Roomba, meet the Wiimote

Hacker uses remote to clean house

Already bored with playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on your new Wii? You might try using using the console's already legendary remote to control a household robot.

One person who did just that is a young man named Chris Hughes, who hacked the Roomba vacuum cleaner so that he could make the rugbot do his bidding. And he's posted the modified source code online so that you can do the same.

Hughes, who bears a strong resemblance to Matt Damon, offers a quick intro to the Wii-Roomba hack in a YouTube video that can be found on the Web site, along with the modified code. It's not exactly Nascar--the Roomba edges forward and back a few inches, and does a slo-mo spin or two, as Hughes moves the Wii remote. But hey, it is just a demo.

And it's bound to appeal to the Roomba hackers Hughes is addressing. "As you guys can see, that is pretty flippin' awesome," he says in the video.

Hughes also gives a shout-out to fellow code jockey and Roomba specialist Tod Kurt. "He's got great Java libraries."

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.


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