This Little Robot is the Best Way to Clean Bowling Lanes

By Bryan Menegus on at

Ever wonder how bowling lanes stay so shiny and clean? You can thank the unfortunately named Kegel Kustodian.

It looks like a big silly suitcase, but the Kegel is pretty smart. It cleans and oils the wood then backs up and finds the next lane, all on its own.

But the Kegel doesn’t just slap on an even coat of oil; there are patterns. More specifically, there are eight different official distributions of oil, approved by the United States Bowling Congress, in use with the Professional Bowlers Association, each with its own tough, animal-based name (the PBA Tour Viper, for example.) How much oil there is and where it’s distributed has a huge impact on what kind of leniency a shot has. Unlike us beer-guzzling amateurs, the pros have little margin for error.