In 2007 iRobot released a Costco-exclusive (evidently,) Roomba 551. In 2013 my oldest started riding the Roomba. When the next one came along a couple of years later, she did as well. Some time along the way the battery died and was replaced, and some parts were replaced that aged out, the side spinner motor stripped gears, the main cage broke, the dirt sensor rusted out, and the beast eventually just sat there doing nothing for the past few years.
Aided by the fact that I get things to review and that playing “Find the damned Roomba” was not a game I was having fun playing any more, the Roomba 551 sat around for a few years doing nothing. I’d pass it and think of the fun times my kids in a Bumbo seat sitting on top of it being ridden around and yeah.
Decided to order a new battery recently as the last one lasted 20 seconds and refused to charge beyond that. New battery arrived and discovered the brush motor was pretty much gone, ordered a new brush assembly and side sweeper and revived the old Roomba to its former glory.
The kids are a little too large for it now however. Kind of amazing how easy it is to work on those things.
I’ve now got dual floor robot vacuum tech and… once again playing games of “Find the Roomba” but in a smaller area (just my bedroom/office area,) fewer Barbie shoes to dig out.
Just a random kids and tech intersect story. I probably would not have resurrected it had it not been my kiddos’ noble steed.
(article picture is me and D.J. Roomba from a few years back, yes, that D.J. Roomba)