18 Jul '11, 7pm

Tricked out Roomba can evaluate air quality AND clean under the sofa!

Tricked out Roomba can evaluate air quality AND clean under the sofa!

Researchers at the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science have kitted out a Roomba -- you know, one of those robotic vacuum cleaners that cats ride around on and act out Citizen Kane -- to evaluate air quality . Lights on the Roomba indicate the presence of evaporated alcohol, and a long-exposure photo, above, can show which parts of a room are clean and which are fumey. Blue lights in the above photo mean that the robot detected polluted air. A roving robot could give a better sense of a room's air quality than a stationary sensor, and researchers plan to outfit future Roombas with the ability to detect other air quality hazards such as formaldehyde. (No, they're not worried about rogue morticians -- formaldehyde is present in a lot of wood furniture and can exacerbate asthma.) If you want to test your own air, get ready to shoo that cat off the Roomba -- the l...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-07-18-in-the-future-cleani...

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