Teh Roomba

We got an i7 from Amazon. It has a camera. After watching a terrifying CBC report on wireless cameras, I’m a bit leery of such things. The Roomba itself doesn’t seem to have a password. It asked for the wireless (MainLink623, if you’ve been following that thread) password, but we did not set a password for it. We did name it: Fenris.

I realize now that allowing the router to do DHCP is not a good idea. Heh. It may not be programmatically accessible, but there is a list of what is connected. My Roomba has a MAC address, has been assigned an IP address (…12), and has a very long name (iRobot-A749D1C8AC4B4E6F88F0FBFDE8A1112E), which does not match its serial number in the app’s “about” section. But, since it is the only iRobot device in the house, that must be it.

This rather old (2017) article from Policygenius, How to keep a Roomba from spying on you, says that turning off the mapping function will stop its data from being uploaded. I found the setting to do that, but have not turned it off, yet.

There is an eponymous site devoted to hacking Roombas. That looks like fun, but it also looks as if it may be quite easy. A YouTube search is interesting. I will watch some of those. At the top of the list are The Roomba That Screams When it Bumps Into Stuff, How to interface Raspberry Pi with iRobot Roomba – Part 1, and Camera on a Robot Vacuum? (subtitled: Is my vacuum a super spy?). The last one is not about a Roomba, but it does show Wireshark watching the IP, which is a good (and obvious) way to check.

Meanwhile, Fenris is running about vacuuming. It’s quieter than the previous Roomba we had – about a decade ago. The engineers have caved and it doesn’t random-walk any longer; it goes back-and-forth in lines. Because we left our vacuum in Denver, this is the first vacuuming since we moved in. It is making a noticeable difference.

It just docked and is getting its bin sucked out. That’s loud, but fast.

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