Roomba is an autonomous vacuum-cleaning robot - it cleans all rooms, then returns back to the docking station for charging. It works remarkably well - even cats love it. You can just give it as christmas gift to your mother, girlfriend or wife, without mentioning it real capabilities :-).
Although it comes with a remote control and it is fun to observe it - the fun part starts after reading the Hacking Roomba: ExtremeTech book. A hint: you should not order both at the same time, otherwise your girlfriend / wife *will* become suspicious.
You could pimp-up your vacuum cleaner with WI-FI, Bluetooth, even Linux etc.
The only problem is to find useful use cases for hacking it. Some ideas:
- Vacuum-cleaning robot swarm :-)
- Peer-To-Peer communication between Roombas. Having a certain Roomba density one could even built an alternative ad-hoc network :-)
- Roomba has a remote control, so after equipping it with a web cam, it becomes a perfect spy toy / drone.
- ...any other ideas?