This week’s selection is the Roomba Riser by Steve Harvey.
Canada-based Harvey solved a common household problem facing Roomba owners. Roomba, of course, is the ubiquitous robot vacuum that prowls the floors of many homes.
The Roomba is a low-slung device that allows it to more-or-less cover most of the floor in a given space. It’s programmed to avoid obstacles and in particular stairways and other drops. But having owned one myself for a time, I know there is one Roomba scenario that is particularly infuriating.
The issue occurs when you have a piece of furniture that is slightly too low for the Roomba to safely proceed underneath. This height is high enough to permit dust bunnies to enter and breed, yet too low for the Roomba to enter. Many furniture pieces are so low that dust essentially does not collect, but this scenario is not like that.
The Roomba operator must then pull out manual tools to perform the under-couch cleaning, and it’s frustrating because one has spent considerable money for a robot that apparently can’t do the job.
Harvey has come up with the answer, and it’s surprisingly simple and practical: 3D print “risers” for the legs of the furniture. In the image at top, you can see how it works. The design of this riser precisely matches the furniture leg, and Harvey explained that there is a hidden peg in the middle to ensure the riser is aligned with the leg.
Hold on, won’t this 3D print disintegrate with the weight of a human payload on top of the furniture? It turns out this actually doesn’t happen at all, simply because the 3D print is printed in layers that are parallel to the ground: the lasers simply stack up and take the weight. In a Reddit post, commenter inu-no-policemen brilliantly said:
“It’s kinda like how you can easily break a piece of plywood with your hands, but standing on it doesn’t really do anything.”
Thus it should be possible for anyone with reasonable design skills to create custom risers for their Roomba-challenged furniture. Even better, one design usually fits all legs, so you design only once.
There is no 3D model to download here as every furniture leg could be different, and so it’s up to you to design the riser for your furniture.
That should not be a problem for most tech-focused Roomba owners.