An R2-D2 Robot Vacuum Is Exactly the Chore Droid I'm Looking For

It’s staggering to think that Matthew Scott Hunter came up with a way to combine his love of clean floors and Star Wars before the marketing teams at Disney, Lucasfilm, and iRobot did. Using random household items he turned his functional robot vacuum into an Artoo unit that roams and cleans his home.


Inspired by a very droid-looking trash can they spotted in a garage, Hunter started with a lightweight garbage can for his droid’s body and domed head, which was then upgraded with legs made of stiff poster board, and a bunch of random household items for details and greebling. Given the shape of the robot vacuum used for the droid’s front foot, Hunter couldn’t make a perfect replica of R2-D2, so instead opted to make a custom astromech droid, R9-D9, with a slick paint job that would make Iron Man tempted to ditch JARVIS.

The entire droid ended up weighing in at around 14 pounds, which was light enough for a robot vacuum to pull it around Hunter’s house without significantly reducing its battery life. To further help bring his creation to life, an oscillating fan was sacrificed to make R9-D9's domed head turn back and forth, while a Bluetooth speaker hidden inside, powered by a portable battery, plays droid sounds as the robot goes through its cleaning routine.

The upgrades mean there are lots of places the robot vacuum can no longer clean, including under couches and tables, but that seems like a minor sacrifice to make for an Artoo unit of your own that actually helps out around with the chores.



Okay, double nitpick because it annoys me when people spell out “Artoo,” which I’ve come to accept if you’re just saying it like “Threepio.” But if it is an “Artoo Unit” like written in this article it should be R2-Unit (with or without the hyphen) because it’s referring to its designation. But then again, Luke refers to R5-D4 as an R2-unit so maybe “Artoo” is the Kleenex of the astromech droids? Which would then make this second part of my nitpick be extra nitpicky because the video calls this an R9-D9... so you should call it an R9-unit, or Arnine unit.

I’m just saying, if someone asks for your drivers license number, you don’t write it down as EhfJaySevenJaunsix.