Like it's proud of itself.
November 30, 2016 10:44 AM   Subscribe

 
As a proud non-pet owner, this seems more like a problem with the dog than with the Roomba. You take the dog out of the equation, and the Roomba is doing exactly what it's supposed to.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:48 AM on November 30, 2016 [11 favorites]


God, you only have to read the title of that to know exactly how that's going to play out.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2016 [13 favorites]


....and the Roomba is doing exactly what it's supposed to.

Well, to be fair, "vacuum" is what it's supposed to do.

Not "paint the house and its contents brown."
posted by zarq at 10:51 AM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is this supposed to be a metaphor for 2016?
posted by fnerg at 10:51 AM on November 30, 2016 [100 favorites]


If you ran a normal vacuum over some fresh poop and then all around a room it would end up the exact same way. The Roomba is the real victim here.
posted by bizwank at 10:52 AM on November 30, 2016 [17 favorites]


The Roomba is the real victim here.

I'm sick if your vacuum-centric worldview that completely discounts the carpet's victimhood. #JusticeForCarpet #ItsBeneathYouButNotInferior
posted by hippybear at 10:56 AM on November 30, 2016 [43 favorites]


As a proud non-pet owner, this seems more like a problem with the dog than with the Roomba. You take the dog out of the equation, and the Roomba is doing exactly what it's supposed to.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:48 PM on November 30 [+] [!]


1) What a weird thing to be proud of.
2)The situation was never phrased that the roomba was a problem it was a warning to all other roomba owners about the possibility of your entire living space being covered in a thin layer of fecal matter while you sleep.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:59 AM on November 30, 2016 [17 favorites]


But why was the Roomba bleeding?!?!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:01 AM on November 30, 2016


I bought my Roomba from Hammacher Schlemmer! I've advised others to do the same. I feel good about my choice to pay 50 bucks more than Amazon was asking for the same model. This story is horrifying.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:05 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


If this happened to me, the Roomba would not have been accidentally destroyed in the bathtub so much as intentionally drowned. And would not have been replaced, no matter what kind of warranty was available.

What makes this scenario even worse is that people who own (and use) Roombas tend to be pretty meticulous about housekeeping, at least in my experience. Exactly the type to be most horrified by a scenario involving every surface in the lower 3 inches of a room covered in dog poop. (It sounds like there was a lot of it. I wonder how big the puppy is?)
posted by TedW at 11:09 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is this supposed to be a metaphor for 2016?

2016: The year the shit hit the Roomba.
posted by Kabanos at 11:09 AM on November 30, 2016 [38 favorites]


"I see a clean floor and I want it painted brown" – Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Dyson
posted by zippy at 11:16 AM on November 30, 2016 [44 favorites]


The year the shit hit the Roomba.

This is SO MUCH WORSE than shit hitting a fan that I'm using this forever.
posted by nevercalm at 11:23 AM on November 30, 2016 [21 favorites]


If this happened to me, the Roomba would not have been accidentally destroyed in the bathtub so much as intentionally drowned.

careful, trauma is how they attain consciousness
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:31 AM on November 30, 2016 [28 favorites]


I have cats, and I've always worried about getting a Roomba and having it run over a fresh pile of cat barf.
posted by Slinga at 11:32 AM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure my cats would barf on purpose just so they could more efficiently destroy my floors.
posted by AFABulous at 11:35 AM on November 30, 2016 [24 favorites]


This happened to a friend of mine (minus toddler) and she was completely aghast that her husband insisted on cleaning the roomba rather than throwing it away and burning the house down and moving to South America.
posted by obfuscation at 11:36 AM on November 30, 2016 [30 favorites]


The worst bit is my robot vacuum sends alerts straight to my phone - including when its stuck - so occasionally I'll get alerts when there is nothing I can do about it - like when I'm on a cross-country flight. That's all I need to be stuck at 30,000 feet stressed about what steaming pile of filth my robot has hoovered around the room and is now choking on.....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:47 AM on November 30, 2016 [15 favorites]


What makes this scenario even worse is that people who own (and use) Roombas tend to be pretty meticulous about housekeeping, at least in my experience. Exactly the type to be most horrified by a scenario involving every surface in the lower 3 inches of a room covered in dog poop.

I own a Roomba precisely because my roommates and I are not particularly meticulous about housekeeping. That said, I guess I would be plenty horrified if my home were thus empoopenated, so I suppose your point holds?
posted by aubilenon at 11:52 AM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is this supposed to be a metaphor for 2016?

Is there a German word for "on the razor-thin dividing line and metaphor and actual, literal description"?
posted by Quindar Beep at 12:01 PM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Clearly, this was a failure to read the Roomba by the owners.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:02 PM on November 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


TedW: As a data point, I am about as far from a neat freak as possible. I own a Roomba because I'm lazy but black cat + tan carpet yields clumps of dark spots on the floor that isn't easy to dismiss when visitors come over.

and this is precisely why I don't run my Roomba on an automated schedule and always check for cat poop/barf before hitting the start button.
posted by INFJ at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


1) What a weird thing to be proud of.

