Military Tech Inside Your Roomba?

Everybody enjoys watching lovable Roomba, iRobot's robotic vacuum cleaner. But little did we know that some of Roomba's software was developed for use on the battlefield, not the living room.

Here's what Colin Angle, co-founder of iRobot in 1990, had to say about the development processes leading to the Roomba:

We were also building robots for the Pentagon to clear minefields. Using that intelligence technology actually gave us the algorithms which Roomba uses to make sure [your home] is thoroughly vacuumed.

(Evolution of Roomba)

This situation was predicted in the Japanese manga film Roujin Z, introduced in 1996, the Ministry of Health orders Takazawa Kijuro, an elderly bed-ridden man seemingly without family, to test a new caretaker robot - the Z-0001.

As it turns out, the Roujin Z-0001 robotic patient bed is based on a serious military robot, with more capabilities than giving patient baths and massages.

(Roujin-Z hospital bed/robot in profile, carrying patient)

Update: Here's a short video showing some of the Roujin Z-0001's military capabilities.

Just imagine what else your Roomba might do! End update.

Via CNN.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/31/2014)

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