IRIM Robotics Seminar–Christopher Svec

The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines presents “Practical Robotics at iRobot: A Roomba Teardown” by iRobot’s Christopher Svec. The event will be held in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and is open to the public.


I teardown a Roomba, show how it works, and talk about why it works that way.

iRobot is the leading global consumer robot company. Since 2002 iRobot’s Roomba vacuuming robot has been cleaning floors (and carrying cats) all over the world.

Designing an autonomous robot for high volume production—that also works well in unpredictable homes—involves many engineering disciplines, constraints, and tradeoffs. In this talk, we’ll take apart an iRobot Roomba robot and discuss the software, electrical, mechanical, and overall product design decisions that go into a robust consumer robot.


Chris Svec is a senior principal software engineer at iRobot where he works on the Roomba vacuuming robot and other robots. He started his career designing x86 chips and later moved up the hardware/software stack into embedded software. Svec loves working at the hardware/software interface as well as the human/computer and human/human interface. Bugs always show up at interfaces, which is why he thinks about things like empathy and people as well as bytes and protocols. Chris holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: Marcus Nano Bldg., Room 1116-1118

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Josie Giles
IRIM Marketing Communications Manager