Technology

This flying robot vacuum overcomes the Roomba’s biggest weakness: stairs

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…

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