The iRobot Roomba series of autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners was first introduced back in 2002, and has been a favorite appliance of lazy people ever since. Significant advances have been made over the years to help the little robots clean your home more thoroughly and efficiently. But none of those advances have allowed the Roomba to tackle its greatest nemesis: a flight of stairs. Fortunately, Peter Sripol managed to succeed where iRobot has failed, and built a flying robotic vacuum cleaner that can reach any floor in the house.
Before we get any angry letters from lawyers: no, this wasn’t built using an actual Roomba. But that tissue you’re using might not be a Kleenex and the adhesive bandage on your arm might not be a Band-Aid, yet you still call them that. This is a cheap knockoff robotic vacuum cleaner from Amazon that is branded as a “Pure Clean.” It doesn’t perform as well as an actual Roomba, but it was much more affordable. The Pure Clean robotic vacuum cleaner does, however, have a set of sensors that is similar to an entry-level Roomba. That includes a ledge sensor that keeps it from tumbling down a flight of stairs.
To get the Pure Clean robot airborne, Sripol first covered up that sensor so that the robot wouldn’t go haywire as soon as it left the ground. He then added a more substantial battery, a drone flight controller, and a trio of motors and turbine-style props. Those are attached to the vacuum with 3D-printed mounts. With those upgrades, the robot vacuum cleaner is fully capable of flying around a home — though it is piloted manually. The vacuuming functionality has also remained intact, so it can still be used as it was originally intended. If iRobot is lucky, maybe they can license this technology from Sripol and finally overcome those pesky stairs.