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Inspired by this video, I'm curious if a robot can do bedikat chametz for you.

The video shows a rhumba with a spoon and candle roaming around the house cleaning the floor. (Granted, the spoon and candle are not needed other than making the video funny.)

My thinking:

O.C., from what I recall, says that prior to Bedikat Chametz, the home should be essentially chametz cleaned, mostly. The custom is to place 10 pieces of bread in various places around the home and search for those pieces, while searching for other chametz.

Assuming that the rhumba goes into every room in your home, gobbles up dirt and crumbs on the floor as well as all 10 bread pieces, and at the end of its cycle, you open up the cleaning bin to verify that it actually got all 10 pieces - any problem with letting it do the work? Or, must you do the physical inspection, or at least watch exactly where the machine is going?

  • This wouldn’t help for Chametz that’s not on the floor. If you had a sci-fi-like AI then this would be more plausible. – DonielF Mar 27 '18 at 16:02
  • The reason for the custom of placing 10 pieces around the house is so that you'll find some chametz to burn the next day at the biur. If the roomba vacuums it up and makes it so disgusting that you wouldn't eat it, you may be defeating the entire purpose of the custom. – Daniel Aug 24 '18 at 2:23
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The mitzvah isn't to have your house clean (that's a separate part of the mitzvah), it's to physically clean your house yourself.

A similar question could be "Do I fulfill the mitzvah of tefillah if I play a recording of myself davening?"

  • 2
    to search not to clean – heshy Mar 26 '18 at 18:08
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    @heshy brings in a nuance. I think that he is correct that the mitzvah is to search, not to clean. Which may mean that, as I asked in my Q, "...at least watch exactly where the machine is going" may be sufficient. Could either you or Yserbius verify which it is, and address this distinction? – DanF Mar 26 '18 at 21:00
  • More like: do I fulfill the mitzva of cleaning if i use an electric vacuum cleaner and don't pick up the crumbs with my fingers? – Double AA Mar 26 '18 at 21:14
  • It doesn't seem so from Pesachim 4b: באתרא דיהבי אגרא ובדקו – b a Mar 30 '18 at 13:32

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