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We got this nifty little machine a year or so ago, and to be honest, when my husband suggested it I thought he was bonkers. However, it really comes in helpful,and we use it a few times a week. 'He' has become like a member of the family!
We have all wooden floors on our ground floor and for that he is exceptionally useful. Move one or two things off the floor and set Roomba off as we go out, when we get back, voila, nice clean floors. He isn't the best at getting in to corners, so I do these properly when I use the vacuum. Emptying the dust and cleaning the brushes, which needs to be done each time, couldn't be easier. It takes far longer than it would to just vacuum your floor with a conventional vac, but as you don't actually have to do it, I don't mind this. He isn't noisy. Occasionally my friends have been surprised when we are having a coffee and you can hear noise upstairs. 'Whats that noise?' 'Oh, it's just the robot vacuuming the bedroom!'
I've never bothered with the sensor that you can erect to keep him in one room. Roomba is very clever and by using sensors he is guided round the space he is cleaning. He learns by bumping in to things, so his bumper comes in useful. It is amusing to watch him teeter at the top of the stairs, but he's never fallen down yet!
It doesn't replace the need for a proper vacuum cleaner. However, it cuts down the need to do a 'proper' vac as frequently. I prefer not to use him on our thick rug, as i dont think roomba can clean as deeply as a normal vac. We have never changed the brushes yet and they seem fine. He recharges fairly quickly, 1-2 hours, after he finds his way back to his docking station.
As others have said Roomba can get stuck in certain places, and complain until you come and rescue him. However, you soon get used to his little ways, and know how to avoid it. It's not perfect, but it's cheaper than a cleaner, can work whilst you're out, and my floors are certainly cleaner than they used to be.
My cats are terrified of Roomba and its entertainment in itself to see them chasing it and then running away. My toddler is also fascinated with it!
A good buy, I would certainly find life more difficult without him :.)
We have had our iRobot Roomba 530 cleaner now for a couple of years. I first saw this on a TV programme and I thought it was a wind up - a vacuum cleaner that could work itself and navigate around ourr house sounded too good to be true! For £200 online from Ebay we bought this fantastic little gadget and we use it fairly regularly in our house, to the delight of our little lad and our guests who are very impressed with its cleaning abilities.
It is lightweight and stylish and comes well packaged in a heavy duty cardboard box with full set of easy to read operating instructions. It has a few different parts to it, firstly the charger base where it sits to charge. Each time it is charged it can usually clean up to three bedrooms in our house efficiently and effectively.
Press the On button after it has charged and it easily navigates around the room, sizing up as it goes and getting into all the little nooks and crannies and sucking up the dirt on its travels. It is quite a low noise when it is in operation and not too bad at all. If you have a little pile of dirt, dust or crumbs that you want cleaning on the spot, then you just put it on top and press SPOT and it will suck it up there and then. Press DOCK and it travels back to its base. It is so high tech and I really do love it - a lot!
It comes with a replacement filter, set of brushes and the charger base and it is small enough to just store away under our kitchen cupboard and does not get in the way at all as a large vacuum cleaner does. We still use our traditional Dyson of course, but when you are is a rush and you have other stuff to be getting on with, it is so easy to just set this in motion and just let it get on with it.
I'm the very proud owner of a Roomba 530, and I have to tell you it's just fabulous! I was very sceptical, but I am totally converted and would recommend this little gadget to anyone.
Firstly, the Roomba is only small. About the size of a large dinner plate and only 4" high. It comes with a little docking station, to recharge the internal battery, and a lighthouse (more about that later). It's quite a heavy little thing, seems well built and looks extremely cute.
Everyone I know has a 'pet name' for their Roomba, it is very tempting to give yours a personality and think of it like a member of the family (!), but I'll try to stick to the point ......
