Software Engineer Uses Roomba to Create DOOM Map
Tom Spendlove posted on December 28, 2018 |

Rich Whitehouse has spent most of his life making video games. Working mostly in C and C++ he says that his affection for low-level assembly coding has paid off when optimizing and debugging projects. Noesis is his most popular creation, a tool for viewing and converting between 'model, image, and animation formats' but he has amassed a website full of projects dating way back to 2009. On Christmas Eve he unleashed a new project, full of modified data, programming, and a delightful pun. DOOMBA is a Neosis add-on that takes data from a Roomba and can develop a map for the twenty five year old video game DOOM.

After a cursory look at the Roomba code and finding that the vacuuming robots used simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) applications, Whitehouse decided that the data could easily be used to create maps. As I've learned this week the DOOM modding community is still alive and thriving in 2018 - here's a look at their favorite 2018 mods - and building a DOOM map out of a user's living room was too great of an idea not to do it.

Using Noesis Whitehouse was able to find the Roomba on his local area network and track it as the bot made its way across a room. There's a note on the website that this has only been tested with the Roomba 980, not other models of Roomba and not any of the dozens of vacuuming robots made by other companies. A nice side effect of this project is that Whitehouse's 'Image to NoeRoomba' tool now gives users the ability to upload image files, and translate those images into DOOM maps. The Mortal Kombat logo is used as a map on the blog post.

As noted in the blog post, this is a fantastic use of a software engineer's time. I love that there are so many programmers out there plugging away at DOOM modding projects just like hardware makers continue to develop new and better emulators for 80s era video games.

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