Robot Vacuum Cleaner Hacked to Play Spotify

While you might stop to wonder why you’d want a robotic vacuum cleaner, Eddie Zhang did not, and for whatever reason went to work turning his first-generation Xiaomi vacuum cleaner into a portable boombox. The idea of a musical robot wandering the house might be appealing to some, but the fact that it’s still an actual vacuum — with the associated noise — makes the listening experience sub-optimal to say the least.

As seen in the demo, the bot first declares that it’s “starting the cleanup,” and once it scoots its way around, Zhang then commands it to play music out of its little speaker via the Spotify smartphone app. He even shows off how it can change songs to enhance the listening experience as needed.

While it’s a rather “out there” hack, the upgrade(?) process is fairly straightforward, though does require some yak shaving. One has to first get root SSH access to the vacuum based on instructions found here. Then you’ll need to install curl on the vacuum by entering “apt-get install -y curl.” From there, it’s a matter of installing Raspotify — normally used as a Spotify player for Raspberry Pi systems — and setting things up so it runs the new software on startup.

Sure, it’s a bit of a silly mod. However, if you were able to disable the actual vacuum part as required, it might be a fun piece of hardware for parties, performance, art, or anywhere that you need semi-random mobile music!

[h/t: XDA Developers]

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Author: Jeremy S. Cook

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