Robot vacuums – a pet or a cleaning device?

Cosmos brings publishes content online, on video and on podcast. Over the holiday period we are encouraging you to lie back and listen to our best podcasts of the year as curated by those who made them – the team in our newsroom.

As Cosmos’ resident ‘robot enthusiast’, my favourite podcast this year digs the dirt on everyone’s favourite domestic automaton, Roomba.

The Huh? Science Explained episode – ‘People are seriously becoming friends with their robotic vacuums’ – was inspired by several human-robot interaction studies involving robot vacuums.

Studies suggest a significant share of people name their Roombas, and consider them somewhere between a pet and a household appliance. 

For more quirky robot vacuum research – listen to the podcast, or read the accompanying explainer.

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Credit: Westend61 / Getty Images

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