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Roomba attempts great escape from budget hotel

Apparently tired of cleaning up after messy hotel guests, a Roomba recently made a dash for it and trundled to freedom.

The great escape took place several days ago at a Travelodge budget hotel in Cambridge, England.

According to a now-deleted Reddit message posted by the hotel’s assistant manager, the robovac failed to sense — or simply ignored — the hotel entrance and just kept going.

The assistant manager wrote in his post that one of his Roombas had suddenly fled, adding: “They normally sense the lip at the entrance and turn around but this one decided to make a run for it.”

The poster said it was a full 15 minutes before anyone noticed the machine’s absence — more than enough time for it to make good its escape.

“If you happen to see it, there is a drink at the bar for you upon its return,” the assistant manager said, adding: “They aren’t compatible with any other charger or docking station so are useless once drained. I’m thinking someone probably took it by this point but here is hoping. I miss my lil buddy.”

Reddit commenters were quick to respond. One joked that the Roomba should be OK as it has “no natural predators,” while another raised concerns of a possible A.I. uprising, saying, “Probably shacked up with a robot-lawnmower by now. Within weeks, we’ll hear the pitter-patter of tiny robot feet. We’re doomed.”

But a day after the Roomba’s disappearance, news came that a member of staff had found the machine under a hedge. It’s not clear if it was hiding or simply drained of battery power (or clogged up with leaves?).

The BBC said the captured Roomba had been dusted off and was now “back sitting happily on a shelf with the rest of its robot vacuum family.”

Whether it’ll try to make another break for freedom remains to be seen.

If this somewhat odd tale has put you in mind of getting your first robovac or replacing your current model, then Digital Trends has you covered.

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Trevor Mogg
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