Minimum viable height

We have had our Roomba, we named it George, for a couple of months now and for the most part it is great. Neither Kate nor I are what you might call neat freaks. We are getting better about putting things away and having specific places for things to go, but we don’t obsess about cleaning.

We have setup a schedule for George to run Mon, Wed, and Fri at 9am. This time works fine for us as we are generally working at our desks and George is only cleaning the main floor. I can hear them banging around upstairs but for the most part the noise fades into the background.

We have learned to make a few adjustments to the room when George is operating, namely we put the bar stools on one of the dinning room benches. The stools have metal rods for legs which curve at the bottom, run parallel to each other on the floor, and then curve back up to the seat. The size of the rods are just small enough for George to drive over, and in many cases get high centered and stuck. It’s funny to watch until you realize it could cause damage to itself. So we do the bar stool dance.

The bigger adjustment we have made is with the minimum viable height of the furniture on the main floor. George, and most Roomba’s, are about 3 inches tall but there is an Infra Red(IR) sensor on the front that sticks up another half inch. So the height is 3.5 inches. In order for George to maneuver under the sofa and chairs their height needs to be more than 3.5 inches.

This was an immediate issue with the sofa. The height of the bottom of the sofa was close to 4 inches but this sofa has two spring bars that curve down under the 3.5 inch minimum viable height. They curve so low that if George rolls under them just right they get stuck.

After fishing George from under the couch a few times Kate found some sofa replacement feet. These would be a few inches taller than the existing feet and raise the sofa up more than enough to achieve the minimum viable height. Hooray, problem solved!

Almost, this morning I get a message from George that they were experiencing an error. After a short search I discovered them stuck under a chair. I guess we need to raise the chair up a few inches.

These are clearly serious first world problems. 🤦🏽‍♂️


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