The 800 Series Roomba

The 800 series Roomba was a complete mechanical overhaul to the Roomba design. The vacuum, the bin and filter, the wheels, and – most importantly – the new ‘roller’ system that replaced the traditional brush system. The primary goal of the redesign was to tackle pet hair and simplify user maintenance of the robot, without sacrificing performance. No small task.

For more information about the 800 series Roomba, please see iRobot’s official pages for the 880 series and 870 series Roombas.

Project Responsibilities

In 2013, from April through December, I was the intern dedicated to the mechanical testing and validation of the new 800 series Roomba. My primary duties involved the mechanical system, but some of the testing was for the software and electrical systems. My specific duties included:

  • Testing system performance, as compared to the 700 and 600 series Roomba models
    • Verifying cleaning performance
    • Testing robot navigation, obstacle avoidance, and system rejection of debris that is too large for the robot to handle
    • Torture testing of both the cleaning head and robot wheel systems
    • Documenting failures
    • Determining potential system changes to improve performance, and evaluating the results
    • Some work with Python scripts for test automation and data collection from robot.
  • Documenting life-cycle failures, and determining causes of failure
  • Designing new, or redesigning existing, test documentation forms and files, to comply with changing test standards increase clarity of results.
  • Designing new tests as necessary
  • Market-specific accessory design work


The time I spent interning for iRobot was some of the most fun I ever had while working. The problems were unique and challenging, and the co-workers intelligent, fun, and helpful. Prior to starting my internship with them, I had been building robots as a hobby for seven years, but I had never thought of it as much more than a hobby for me to pass the time. After my nine month internship, I came to love robotics as a career.


All trademarks and IPs mentioned on this page are the property of iRobot Corp. in Bedford Massachusetts. I make no claims to any ownership of any iRobot trademarks or patents. This portfolio item exists solely to provide insight to my time and experience at iRobot. If you have concerns over the content of this particular post, please do no hesitate to contact me.

© 2017 - Michael Browne