$170,000 Japanese-style Roomba takes home the gold

It seems that automated floor-suckers are getting all the attention of late, as we've had users parading their Roombas around with all sorts of unorthodoxmethods, teaching them to bust a move, and now how to pose for the cameras. While already recognized in one Tokyo ceremony, the Fuji Heavy Industries and Sumitomo-created vacuum has officially taken the gold in the Robot of the Year competition hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Due to its purported ability to replace "two live human beings" and clean out an area of "3,000 square meters in four hours on a single charge," the jumbo-sized Roomba wannabe can help those towering skyscrapers stay clean in a bustling world. Additionally, it can maneuver up and down floors, in and out of elevators, and around crowded workspaces with ease, but we're not exactly sure how many decibels of noise this thing cranks out while taking care of business. Nevertheless, the co-founders are selling the device for a whopping ¥20 million ($168, 011), but still claim that it will more than pay for itself after a decade or so -- you know, since it doesn't beg for health insurance or anything.

[Via Plastic Bamboo]