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Etech 06, Part 2: Roomba Hacking

Category: Self-indulgence

Although I went to Etech this year to talk about sketching in hardware in theory, theory rapidly and surprisingly turned into practice the evening of the Maker Fair. Phil Torrone of Make challenged Tod Kurt, who is responsible for the Roomba serial and bluetooth hacks in Make, to an impromptu three-way Roomba "cockfight" (interpret that as you will, but it was Phil's term ;-). With Phil driving one Roomba, Tod driving the other, and Jeff Han driving a third one (using a Tod bluetooth puck) an impromptu game of Roomba sumo wrestling (with the "ring" defined as the edges of a table) commenced. As this was a Make Magazine event, people immediately started decorating the Roombas and inventing rules for the game. It was excellently geeky: Tod wrote control code in the 30-second pauses between bouts and Jeff strapped a camera to the top of one of the Roombas, capturing some terrific crash footage.

Here are photos:


It looks like the idea has now spread to SXSW (I suspect Phil):

Again, watch this space for more info. More Roomba games to come! Go Tod!

[Update: Phil has posted a link to some videos of the event]

[Update 2: One Phil's Roombas has sacrificed itself--or, really, it was sacrificed--to the cause of drunken vaccum/robot-based videogame parody. Go Phil and Limor!]


Cool. This should be called a Roomble.

Heh... Someone else has already used the term:


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