the great escape.


 A robot vacuum cleaner made a break for freedom after giving staff the slip at a Travelodge hotel.

The automated cleaner failed to stop at the front door of the hotel in Orchard Park in Cambridge, England on Thursday, and was still on the loose the following day.

Staff said it just kept going and “could be anywhere” while well-wishers on social media hoped the vacuum enjoyed its travels, as “it has no natural predators” in the wild.

It was found under a hedge on Friday.

Staff at the hotel posted the story of the robot vacuum’s great escape on social media, asking for it to be returned, if found.

“Today we had one of our new robot vacuums run for its life,” the assistant manager wrote.

“They normally sense the lip at the hotel entrance and turn around, but this one decided to make a run for it.”

The robot vacuum had enough of cleaning the lobby and made its bid for freedom from the hotel, which is next to the A14. Its disappearance was not noticed for about 15 minutes and despite a search, it appeared the vacuum had made a clean break for it.

While some readers joked about the robot’s adventures, one feared for its safety in the great outdoors, pointing out that “nature abhors a vacuum”.

However, much to everyone’s relief, the device was found nestled under a hedge on Friday afternoon by a (human) hotel cleaner sprucing up the front drive. It was dusted off and “is now back sitting happily on a shelf with the rest of its robot vacuum family”, the hotel confirmed.

“one basic law of the universe dictates that robots

must learn to make fast food before they can get driver’s licenses.” 

-leland mcknight




credits:, n. chadwick/geograph



92 responses »

  1. I can relate! 😀
    Our current one, ‘Gertie’ is just now, cleaning away unable to make a ‘Break For it’ as she would have to navigate stairs. She is our second, replacing ‘Connie’ after she had a ‘Breakdown’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many of my neighbours use robot lawn mowers. Then they stand and watch the things mowing the grass. How lazy have we become? Small wonder obesity is the scourge of western society.
    As for the hotel, I suspect those robot hoovers have cut the hours of cleaning staff, so they get even less of their poverty-level wages.
    (As you can tell, robots make me grumpy!)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Nature abhors a vacuum!” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I love it and I’m so happy for the bot. It was able to see the great outdoors and have some personal time off, or on, as the case may be. This is the best story, Beth. I love that the bot made a “break for it.” And we think that machines can’t think…they do and what they think is all about escape and freedom. They should plant a flower in the hedge where it was found, in honor of the great escape. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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