A similar radio control mechanism would be used for another unlikely Nintendo toy designed by Gunpei Yokoi: Chiritorie (Japanese for “dustpan”).
|Radio controlled cleaner Chiritori (無線クリーナー チリトリー)|
The toy was also referred to as "無線クリーナー", which means "radio (controlled) cleaner".
|Cover page of the manual|
Chiritorie was released in 1979, and retailed for ¥5,800. It did not become a big seller and was produced in relatively small numbers, making it one of the rarer Nintendo toys and very difficult to find these days.
Chiritorie is a remote controlled, battery operated mini vacuum cleaner. It measures a mere 16 centimeters across, with a small fan providing dust-sucking action. Although it can actually vacuum, this is not intended for serious cleaning. It would take you all day to do a single room.
Chiritorie comes with a radio controller with a single button.
Both Chiritorie and controller have small antennae for radio communication (using the 40.680 MHz band).
Also included is a sheet of stickers, which can be used to customize the body of Chiritorie.
|Sticker sheet provided with Chiritorie|
When switched on by turning the big white button on the top, Chiritorie starts spinning in place (always clockwise). Press the button on the remote controller and it stops spinning and moves in a straight line in the direction it was facing when the button was pressed. Release the button on the remote again, and it stops moving forward and reverts back to spinning around. This control system allows Chiritorie to be negotiated in any direction, but it is a bit tricky and requires practice.
The front of Chiritorie clearly shows the white sucking mouth facing the ground, and the air outlet in the front.
|The manual shows how to insert batteries and operate the Chiritori|
The Chiritorie and radio controller are battery operated. The Chiritorie requires 4 C cells and a 9 volt block, the controller uses another 9 volt block.
Now if we flip the Chiritorie over, we see the two main wheels used to move and a smaller non-motorized wheel providing additional support.
When the tray that collects the gathered dust is removed, the fan is exposed. This fan sucks up the dirt and drops it in the tray.
I am sure that by now you are dying to see it in action. Sit back and witness the video I made of the awesome cleaning power of the Chiritorie!
Chiritorie's quirkiness ensured an appearance in the of WarioWare games (WarioWare Inc, GBA, 2003). Check out the video below (by YouTube user oODiAbLoSOo).
[As an aside: while writing this post I was plagued by yet another romanization question: I would expect "チリトリー" to be written as "Chiritorii", but Nintendo themselves write it as "Chiritorie" in WarioWare.]