What Happens When a Roomba Goes 35 Miles Per Hour?

If you make the world’s fastest Roomba you have to call it a Vroomba. Those are just the rules of robotic vacuum racing. Thankfully, YouTuber electrosync understands. He managed to get an older model up to a speed of 35 miles per hour by modifying the wheels, batteries, motors, and pretty much everything else. That is so much faster than the standard speed (usually less than one mile per hour) that he also had to add an anti-wheelie device to keep it from flipping over. Check out the mod in the video below, which also includes plenty of footage of the Roomba zipping by at top speed.

We saw this thanks to Laughing Squid. The YouTuber in question first did some research into other videos that purported to show the world’s fastest Roomba. Based on that analysis, he determined the current record to be set at eight miles per hour. His combination of lighter batteries, 3D-printed wheels, and larger motors quickly surpassed that speed. Not content with 22 mph, the tinkering continued. The Bluetooth GPS mounted to the vacuum eventually measured the speed at 35 mph. While one of the qualifications for the build was that it still functions as a vacuum (in short, that it sucks), we can’t imagine that a Roomba traveling that fast would actually clean up any mess. But that’s okay, it’s fun to watch nonetheless.

Testing a Roomba on a road modified with bigger wheels and other parts

The electrosync YouTube channel has lots of other 3D-printed and remote control modification videos. One of them includes another Roomba build that turned one into a pool cleaner. There’s also plenty of other neat vacuum mods out there, including a combination Roomba and Star Wars astromech droid as well as one that sorts LEGO bricks. All of these builds may suck, but that’s part of why they’re so fun to watch.

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.

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