TC Makers: An Evening With iRobot

Deep in the wilds outside of Boston a team of mad scientists created the ultimate in robotic life: the iRobot Roomba, the ubiquitous, world-famous automatic vacuum that, for many of us, is our first brush with autonomous robotics. The Roomba’s brains came from a military minesweeper, its parts came from kids’ toys, and its mission – to clean up after us puny humans – came from a robotic floor waxer. In short, the Roomba is the culmination of years of research and is one of the most complex and coolest robots we’ve seen.

To mark the launch of the Roomba 800 series I took a walk down random access memory lane with Colin Angle, CEO and founder of iRobot. The affable, wry head of an international corporation lit up as he described the work that went into the Roomba and how the company solved the problem of hair tangling in the Roomba’s brushes. You have to see it to appreciate the dedication this guy has to sucking dirt off of your living room floor.

In this episode of TechCrunch Makers we discuss what it takes to build a cool new consumer product from the ground up and how hard it was to solve the age-old problem of dog hair. Enjoy!