Sunday, 26 February 2012

Welcome to the future

As a child of the 1980s as well as an unhealthy fear of nuclear war I grew up with various things which were constantly on my mind. I've always been interested in technology, it's applications and impact on society as a whole and to individuals.

For a while the shows like 'Tomorrows world', cartoons, the news and mainstream cinema made one thing clear, pretty soon we'll all have a robot in our house to do our bidding, whatever that may be at the time.

So towards the end of last year while browsing ebay I decided to bid on a robot I could have at home. For ~£50 I picked up an iRobot Roomba 530, sold as needing a replacement battery.

The Roomba is a circular robot which vacuums the floor. This is ideal for me, I can switch it on each day before I leave for work and it'll vacuum my flat, return to it's docking bay to recharge and all I have to do is empty it a removable section where the dust is stored into my bin. So while I'm getting paid to cut code and solve problems, the roomba is cleaning my flat.

A good clean (seriously, if you're going to sell stuff on ebay at least clean the items before you post them to someone) and a replacement battery was required before it was up and running.

This is a good start, but I want more from this device. I have a terrible habit of always wanting to modify or hack things I buy, the roomba is no exception.

This blog will start out with me describing my investigations into roomba hacks/mods. My basic research so far shows that with some basic DIY skills it's possible to add functionality to my roomba, some of which exists on newer more advanced (and expensive) models, some of which iRobot don't even support yet.

My next post will contain a breakdown of the roomba, outline the mods I initially plan on implementing,

I feel that a fitting way to end this introductory post is to sign off with a video combining Robots, Tomorrows world and Kraftwerk. So here's Kraftwerk's robots from around about 1991 (the Mix tour) on Tomorrows world:

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