The Arc of a Roomba Romance : The Bryant Park Project Video: The arc of a Roomba romance.
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The Arc of a Roomba Romance

There seems to be no shortage of people wanting to dress up their Roombas for Halloween. For me, at least, the best thing I ever did with my Roomba was video blog with it when I first got mine three years ago. Perhaps it was just the excitement of finally having my very own robot, but I was more enthusiastic about using the Roomba as a wandering video tripod than I was about cleaning my floors with it. (Click the pic to play a clip.)

Video thumbnail. Click to play

Once I got over this little obsession, I finally started using the Roomba for its stated purpose — cleaning the floors. I'd hoped it could help us manage our chronic cat hair problem, since our two cats seem to be caught in a perpetual molting season that's lasted over six years now.

At first, the Roomba did a fine job, but the cat hair fought back valiantly.

If we ever missed a single day of vacuuming with the Roomba, the cat hair would be too plentiful, causing the Roomba's innards to get clogged until it started revolving in a pathetic death spiral. Most of the time I could fix it by flipping it upside down and using the Roomba's cleaning tools to scrape the hair out, but I soon realized that I was spending more time cleaning the Roomba than if I'd just used our upright vacuum to clean the floors in the first place.

But I kept at it — that is, until the Roomba died after six months or so. My little robot was still under warranty, though, so after a quick phone call I had a replacement Roomba shipped to me in less than 24 hours. Even so, my enthusiasm for the Roomba had been sapped. The joy of watching it scour the floors and chase our cats had waned. With each passing month, it seemed to do a weaker job of dealing with that meddlesome cat hair.

In the end, I had to take extreme action. I waxed my carpet with duct tape.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.