Maria Montero

Let your new Roomba build a Doom level of your …

Some of you may be lucky enough to get a fancy new robot vacuum over the holidays. Turns out it’s even more useful than you might think: in addition to cleaning your home, it can scan the surroundings and produce a level of condemnation in your home. The right thing to ring in the new year: Hell on Earth.

It is not an official iRobot. feature, unfortunately, but more of a gimmick from veteran game engineer Rich Whitehouse. He noted that the Roombas were actually gathering some fairly detailed environmental data with their sensors, and naturally felt that this ability should apply to a 25-year-old video game.

By combining Doom with Roomba, Whitehouse realized that he would not only be able to do something fun, but “unleash a really terrible pun to plague humanity.” Namely: DOOMBA.

It works like this, although if you don’t have a Roomba 980, there is no guarantee that it will work: with a special utility, your PC will detect the Roomba on the wireless network and start tracking its movements and collected data. When the little robot has done its work, the data is saved to a file, which you can then convert to a Doom disk via DOOMBA, a plug-in for Whitehouse’s Noesis model / image conversion app.

The shape of the level will be taken from your place, but of course things can look a little different. More monsters, probably. That depends on the randomization setting you choose, which controls what weapons, creatures, and other features are displayed in this hellish version of your home.

Everything is free, except for Doom and Roomba, so if you have both, get a crack. Thanks to Rich for this fun, distraction vacation.