12. July 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: Reviews
Roomba eating a cable

Roomba eating a cable

In the UK we had a Henry Hoover, and he was great. We used to feed him a lot of plaster and bricks from our walls, and tiles from our kitchen floor – but he never complained!

We left Henry in the UK though, so bought a dodgy Volta hoover when we got here for $95. It was rubbish and stopped working altogether after about 8 months. We tired a new filter which worked for about another month before it became totally useless again. Now Matt loves gadgets, and we had a few discussions about the replacement hoover. Over a few months he gradually wore me down about getting a robot hoover. After a lot of cynicism I eventually gave in, and we purchased a Roomba 780 (the newest one).

Here’s some features: 

  • Roomba uses ‘lighthouses’ for navigation. These basically divide the flat into 3 zones so he (yes, he’s a boy) finishes one before doing the second and then the third. This makes him more efficient and also helps him find his way home to his dock at the end.
  • You can program him to automatically clean at particular times and days, so he can work away while you’re out. You can also just turn him on when you want
  • He has a spot clean mode so if you make a big mess by dropping something he will circle around and sort it out without needing to clean the whole flat
  • He has a load of different behaviours to help him navigate over cables, round furniture, along walls and get in and out of tricky spots. He also detects ‘cliffs’ so he wont drop off things. We don’t have any so haven’t tested this and aren’t brave enough to put him on the worktop!

So how do I rate him?

Well, there were some teething problems. At first he didn’t get around very much of the flat at all before giving up becasue he was full. In fairness, we hadn’t hoovered properly for a while because the last hoover died and he took a while to be delivered. He also managed to get stuck under the TV stand on a cable.

Overall it is good not having to hoover so much, and I do appreciate that. It certainly appeals to my lazy side. Roomba is quite good at going over cables and wires without getting stuck, although if they are lose he can pull them out and eat them. That means he then jams, stops cleaning and goes to sleep!

Some of the other issues with Roomba, include:

  • He doesn’t clean behind doors, or under Matt’s floor-drobe as he’s not cleaver enough to move things. We have a dust buster for doing the bits he cant reach.
  • He does sometimes miss bits, but on the flip side he does pick up a lot of dirt you cant even see (I think he just eats the carpet personally)
  • He’s a bit noisier than I expected
  • I’m not sure its very efficient, as  he takes a long time to do the flat, but apparently its low power
  • The main problem is his bin is very small, and often gets full before he finishes the flat, eve though its not that big (see earlier comment re eating carpets). This means he doesn’t often do the bedroom and ensuite properly. You can buy a bigger bin attachment which we will probably do.

So in summary – its good if you don’t want to hoover so much, but not totally perfect!


1 Comment

  1. Thomas Thorne

    I have often thought about getting one but I was not sure if the cats would love to play with it or hate it. I am also very bad at keeping floor space clear, so I fear that it would just get trapped behind my rubbish!

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