How Roomba Caused a 'Pooptastrophe'

Robotic vacuum maker rapped for spreading filth; rep says 'we see this a lot'
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2016 7:59 AM CDT
How Roomba Caused a ‘Pooptastrophe’
You can program the Roomba to vacuum while you sleep but beware if you have pets.   (Photo: Business Wire)

It seemed like a good idea. While his family slept, Jesse Newton programmed his Roomba to vacuum the living room of their Little Rock house. It seemed like a "lifesaver" with 4-year-old son Evan leaving crumbs everywhere and 1-year-old puppy Evie shedding fur, wife Kelly Newton told BuzzFeed. What the Newtons didn’t count on was the pooch leaving a package in Roomba’s path. When Jessie Newton awoke one morning this month, “every conceivable surface” was coated in dog waste resembling a "Jackson Pollock poop painting," he wrote on Facebook. "It will be on your floorboards. It will be on your furniture legs. It will be on your carpets. It will be on your rugs." Newton helpfully posted a graphic of the destruction. "Those awesome wheels, which have a checkered surface for better traction, left 25-foot poop trails all over the house."

It turns out the Roomba’s reputation as a filth-spreader is quite well-known. The Guardian interviewed several victims. “It’s awful,” one woman complained. "The poop gets stuck in these tiny treads in the wheels, gets sucked inside and in all the brushes." Another man said he suspected his pug Alice was deliberately pooping in the Roomba's path. It turns out makers at iRobot were not surprised. "Quite honestly, we see this a lot," a spokesman tells the Guardian. "We generally tell people to try not to schedule your vacuum if you know you have dogs that may create such a mess. With animals anything can happen." (Want more weird poop news? This company's poop investigation cost it $2.2 million.)

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