It's quite simple. I already own some of the most technically advanced, expensive and well engineered vacuum cleaners available on the market today. But they all have the same problem - someone needs to stand behind them and push! The Roomba has quite transformed our household. You take it to the place you want cleaned, set it down on the floor, press the 'clean' button and off it goes. It beetles around the entire room, intelligently learning about the dimensions as it goes. The owner's manual claims it will cover the whole area about 4 times in the course of cleaning, and I can believe it.
It basically runs around on its little wheels, using a combination of brushes and vacuum to pick up dust, hair and small debris. It can circle, change direction and reverse. It has a main set of brushes underneath the body. An additional edge cleaning brush sweeps debris underneath the machine ready to be picked up by the main brushes. It carries a small slide-out waste collection bin that needs to be emptied after each clean.
It's extremely intelligent, with an array of sensors to guide it. There's a spring loaded bumper all round the front so it will gently touch against furniture without damage. As it approaches an obstruction, you can see it slowing down. Once it has nudged up against the object it will beetle off happily in another direction.
It also has a very clever 'cliff sensor' - as soon as it can't 'see' floor underneath the sensor, it will stop and reverse. So, it doesn't throw itself over doorsteps or fall down the stairs. Now I was very nervous when first testing this feature, but truly Roomba will not fall downstairs and I've completely relaxed :-)
It comes complete with a 'lighthouse' - a little pod about the size of a PC speaker that is battery powered. Switch on the lighthouse and it emits a signal that Roomba won't cross through. So for example if you want Roomba to stay in a certain room, place the lighthouse in the doorway of the room to confine Roomba there.
The Roomba has a selection of voice messages, beeps and lights to communicate with you. If there's anything wrong, it will beep and 'tell' you what it needs, for example 'please clean Roomba's brushes' . It also makes happy noises when it has completed its cleaning task and when it has docked successfully. It makes sad 'uh-oh' beeps when something is wrong! Bless.
When Roomba has finished its cleaning task, the 'dock' light will flash and it will try to find its way back to the docking station. When it has locked onto the docking station signal it will line itself up, sit on its charging station and play a happy little noise.
As you can probably tell, I'm totally charmed by Roomba, but quite honestly it's not a gimmick. While it's not the most powerful vacuum in the world, it cleans every day, gently and without effort. I believe it keeps the carpets cleaner than being battered by a full size vacuum two or three times a week, because the dust is being lifted every day. It copes with carpets, tiles and laminate equally easily and will happily clean rugs without mangling the edges.
Bad points: There's nothing really awful about owning a Roomba. It will not cope with extremely messy carpets or large pieces of debris. You also need to clean the brushes regularly (the brush cleaner provided with the Roomba is fab) and empty the collection bin after each cycle. The only consumables are the filter and replacement brushes, there's no bag to change.
Battery life could be better - if you have a large house or complicated room layouts, forget the spiel about leaving it to vacuum the whole house while you go out to work, it just won't happen. In a small flat, it would cope fine. It's a bit noisy while it's working, personally it doesn't bother me but I tend to put it to work in an empty room while I'm off doing something elsewhere. If you own a Roomba, you will soon get used to any areas where it gets stuck (e.g. we have one radiator that it can go under but not get out of, and it often shuts itself in the bathroom !!)
Good points: Too numerous to mention! Apart from the obvious advantage of doing the cleaning for you, it's also extremely amusing to watch, your guests will all want to kidnap it and take it home with them, and you have a clean house with very little effort. It also cleans right to the edges and can go underneath sofas, beds and numerous places that the vacuum cleaner can't.
