Innovation

Photos: The history of iRobot's Roomba

Rug Warrior

Joe Jones came up with the idea for the Roomba in 1989. Here's a history of its development, from the early models to the present version.

This is the "Rug Warrior" -- the mostly LEGO robot Joe Jones built for the AI Olympics in 1989. It’s Roomba's earliest ancestor.

Also see: Joe Jones: Roomba inventor. Roboticist. Vindicated pioneer.

Image: Joe Jones

By Hope Reese

Hope Reese is a writer based in Louisville, Kentucky, currently living in Budapest. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Vox, Vice and other publications.