When most kids our age were cutting class to play Mike Tyson's Punch Out, the latch key kids over at Robot Stock News were taking apart their step father's vacuum. And as we grew up, all the while developing relationships with cellphone tipsters and eventually becoming successful tech bloggers in our own right, the Robot Stock News kids were also able to take their obsessive geek tendencies and make a name for themselves -- combing the interwebs, paying off high priced vacuum ninjas, and scouring the US Patent database for any and all news featuring many of our country's leading autonomous vacuum cleaners. They must have been really stoked to stumble upon a patent filed in November 2008, entitled "Compact Autonomous Coverage Robot." As far as we can tell, this document (filed by iRobot) details a Roomba with a squared off front, designed to hit those hard to reach corners that the traditional circular device cannot. This design change, while it seems minor, actually lends a level of complexity to the device: a square robot requires more complex programming, lest it get stuck in a niche that its round faced predecessor could never reach in the first place. Of course, there's no telling when (or if) this one will see the light of day, but you'll know as soon as we do. Promise.

[Via Robot Stock News]

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iRobot's new Roomba patent could clean those hard to reach areas, get stuck there