Long term reliability? Don't know, but to be honest I'm not remotely concerned. It has a full 12 month guarantee. If at the end of 12 months it disintegrates into a pile of springs and microchips, I would rush out and buy another straight away. Why? Because based on a purchase cost of just over £200, £4 per week for a clean house feels like great value for money for someone who doesn't like vacuuming :-)
We have recently bought a Roomba after being recommended one by a friend. I have to say it is excellent! We have a number of pets -- cats and dogs and we have a mixture of wood, laminate and carpet flooring. The little droid copes brilliantly with all of these and picks up teh dog and cat hairs really effectively. I was sceptical about how well it wound cope on the landing -- worrying that it might fall down the stairs. However, it has sensors which can identify the dissappearance of the floor and so it stops when it gets to the edge. A really neat feature is that, should it get caught up in something, or if a wheel get stuk (and even if it just gets too full) it makes a sound followed by a number of beeps -- the number of beeps tells you what the problem is. It even has recorded messages for some instances so 'speaks to you! It can find its way to its docking station and sings a little triumphant tune when its properly docked. All in all it is both cute and very effective -- what more could you want?
How amazing is technology! The first commercially designed robot is anbsolutely fantastic! This has to be my top purcahse of 2009. For one thing, the look of the thing is not only a talking point for any guests, but it is just fundamentally cool (yes I am a bit of a geek!). The Roomba is futuristic & sleek in design, easy funtionality and compact.
It's fascinating to watch and very easy to use and maintain. To clean one room takes about 25 minutes, so not the fastest worker. But if it means you can pop to the shops or go out to the pub while it does the housework for you, who's complaining?! It has a good function where it detects "dirt hotspots" and spends more time focussing on the dirtier areas.
I have wood flooring throughout my house so it's ideal, not sure how it would cope with all carpet cleaning. One thing that has got it stumped is hoovering my lounge rug. It gets to the edge of the carpet & must think it's a wall cos it just goes round it.
My Roomba, Marvin, can hold a small amount of dirt so does require emptying after each use.
Hello everyone and welcome to this review!
I want to let you all know just how brilliant these little machines are!
So what is a Roomba?
Roomba is a round shaped powerful vacuum cleaning robot. It is designed to clean all floors including thick carpets and hardfloors with one press of a button. The roomba is a great vacuum for people who do not have time, are unable or simply do not like vacuuming. The Roomba maps out your rooms and cleans up all of the mess using brushes and a vacuum. The robot will also clean edges and corners by following walls.
What do you get in the box?
When I opened the rather small box I was rather suprised what was in it!
The Roomba Vacuum
A Charging Base
A Spare Vacuum Filter
A Rooba Virtual Wall
Brush Cleaning tool
And instruction Booklets.
I found this machine in Debenhams, it caught my eye as I walked past a sales representitive giving demonstrations. I watched the Roomba drive around eating up all of the sand and dirt on the floor and I thought - I need one of them!
I picked up the box and took it to the counter, I could not wait to get the thing home!
I opened the box and read the instructions as it looked quite a high tech product! I didn't want to do anything wrong after spending 199 Pounds!
What buttons does Roomba have on the top?
Its very easy to use,
Clean - This button is used to clean, the roomba will cover the whole room 4 times over untill every dustbunny has gone!
Spot - This is used for cleaning a 3 foot area, such as when you spill cereal. Place the roomba next to the mess and dooo doo ddod doo .... its gone!
Dock - This button is pressed if you want the roomba to charge, it will drive back to its base charger.
In the instructions Irobot recommend that you charge the unit for 16 hours before the first use and then two hours after that.
BUT - Im impatient! I took it from the box and pressed the large clean button on the top of the vacuum. It played a pretty tune and off it went! It started its circle dance around the room untill it blue dirt detect light came on and it cleaned the dirty area - I had hoovered that morning but this robots blue Dirt light was illuminated over most of my living room floor!
You may be asking what is this blue light?
Well - Roomba is a super clever Robot, when the unit detects allot of dirt is being picked up in a small area the bot with start to circle. It doubles its cleaning power until its happy the dirt has gone and it drives off! Amazing.
Once the robot had finished my living room I thought it would have a few crumbs inside. I opened it up and OH MY GOODNESS! A pile of sand, dust, paper clips, hair and plenty of other disgusting items were sitting in the dirt cup. Thats when I decided, my Dyson is history!
