Roomba, Economics and Long-Exposure Photography

Hi Reddit! – DigitalOSH

Earlier this weekend I picked up a Roomba, as my old vacuum cleaner bit the dust(ha!) after an altercation with a shoelace. Like any good geek, I immediately went online to see what kind of modifications I could make to this little beast. What I ended up finding out was that iRobot, the company that makes the Roomba, actually promotes and encourages hacking the devices, even offering the tools to do so. This made me wonder about the business sense behind it, and, in my eyes, it’s quite good. This is all I’ve been able to think of so far, please add if you think of anything else.

Pros:

  • -Consumers end up designing functional modifications, which can be used in later versions of the device
  • -Hacking voids your warranty, thereby reducing warranty claims
  • -Revenue from sales of hacking tools/interfaces
  • -Active community promotes the product

Cons:

  • -Brand diluted by other items under Roomba name
  • -Brand may get an image of being complicated

I’m sure I’m missing some obvious ones here, please comment. Now here’s something interesting:

Now here’s something interesting, I set up a photo camera in my room, turned out all the lights and took a long-exposure shot of my roomba doing it’s thing for about 30 minutes. The result is a picture that shows the path of the roomba through it’s cleaning cycle, it looks like a flight map or something. It really hits every spot!

I’m such a yuppie. It hurts me.
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