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Public Lab Research note

"Hamster ball" alternative to Roomba

by warren | January 20, 2012 16:30 20 Jan 16:30 | #710 | #710

Weird idea but i ordered a hamster ball ($4) and am going to try building it. It naturally rolls around and navigates around objects, and could be lit up from the inside. These usually have air holes for the hamster, which would let the sensor "smell" the outside air.


If you cover the outside with those little lintstrips, it might even make a pretty nice (if rather wasteful) vacuum. But who uses a Roomba for vacuuming anyway?

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Awesome, let us know how it turns out!

Awhile ago I proposed an installation where one of these hamster balls is filled with chalk dust and put into a sealed room with a roomba, making a sisyphean loop of random messmaking and cleanup...if you're ever down in NYC, bring your hamster and let's make that happen too!

Edit: you meant a real hamsterball! I was thinking of this: http://www.weaselballs.com/

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YES! I didn't know how to find that product, but thanks to Noah, i now know they're called Weaselballs. That's exactly what I'm thinking but I want a large one (like 8" or more diameter) and one which is transparent and has holes in it so gas sensors will work inside it.

So I figure i have to make one.

BTW the text on the Weaselballs.com website is kind of awesome...

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I just ordered one and am going to try grafting it into a bigger ball. Or i'll make it out of lego. Whatever. I'm in NYC right now, actually but didn't bring the ball! How was I to know??

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