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March 15, 2015 AT 12:00 am

Roomba takes Frogger to the asphalt jungle (2006) #sxsw

Adafruit 4418

Roomba Frogger

Ladyada & pt met in person for the first time at SXSW in 2006

…one of the cars that keep rushing by will crush the tricked-out Roomba robot vacuum cleaner that Make Magazine associate editor Phillip Torrone and Eyebeam R&D fellow Limor Fried are sending back and forth across the street and through traffic.

This is Roomba Frogger, a modern, geek version of the famous 1981 video game “Frogger,” in which players had to get a frog across a street without it getting crushed by a car or truck.

But here, in front of one of Austin’s 19th-century landmarks, the gorgeous Driskill hotel, Torrone and Fried and a growing crowd have already gotten their Roomba, dressed in a cut-up green T-shirt to look like a frog, across the street several times without serious incident. Now everyone is cheering for imminent impact.

This is Make Magazine–a quarterly journal that pays homage to do-it-yourself technology hacks–come to life. Torrone and Fried have taken a productionRoomba, an autonomous robot vacuum cleaner from iRobot, and modded it so that it is Bluetooth-enabled and controllable from a laptop computer.

“I was like, this is a really bad idea. Let’s do that!”
–Limor Fried, R&D fellow, Eyebeam


Begin forwarded message:
To: pt@*******.***
From: ladyada@***.***
Date: March 17, 2006 at 12:47:33 AM EDT

hi hi
you should sleep

To: ladyada@***.***
From: pt@*******.***
Date: March 17, 2006 at 12:38:52 AM EDT

you’re going to be on the cover of wired in 5 years.


March 16th, 2011 (5 years later).


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