Trudeau Crumb Bug Vac

I came across this lil cutie while looking for a vacuum. It’s made by Trudeau (which makes other interesting devices) and is sold at BedBathandBeyond for only $9.99. So of course I had to pick one up, see if it works then see how.

When I got it I was pretty skeptical. The bristles looked like they were just for show and the fan didn’t look too menacing. Not to mention the small motor and 2AA batteries it was driven by.

So I got some crumbs off a Thomas’ English muffin and dropped them on the floor and gave it a try. At first I lightly passed it over the surface and it didn’t pick up much. But then I applied just a slight down force to bend the bristles and bring it closer to the surface and it sucked everything right up. You could hear the crumbs wacking around in the thing. So I was impressed. Not sure if I would actually use it, or why you need one but it works and works pretty well. Clean up is easy you just pull off the bottom and dump it.

Here is a quick video to see and hear it pick up the crumbs

And here is a video of me openning the vac to show the crumbs inside. I promise its not a camera trick. The original file was too long so I split it into two movies.

Ok now here’s a look inside the product so you can see how it works. My favorite part.

INSIDE THE CRUMB VAC

First a shot of the packaging. Pretty simple and affective, you can see what I paid for it.

crumb bug package

It actually came with no instructions. Nada. I guess you dont need em. Well you first have to figure out how to open it. You know 2 AA batteries have to get in there some how.

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Crumb bug open top

.The first thing I did was I tried ot twist it open. By doing that I was able to remove the top cover. Then you see the battery holders

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crumb bug open bottom

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Then I realized there are two tabs on the sides you use to unlatch the bottom cover brush part. I was able to see the impeller and the cup that holds the crumbs.

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crumb bug battery close-up

Here is a close up of the Battery holders. You can also see the electric motor which is a simple brush electric motor. You might find these motors in any small toy car. They are very cheap but work very well, and are easy to find.

You can also see how the switch is designed. Its a simple set of thin flexible metal strips that are close to but not touching the contacts on the base. When you push the white plastic button on the top housing it makes the contact and completes the circuit. This was a smart way for them to save cost and assembly time as compared to using a small momentary switch which has to be mounted and soldered to wires.

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crumb bug open half

Here is a look at the impeller housing and bottom housing to see how they interface eachother.

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Trudeau Crumb Vac impeller cover removedThe impeller cover is easily popped off in 4 places revealing the impeller. The impeller rotates in a clockwise direction in this view.

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Part Scavengability:
I guess there are a few parts here to take, but its so small you might just want to add to it instead of taking parts away from it. Here is a list.

  • Mini Vaccum – About 3″ diameter
    • Motor – low power/high speed
    • Impeller – I havent tried to remove it yet, but you should just be able to pull it right off
    • Filter
    • Switch – Simple metal contacts
    • Battery tabs
    • Battery holder- 2AA
      • battery tabs
      • wires
  • Bottom housing, round
    • Bristles
  • Top Housing, round
    • button – round

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Summary

Pros

I think its a great design. Its simple, cheap and it actually works!
For 9.99 you get a motor and impeller assembly.
I think its hackable.

Cons

Power- medium suction.
Noise – a bit noisy and whinny

Modification Wishlist

  1. I would like to replace the motor with a quiet high efficient one.
  2. I want to make a simple low power floor vac that scurries around and picks up dust and crumbs. I think this mody can be used together with another drive motor, wheels and some logic.

Potential value adder- Original cost $9.99

  1. I would pay an extra $10 for it to be quiet.
  2. I would pay $30 to $50 for a wheeled floor crumb cleaner.

Can you think of another use for these parts? Or another mod to this product.

Sumbit your prodmod idea in the comments below!

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12 comments so far

  1. JOE REILLY on

    Thank you!
    I could not figure out how to get the batteries in.
    I will let you know how I like it.

  2. prodmod on

    I am glad I could help.
    I would definitely like to hear what you think about it. Don’t hesitate to add any comments.

  3. Nafcom on

    @Prodmod: Thanks for your link to me! I am glad my USBCell post could help you 🙂
    Since we both blog about similar stuff, interested in a link exchange?

  4. dave on

    Does not work: Bought one as a gag gift. When we put the batteries in, it didn’t work. Took it back to exchange, and none of the ones in the store worked either. None of them worked! And yes, we noticed the metal contacts inside and tried operating it without the cover – still nothing.

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