"Proud" was mostly a rhetorical flourish. Pet ownership is a pretty normative thing in our society, going hand-in-hand with getting married and living in the suburbs. But I also think a lot of pet owners don't necessarily have realistic expectations of what life is like with animals in the house. If someone gets a dog, they should basically expect to have a certain amount of their home covered in hair, secretions, and excretions. This (in addition to living alone and working away from the house most of the week) is why I've always stood firm on not getting a pet even when people try to sell me on the companionship aspect.

It's possible that wanting to own a Roomba more than a dog is weird, but I've never been opposed to being weird.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:12 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh man. Something about poop explosions that just horrify a person. Here, let me tell you one.

Okay, one day when my son was two he became constipated. Just stopped pooping for like two days. He was miserable. So first I was told, try yogurt. So I gave the kid yogurt. He had two or three maybe four. It wasn't working. So then I was told, try watery oatmeal. So he had a few feedings of watery oatmeal. Then it was suggested that I give him watery fruit. So since it was summer, we mashed up some watermelon. Nothing moving. Finally the doctor gave the go ahead to use baby laxative. Gave him that and five hours later, still nothing. We started talking about taking him to the hospital.

Then my mother said, "Try prunes."

I'm not sure if she knew what was coming, but she disappeared into her room right after and stayed there all weekend. The heartless wench.

A half hour after the prunes I walked into his bedroom. He had climbed up a storage unit of stackable bins into a window about my shoulder height and for a brief moment I was scared he was going to fall. Then what I was seeing finally registered.

It was like a human poop grenade had exploded.

My son was covered from head to toe in poop. The window sill was filled with poop. The white wall under and to the side was completely poop brown. Every brightly colored bin in the storage unit was filled with toys ...and poop. Poop pooled beneath the window and spread across half the floor. Later when I went outside, poop had seeped out through the window and covered the side of my house.

And then the smell hit. Oh my god, the smell. Like road kill washed in sweat and head cheese and then dried in feet.

I could not have seen more poop or smelled anything as horrible unless I had worked at a sanitation plant for my entire life and on the last day before retirement - in the last hour, the plant had exploded in a fountain of shit causing me crap myself to death to be resurrected as a tapeworm in a dung beetles ass.

It took three days to clean. THREE DAYS. We had to paint over the wall because no matter how we cleaned there was a shadow marking the destruction.

And for months after when you sat in the backyard and the sun hit the house, guests would glance around and wonder if our dog just shit.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:18 PM on November 30, 2016 [134 favorites]


I own a Roomba precisely because my roommates and I are not particularly meticulous about housekeeping

I have one via a gift, and I've found that in order for it to be of any use I have to be much more meticulous in the first place. Otherwise it will inevitably find something un-vacuumable to attempt to vacuum.
posted by flaterik at 12:22 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


If someone gets a dog, they should basically expect to have a certain amount of their home covered in hair, secretions, and excretions

I've never met a pet owner who doesn't have that expectation, I'm a pet owner and I surely have that expectation, and it's kind of intrinsically obtuse that you would think that "a lot of pet owners" would not have such an expectation.
posted by blucevalo at 12:25 PM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


First thing that came to mind was the Balls of Steel Annoying Devil in the Roomba factory pre-loading each one with dog poop before they went in the box.
posted by lagomorphius at 12:27 PM on November 30, 2016


This reminds me to complete my poop detector for my roomba. It's fairly simple, a capacitive circuit hooked up to an Adafruit Trinket. The idea being you put the capacitive circuit on the front bumper, and when that capacitance changes (it hits something wet), you send a serial command to HALT ALL ACTIVITY AT ONCE. Cleaning a pile of cat vomit out of it is something I only need to sacrifice a toothbrush for once.

Maybe for bonus points I can get it so say in its roomba voice "Error, number 2, please move roomba to a turd free location, then press clean to restart" because I'm 12 on the inside.
posted by The Power Nap at 12:28 PM on November 30, 2016 [35 favorites]


Maybe for bonus points I can get it so say in its roomba voice "Error, number 2, please move roomba to a turd free location, then press clean to restart" because I'm 12 on the inside.

No "Lost in Space?" - "Danger! Danger! Will Poopinsome..."
posted by lagomorphius at 12:32 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I must be a bad person, because I was hoping for pics.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:45 PM on November 30, 2016 [9 favorites]


That is the weirdest endorsement for a hardware company I've ever seen! I wonder what their marketing folks think about it!
posted by Omnomnom at 12:48 PM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think what surprises me the most is how I've never heard of this happening before. Over 10 million Roombas have been sold around the world, and animals sometimes go to the bathroom in the house. Maybe this is just so shocking that you never tell anyone.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:06 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


So you clean the Roomba. You toss it in the bathtub to let it soak.