Now how does Roomba do such a good job?
On the underside of the Roomba there is a rather clever cleaning system. On the right side of the robot ther is a star shaped brush, this spins very fast as the roomba hugs the walls to remove all of the side dirt. It works suprisingly well removing atleast 99% of the edge dirt. This star brush kicks the dirt from the edges into the Roombas cleaning path.
In the middle of the robot lies two brushes. One is a strong rubber brush and the other is a spinny brush like you get on any upright vacuum. These brusshes counter-rotate and lift all of the rubbish from your carpets and floors. They reach deep into the pile removing an unbelievable amount of dirt and pet hair.
Behind the two brushes there is a black squeegy. This is used as a vacuum. A powerful dust buster type vacuum is inside the roomba and this is designed to suck all of the fine dust and allergens from the carpet. Inside the vacuum chamber lies a filter. The vacuum chamber is on the bottom side of the dust compartment, it comes out like a little draw to clean, it really picks up an amazing amount of dust.
How does Roomba know where to go?
Roomba has many built in sensores. It will not fall down stairs, it detects the drop, goes up to the edge of the stair and then happily drives off in another direction.
The bumper on the front of the roomba lets it know when to turn direction by gently touching a surface. The front bumper has a network of infrared sensors built in. This allows roomba to see where it is in the room and the vac knows to slow down when it sees an object infront of it.
The Roomba uses Rooba AWARE room coverage system. The vacuum will cover each part of the room 4 times over befre it declares mission accomplished.
Does Roomba ever miss a spot?
NO! I have had this unit for 3 months now and have used it everyday and it has never missed a crumb.
The battery in the roomba is designed to last two hours, but mine easily lasts 3 hours! completing the whole house untill it needs charging.
When the unit needs charging The robot searches for its home base, YES! the robot even charges itself. I was shocked when I first witnessed this. I set roomba free in the kitchen and the base was in the living room where I was watching Tv, when the roomba was finished the amazing thing drove through the hall and straight into the living room and sat on its charger! Im sure this thing is human.
Best of all the Roomba only takes two hours to charge!!!
How does the roomba cope with pet hair?
Well I have two cats and a dog, they all leave hair around the house but the floors are so clean you could eat off them! not that I would want to though.
This shows it works - the only place that gathers hair in the house now are the stairs! Unfortunately roomba cannot clean stairs, but if it could my house would be 100% hair free!
Roomba takes care of all of your vacuuming needs however you must clean him out every now and then! This is easily done. Flip the roomba over and remove the brushes with one click. Clean the hair and bearings and pop them back in. Its that easy!
I always thought that battery operated cleaning products were a waste of money. But Roomba has totally changed my mind! This really does have the cleaning ability of my dyson and is much more interesting. Best of all I no longer hoover the main floors!
What about durability?
Well three months of being used five hours every day, definately passed my tests! It also comes with a year gaurantee, Domotec will collect it free of charge and repair it free of charge if it does ever delelope a fault. The unit does feel very strong and is quite heavy which tells me its quality!:)
If Roomba ever has problems such as jammed brusshes it will stop and talk to you.
Mine got jammed on a bathrobe - It stopped and said "Please remove and clean Roombas brusshes", Its amazing!
Also if you hold the dock button on the top for 5 seconds the roomba will start talking and do a demonstration. It tells you how it works and its patterns etc. really great for entertaining guests.
Is the Roomba loud?
NO! It is extremely quiet, you can easily watch Tv when it is on. Its so quiet infact that I sometimes put it on downstairs when we go up for bed! and come down to a clean downstairs.
I hope this review has helped you with your decision..
I know a lot of people accuse these as being useless but they are NOT! Honestly, but I highly recommend you do not buy the copies of the original roomba! Mum bought one and hey, it hardly moves haha!
Thanks for reading,
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