No matter how useful today’s robot vacuums are, they’ll always be defeated by an element common to many households: stairs. That’s why this flying robovac, built by YouTuber and engineer Peter Sripol, is so impressive. By adding a trio of ducted fans to a cheap robot vacuum, Sripol has created a gadget nerd’s dream — and a nightmare for your pets.
A flying Roomba isn’t necessarily a practical tool, though, as Sripol’s video demonstrates. The downdraft created by its fans seems to make more mess than the vacuum itself cleans up, and the flying is not autonomous — you need a human pilot to steer it where you want to go. It’s also pricey, with Sripol noting that the electronics he bought for the project total around $200, more than triple the cost of the original vacuum.
Still, it is a viable proof-of-concept, and shows that if you really want a Roomba that can navigate stairs, you can just strap some propellors to it. And at least it’s more practical than the Roomba created by YouTuber Michael Reeves that screams when it bumps into things. Now that will really encourage you to just get up and do some vacuuming yourself.