Although the Roomba is the real victim here, we part company at this point. I'd simply be out $400.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:11 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


My pets would see the 1 am cleaning time as a personal challenge to see which of them can defeat the Roomba. Nothing in my place would be safe from complete destruction.
posted by LilithSilver at 1:11 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


This seems like the perfect thread to post this video of a Roomba with a bag stuck on its sensor going ass-over-teakettle down a flight of stairs. Watch the whole thing to see how the cat reacts. (DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY POOP)
posted by briank at 1:26 PM on November 30, 2016 [9 favorites]


They give me the willies, I know that,' said Vimes.
They give everyone the willies, sir.'
'You hear lots of stories about them doing stupid things like making a thousand teapots or digging a hole five miles deep,' said Vimes.
'Yes, but that's not exactly criminal activity, is it, sir? That's just ordinary rebellion.'
'What do you mean, "rebellion"?'
'Dumbly obeying orders, sir. You know... someone shouts at it "Go and make teapots", so it does. Can't be blamed for obeying orders, sir. No one told them how many. No one wants them to think, so they get their own back by not thinking.'
'They rebel by working"?'
'It's just a thought, sir. It'd make more sense to a golem, I expect.'
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:48 PM on November 30, 2016 [12 favorites]


Then my mother said, "Try prunes."

I'm not sure if she knew what was coming, but she disappeared into her room right after and stayed there all weekend.

posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 3:18 PM on November 30


I sure knew what was coming (prunes were my ma's and grandmas' preferred method to correct irregularity in children)! 80 Cats, when I started reading this part I thought you were going to end it with "I'm not sure if she knew what was coming, but she left town immediately after." And I wouldn't have blamed her.

Now I'm curious--do you remember how many prunes you gave your child? From my experience, one sole prune will help unclog an adult significantly.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:54 PM on November 30, 2016


All I know is I left my 18 month old with my sister in law for a few days while I had to travel for work and I got a text saying "your daughter loves prunes!" and then a text about six hours later saying "two prunes was too many." I don't know further details and never asked. Ignorance is bliss.
posted by olinerd at 2:08 PM on November 30, 2016 [19 favorites]


I gave him an entire jar of Gerber prunes.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 2:15 PM on November 30, 2016 [16 favorites]


I think what surprises me the most is how I've never heard of this happening before. Over 10 million Roombas have been sold around the world, and animals sometimes go to the bathroom in the house. Maybe this is just so shocking that you never tell anyone.

This totally happened to me. Dog crap, Roomba running through the whole living room and spreading it everywhere. The carpet wasn't actually that big of a deal, because the dog was small and the volume of poop was fairly minimal, even though it was spread pretty thinly. I had a carpet shampooer and so some spot cleaning combined with shampooing took care of it fairly easily.

Cleaning the Roomba took a long time (because even one uncleaned crevice would result in more poop spreading), but it really made me appreciate the engineering that went into that thing. Every part is basically a module that can be taken apart further or replaced as a whole (and when I did replace modules after a few years they were significantly improved in many ways), which reminded me of the description of the robots in Heinlein's The Door into Summer, which I bet at least one of the Roomba people had read. It was really easy to get apart and back together, and not a trace of poop survived.

That thing has been running 5 days a week for like... 10 years, maybe? One battery and brush replacement, but it's one of the best purchases I've ever made, for sure.
posted by Huck500 at 2:37 PM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Double? Or did I read this elsewhere?
posted by Chuffy at 2:37 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reader, I gave him an entire jar of Gerber prunes.

This is literature for our times.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:19 PM on November 30, 2016 [16 favorites]


What INFJ wrote.
posted by ursus_comiter at 3:36 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


When my dog poops inside the house is is always because he has stolen and eaten something he shouldn't have. So my anger and dog-hate is tripled. But I have never found it difficult to clean in spite of his preference for antique Persian carpets. One of the first times, I tried to stuff the poop and a lot of paper in the toilet, and that went bad, but that was also stupid.
On the other hand, I managed to food poison myself the other day. And ended up projectile vomiting in my living room. I'm really worried the smell will never disappear. (Advice needed).
The article made me realize that I am not a potential roomba costumer, even though I really want one. And also that sometimes old-school analog presence is a good thing.
posted by mumimor at 3:43 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was gifted a roomba (three cats: perhaps a non subtle hint) and it works well except that I have to hide it away so the convenience factor is lessened.

Monster cat #1 loves the robot toy and will hop on top of it and turn it on while I am away or even if I'm home sometimes. The absolute joy he must get out of sending the unsuspecting robot out to tangle with scattered cat toys or goading it on when it's trapped and turning helplessly in circles: it's an insight into his devious mind.

