I’m not very interested in vacuuming it was very hard to get enthusiastic. But here was a vacuum cleaning robot for people who don’t like vacuuming. With HEPA filters. Plus funny cat videos on YouTube. I was suspicious, but entranced.
iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Review
First you do have to Roomba proof your home.
Tidy trailing wires away, slightly block up some things you want it to clean under and remember to shift any really fluffy or long fringed rugs out of its reach before its programmed cleaning time. Which I understand does all sound like work but it stops your Wi Fi getting disconnected or your land line phone hitting the floor or your rug fringes getting ingested and so on.
It is for the most part (fringed rugs aside) a one time time investment and nothing like the repeated amount of uninteresting work involved in actually vacuuming yourself.
Roomba is a bit of a Dalek and does not do stairs. Or pick up smalls (it will herd them discretely into obscure corners under the bed though so at least unexpected guests are unlikely to notice them) and has a lamentable tendency to eat any crucially important papers left on the floor but is a lot, lot better than hovering yourself and does impose a degree of floor level discipline on the chronically untidy.
If I was rich I would have two so I didn’t have to bother to carry it up the stairs to do the bedroom.
You do have to clean it out though
It is only little, and in doing so you realize just how much stuff it picks up. And retrieve some useful small items you thought you’d lost forever. I found compressed air canisters for cleaning computers were very handy in extensively prolonging the working life of the HEPA filters.
Sometimes Roomba stops and wails, in a slightly disturbing American computer from “Star Trek” accent, to tell you what its problem is. Generally it has got boxed in, or eaten a piece of string or something: “Move Roomba to a new location”…
Don’t leave string on the floor
The suffering of the Roomba is sad to see and you have to disentangle the rollers. I thought once that through thoughtless string discarding I had killed it, so badly was it tangled up, and I felt terrible, much as if I had discarded fishing line and some poor swan or dolphin got trapped and hurt. However once carefully disentangled and released back into the wild, Roomba trundled off again manfully and completed its task for the day without further complaint.
Sometimes it seems to clean every single bit of the room except the bit where the bits are and I have to pick it up and move it, or attempt to remote control it, over to the right spot, and sometimes it does an impeccable job all by itself. Sometimes it persists in affectionately chasing me into the kitchen, which doesn’t generally need vacuuming, and I try and remember to buy batteries for the towers that pen it in but mostly just try not to step on it as it bumbles cheerfully about my ankles.
All in all I have found it worth every penny and I now rely on it. About once every two or three months I get the old, old vacuum cleaner out and do the stairs and the odd corner “Scooby” cannot reach, and this makes me ever more grateful for “Scooby”, which lives under the sofa in the living room and does all the rest.
We gave the iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot