Can you monitor your several-year-old dumb Roomba iRobot vacuum cleaner with Zabbix? Of course, you can!

By day, I am a monitoring technical lead in a global cyber security company. By night, I monitor my home with Zabbix & Grafana and make weird experiments with them. Welcome to my weekly blog about this project.

This post is a tad bit shorter than usual, as my summer vacation was looming and I had much other fish to fry before that. However, my motivation for this post came from guests visiting us at our home that weekend, so doing the hoovering and stuff was a reasonable thing to do.

Monitor your robot vacuum cleaner with Zabbix

So, I just did put our Roomba to do some initial cleaning. While doing so, I attached the RuuviTag I used in my last post to our Roomba, and of course, did so by using the gorgeously ugly brown tape to secure Ruuvi’s trip.

As RuuviTag has acceleration sensors, it may be possible to record Roomba’s movements by using Ruuvi. Does it work? Of course, it does.

See, it works!

This is so far my most rushed blog entry, as I literally started this experiment in about 30 minutes. The RuuviTag was already configured to my Zabbix, as it’s the same one that is/was measuring if our dog Lily is in her bed.

However, Lily’s presence was detected by utilizing Ruuvi’s temperature sensor. This Roomba experiment is done by checking the readings from RuuviTag acceleration sensors. See, it works!

From the graph we can clearly see 1) the moment I did transfer RuuviTag from Lily’s bed to Roomba and 2) Roomba’s movement.

So, from these graphs, I can then see for how long Roomba was doing its stuff.

But why?

OK, this is a stupid example, but in the real world, there would be more practical applications for this kind of monitoring. For example, monitor something that should NOT be moving (maybe a grill in your backyard or a safe at work), and if it starts moving, immediately suspect that something is wrong. Or, monitor something that should be in the constant move (conveyor belt?) but is not, and alert accordingly.

I have been working at Forcepoint since 2014 and adding more data points to monitoring is still fascinating. — Janne Pikkarainen

This post was originally published on the author’s LinkedIn account.

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