a proof-of-concept than anything else.