Thankfully there's been no kitty barf ...yet.
posted by mightshould at 4:34 PM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


I am not a potential roomba costumer

Looks like a fun crowd, tbh.
posted by clew at 4:38 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think what surprises me the most is how I've never heard of this happening before. Over 10 million Roombas have been sold around the world, and animals sometimes go to the bathroom in the house. Maybe this is just so shocking that you never tell anyone.

We've had it happen with not-quite-in-the-litter-box cat poop. We've never told anyone, because it isn't really that interesting, and most people don't want to hear poop-related anecdotes.

Luckily, we have stone tile floors, so cleaning the smears wasn't that bad. Cleaning the Roomba was a PITA, but I don't make so much money that I can justify $600 to avoid a couple of hours of gross, annoying work. I did, however, buy a plastic tray to put under the litter box, such that near misses are now inaccessible to Roomba.

It's gone through cat vomit a few times. Perhaps surprisingly, the aftermath isn't too bad; vomit tends to flake off after it dries a bit, and doesn't smear very far when wet. (And it's this sort of detail that I don't normally share in polite company.)
posted by reventlov at 4:40 PM on November 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's possible that wanting to own a Roomba more than a dog is weird, but I've never been opposed to being weird.

Well, you may be Strange, but in your defense, Mr. Interlude, Roomba's are kind of cute, they make funny little wrrr wrrr wrrr noises, and they're amusing to watch when they get stuck and randomly wander around. What's not to like as a low maintenance pet?

Do not google search "youtube" "roomba" "dog poop"--apparently it has happened more than once.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:23 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


2016: The Poopocalypse.

(drops mic)
posted by panglos at 7:16 PM on November 30, 2016


Monster cat #1 loves the robot toy

Our smallest and most enterprising cat, Janet, loved our first Neato so much that she taught herself how to turn it on so she could go for joyrides around the apartment in the wee hours of the morning. At the time, we were living in a 700 square foot one-bedroom apartment, so this was a bit... unfortunate.

It died and had to be returned, so now we have a Roomba. It's only been up and running for a month or two, but so far she hasn't yet worked out how to ride this one.
posted by sciatrix at 8:03 PM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


I must be a bad person, because I was hoping for pics.

Something like this, perhaps. I, for one, am impressed by how straight the lines are. My own Roomba spends a lot of time bumbling along the baseboards.
posted by jamaro at 8:10 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


My Roomba ran over wet pate-style cat food. Not quite as nasty as poop, but not far off. I was also impressed by how thoroughly I could disassemble it to remove the cat food.
While cleaning, I realized that like any other pet fighting for dominance in a multi-critter household, the robot was simply trying to eat all the food.
posted by pernoctalian at 8:51 PM on November 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe it is because I just read the Instagram model thread, but is this not clearly an ad for Hammacher Schlemmer? Or should I just call it Pepsi Brown?
posted by Literaryhero at 8:55 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


The situation was never phrased that the roomba was a problem it was a warning to all other roomba owners about the possibility of your entire living space being covered in a thin layer of fecal matter while you sleep.

If you have a pet, this is happening whether you have a Roomba or not.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 9:31 PM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Robots don't know shit.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:55 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]




I could tell a story about a low-slung Cadillac and a groggy driver and a big dead dog in the middle of a highway off ramp somewhere in the middle of America, but I think I'll leave it at that.
posted by pracowity at 5:00 AM on December 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


...but is this not clearly an ad for Hammacher Schlemmer?

Do you think the HM marketing department had a sit down meeting with their ad execs and said "Let's post a story about one of our more popular products accidentally smearing dog shit all over someone's home in the middle of the night. And then their four year old kid could walk through it and crawl into bed with them. Sure, people would be horrified, but it would highlight the heck out of our awesome 'no questions asked' return policy!"

Advertising execs: ಠ_ಠ
posted by zarq at 3:53 PM on December 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


As a proud non-pet owner, this seems more like a problem with the dog than with the Roomba. You take the dog out of the equation, and the Roomba is doing exactly what it's supposed to.

Seems like more of a problem with the people - who didn't let their dog out for a shit, and don't have enough brains to figure that sometimes animals shit inside and that what is basically an automatic shit-spreading machine is not a hot idea in that context - than with either the dog or the Roomba. Take the people out of the equation and the twain would not have met.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:00 PM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that if you leave a dog and a roomba in a house with no people, the same thing would happen, but much more often.
posted by AFABulous at 7:44 AM on December 2, 2016


I'm pretty sure that if you leave a dog and a roomba in a house with no people

I would watch that video.
posted by asperity at 7:50 AM on December 2, 2016


I would watch that video.

I would binge-watch that as entire season of a reality TV show on Netflix.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:46 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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