Intelligent Machines

Hacking the Roomba

A peek at the simple brain and sensors of the autonomous robot phenomenon.

May 1, 2006

Two MIT grads and a professor took simple materials and rules and came up with the first autonomous robot to become a household phenomenon in the United States, the Roomba.

Roomba, the robot that’s cleaning up. (Credit: Christopher Harting.)

[Click here to see our “hack” of the Roomba’s various components. Move the cursor over a letter (A through E) on the device to read a full description of that component.]