Few who read the Pooptastrophe review of 2016 can forget the fate of one homeowner as their autonomous Roomba proceeded to spray puppy poop about their entire home while they were sleeping. Now, Roomba has made what they’ve named a Pet Owner Official Promise (POOP) to eradicate such harrowing events, by updating their products’ software so that it can identify and avoid feces.
The announcement came on Thursday as the company introduced a specific design feature to its Roomba j7+ Robot Vacuum model which should prevent it from running over poop while cleaning. Using artificial intelligence, it keeps a weather eye on the horizon in case of any odorous obstacles and can change course should it be set for collision. Better yet, should a turd occur, you’ll even get a photo!
“Your home never looks the same way twice, which the Roomba® j7+ robot vacuum is designed to handle,” writes iRobot on the product website. “Using PrecisionVision Navigation, it identifies and avoids obstacles like pet accidents and charging cables in real time. It even sends you a picture of what it comes across so you’re always in the loop on your home’s clean.”
The update, unfortunately, came too late for Jesse Newton, whose life was changed forever in 2016 when his puppy, Evie, took a poop on a rug. A harmless faux pas for a puppy under normal circumstances, but 1.30 AM on that fateful night was not to be normal circumstances.
“Why, friends, that's because our Roomba runs at 1:30am every night, while we sleep,” wrote Newton in a harrowing post about his experience. “And it found the poop. And so begins the Pooptastrophe. The poohpocalypse. The pooppening.”
At this point, it’s highly recommended you read the original post above, as there can be no greater account than that given by Newton. Once the Roomba ran over the poop, it continued to leave “25-foot poop trails all over the house,” that got onto the walls, furniture, and even Newton’s child.
After discovering “a brown-encrusted, vaguely Roomba-shaped thing sitting in the middle of the floor with a glowing green light, like everything's okay,” Newton swiftly tossed it in a bubble bath leading to a "whirlllllllllllllllll-boop-hisssssssss" that signaled its journey’s end. Fortunately, humanity invented warranties.
“You finally decide to call the place where you bought it. That place called Hammacher Schlemmer. They have a funny name, but they have an awesome warranty. They claim it's for life, and it's for any reason.
"So I called them and told the truth. My Roomba found dog poop and almost precipitated World War III. And you know what they did? They offered to replace it."
If that’s not inspiration for a redesign, I don’t know what is.