Sunday, May 17, 2009

Roomba art [Sunday shout-out]

In the past week this photo from signaltheorist has made its way around the internets: 

It's a 30-minute exposure of a Roomba's quasi-random cleaning path (the spiral part was the starting point). In case you're not familiar with Roombas, they're robotic vacuum cleaners from iRobot. People get very excited about their Roombas. They make videos of their cats riding around on Roombas. They dress the little gadgets up as horny toads or in Santa hats. They hack them. And they argue about the efficiency and randomness of the path taken by a Roomba.

But lately, people have been making cool art with Roombas, too. 

"Battery… dying…" by wonder wombat on Flickr. 

This 13-minute exposure captured the the Roomba's light changing from green to yellow as its battery power dropped.

"Robot art" by zim2411 on Flickr. 
And this one is actually a composite of 30-second images taken with a ceiling-mounted camera during 40 minutes of a Roomba's run. 

But Roomba owners won't stop with just photography. Nope. This Roomba makes a pretty cool Spirograph:

With all the Roomba hacking that goes on, I was surprised that I didn't find many more Roomba art projects out there. I mean, there are only 11 images in the Roomba Art pool on Flickr! Did I miss some? Let me know in the comments. 


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