The Miracle that is Roomba

At the beginning of this year my neighbour Rodden invited me over to his apartment to show me something, no nothing like that – get your mind out of the gutter. He wanted to introduce me to something called ‘Roomba’, I had no idea what he was on about so trotted on over, what he showed me has changed the way I clean my apartment completely.

Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner made by the good people over at iRobot. What could be better than coming home every day to a freshly vacuumed house or apartment? Well that’s what this product promises, but does it live up to the hype?

I plumped for a the Roomba 560, one of the higher end models with some of the more advanced features such as scheduling and lighthouse mode (I’ll explain later), it arrived in lickety quick time and I got it all set up. Firstly you have to find a place for it to live, I chose the kitchen area of the flat – it seemed a sensible place to keep a vacuum. It lives on what’s called a ‘home base’ where it charges itself, it starts it’s cleaning missions there, and when it’s finished it returns home to charge.

I left my Roomba (now named Juanita) to do an initial charge of 16 hour as recommended in the manual and whilst it was charging I used the buttons on top to set a cleaning schedule, you can schedule Roomba to clean up to once a day – seven times a week, I chose 10am weekdays, and 1pm weekends (so it didn’t wake me up!).

10am the next morning, sure as hell I can hear a truck reversing noise (beep beep beep) as Roomba backed off it’s home base, and Roomba was whizzing around my living area. It uses a series movement patterns (including: spiral mode, wall following mode, and floor crossing mode) to cover the floor as efficiently as it can. It takes about 45 minutes per room, which admittedly takes longer than pushing a normal vacuum about but it covers each part of the floor on average 5 times in one cleaning mission, and most of the time you’re not there, you don’t even have to press a button!

With Cosmo shedding as much hair as he does vacuuming every day was such a faff, getting the hoover out, plugging it in, moving the power cable around, moving furniture to get under it, wasting time doing it, and then putting it all away again. Now I do practically nothing, Roomba turns on automatically, cleans (even under the sofa and bed) every day automatically and then puts itself away automatically. All I have to do is empty the dustbin every other day, which takes about 10 seconds. Honestly, my floors have never been so spotless, and I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in dust levels on surfaces around the apartment.

I’ve already converted three other people to Roomba, and I’ve already bought another Roomba for the bedroom, and a Scooba (which mops your floor instead of vacuuming), I’m going robot mad!

Here’s a short video of my Roomba in demo mode, for those who are curious…

~ by youbrokemytaco on March 4, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Miracle that is Roomba”

  1. never mind a video of Jaunita, what about a video of Cosmo šŸ™‚

  2. are you still out there? hope things are ok

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