New Brain for Smart Vacuum

The ESP8266 has found its way into almost everything now. With its tiny size, low price tag, and accessible programmer, it’s perfect for almost any application that requires WiFi. [HawtDogFlvrWtr] decided that will all of the perks of the platform, an ESP8266 was practically begging to be shoehorned into his automatic vacuum cleaner. This isn’t a Roomba, though, it’s a Neato that now has a custom WiFi interface.

The new WiFi modification comes with some additional features as well. First of all, it ditches the poorly designed default user interface (often the most annoying proprietary component of any consumer product). In addition, the vacuum can now be placed on a completely custom schedule and can also be deployed at the push of a button. Now that it has a custom interface, it can report its status over the network to a phone or other computer as well.

[HawtDogFlvrWtr] is still developing his project and it looking for some help beta testing his new platform. He also has how to videos on his project page if you’re in the process of tearing apart your own. There are many other ways of modifying vacuum cleaners to add other useful features as well.

9 thoughts on “New Brain for Smart Vacuum

  1. Clickbait title. I was hoping the esp8266 was going to be the actual vacuum controller, as in mapping, obstacle avoidance etc, not just a wifi interface. Almost disappointed, slightly glad no one has beat me to it yet.

    1. well done – you were first to voice your disappointment. We are all grateful you deigned to tell us this was not the hack for you. Best wishes on finding your heart’s desire in a futurue posting…

    2. I thought the same, hoping I might “re-brain” my noname robovac. This is actually “New UI for Smart Vacuum” instead, and one for a very specific model too. Meh…

      1. However, as someone with one of those models, a parts bin full of idle ESPs, a soldering iron and no fear towards disassembling “Samuel L Suction” (My Botvac) …. YAY !

  2. It still blows me away that after years of research and study into machine – human interaction and not to mention the sheer number machines we interact with, the user interface is universaly crap.

    Every now and then a manufacturer gets it to acceptable standard but more often than not it’s a complete disaster.

    1. It is something I really struggle with and takes a lot of time. Getting the terminology, balance of white space and layout to be logical let alone aesthetic is something that is very time consuming. I think this is part of the reason why so many of us here get asked to fix device X when we visit friends or family, we have the same ‘technical mindset’ as the person who originally engineered the system so it is more logical to us.

      Recommendations for books or other resources on UI design would be great!

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