The Perfect Christmas Gift - From The Strategic Perspective

Roomba is an autonomous vacuum-cleaning robot - it cleans all rooms, then returns back to the docking station for charging. It works remarkably well - even cats love it. You can just give it as christmas gift to your mother, girlfriend or wife, without mentioning it real capabilities :-).

Although it comes with a remote control and it is fun to observe it - the fun part starts after reading the Hacking Roomba: ExtremeTech book. A hint: you should not order both at the same time, otherwise your girlfriend / wife *will* become suspicious. 

You could pimp-up your vacuum cleaner with WI-FI, Bluetooth, even Linux etc.

The only problem is to find useful use cases for hacking it. Some ideas:

  1. Vacuum-cleaning robot swarm :-)
  2. Peer-To-Peer communication between Roombas. Having a certain Roomba density one could even built an alternative ad-hoc network :-)
  3. Roomba has a remote control, so after equipping it with a web cam, it becomes a perfect spy toy / drone.
  4. ...any other ideas? 


Interesting but one correction: In English, XMas has no meaning. We use Christmas. Thanks.

Posted by Peter Perry on December 22, 2009 at 06:25 PM CET #

Interesting blog, but one correction: In English, the X in Xmas has no meaning. Christmas is the correct spelling. Thanks.

Posted by Peter Perry on December 22, 2009 at 06:29 PM CET #


thanks - I replaced every occurrence of xmas with christmas - hope it is o.k.

I wish you merry christmas and happy new year!,


Posted by Adam Bien on December 22, 2009 at 07:48 PM CET #

@Peter - maybe you should check your dictionary first before making comments:

Main Entry: Xmas
Pronunciation: \ˈkris-məs also ˈeks-məs\
Function: noun
Etymology: X (symbol for Christ, from the Greek letter chi (X), initial of Christos Christ) + -mas (in Christmas)
Date: 1551

: christmas

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.

Posted by Ela on December 23, 2009 at 09:59 AM CET #


thanks - an interesting background of "xmas",

then - merry Xmas and happy new year!,


Posted by Adam Bien on December 23, 2009 at 06:36 PM CET #

A good definition can be found on

Can a Roomba be hacked so that it can detect intruders in your house?

By the way, a p2p communication mechanism amongst them wouldn't allow an army of Roombas to be made? :)


Posted by Gregório Enrico Linhares de Melo on December 23, 2009 at 08:02 PM CET #


it really could. This is actually a good reason to buy a scooba :-).

thanks - Merry X-Mas, Christmas and Happy happy = new Year(2010),


Posted by Adam Bien on December 23, 2009 at 08:26 PM CET #

5. Mobile BitTorrent-Client - Catch it if you can ;-)

Great idea Adam, but too late for this Christmas, maybe next i will buy me one. Have a nice Christmas.

Posted by Siegfried on December 24, 2009 at 05:00 PM CET #

Maybe you can attach a temperature sensor to it, so it can measure temperature in all parts of your house (as opposed to the stationary sensor which only measures temperature in one room), and then send the data over WiFi to GlassFish, and improve the accuracy of Greenfire based on more accurate temperature data?

Posted by Petr Jiricka on January 04, 2010 at 11:08 AM CET #


thanks - a good idea. Greenfire is working for about 3 years now - and I forgot actually how it is working. It was a PoC for Java EE 5. I guess it is time to start over and re-implement it with Java EE 6. Let see :-).

thanks && happy new year!,


Posted by Adam Bien on January 05, 2010 at 05:57 PM CET #

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