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So, anyone got an iRobot Roomba or other robot vacuum cleaner?

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by Richdog, 22 Jun 2013.

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  1. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,294

    Location: Utopia

    Well, I just ordered an iRobot Roomba 650 as my own little cleaning R2D2. http://store.irobot.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13081980 :D

    Firstly lets get this out of the way, this is inarguably a non-necessary, luxury purchase. I'm lazy, and I can live with it. :p

    Fact: I HATE cleaning, as a single guy it's the scourge of my free time and I am always looking for ways to make life easier in that department. A friend bought one a couple of years ago and has raved about it for so long (she is also very homely and fastidious) that I finally started to do some research myself to see what the fuss was about.

    Reviews and user feedback is generally very positive even from cleaning experts and fussy housewives, especially for the new range of models, and according to user experiences it apparently cleans around 95% of your floors, with the other 5% in difficult to reach areas like corners needing good old-fashioned elbow grease.

    Either way, I am looking forward to picking it up next week and giving letting it clean my apartment (not house) while I go out and make money. If I can actually find some kind of R2D2 sticker on Ebay then I will love it like a son. I will also of course update this post with a review when I get it and start using it for a week.

    So... anyone else got one, or looking into it? :)

    UPDATE 27/06/2013

    Ok, I have now used the Roomba (henceforth known as R2, or Richba, depending on my mood) for 3 days. Every day at 12pm my robot son has patrolled my apartment, his little brushes whirring merrily as he collects my household detritus. Not a word of complaint has thus far escaped his little robotic lips.

    So, how has he performed?In a word: bloody great. I purposefully didn't do a proper hoover before I started using him (iRobot recommend to start froma fresh base of hooveredness-nessness), and he has not dissappointed.

    Day 1 - The floors were noticeably cleaaner, but when I put my finger around I saw a few bits of dust and dirt in various places that he didn't have time to get back to before he had to recharge.

    Day 2 - Floors were even noticeably cleaner, but still a bit of dust in corners, where again Richba didn't get chance to randomly pass before he needed to go to the charge-a-loo to do his business.

    Day 3 - Came home and did a test. Wow, the floors are better than when I do a hoover and take good care. I mean really, even corners etc are free of dirt. I found on a few bits inside some really hard to reach nooks and crannies, but I am being really critical here.

    Clearly not only does the Richba do his job, but he really benefits from multiple daily cleanings in order to maximise coverage during his scheduled runs. If I want him to do a specific room that I disallow during the scheduled cleaning (like my bedroom, too many wires due to my poor organizing, I need to tidy them up for it to be Richba safe) then I just plonk him inside and press the "clean" button, and after giving him a playful pat on the rump he then dutifully gets about his business.

    I had read reviews so I was expecting it to be good, but honestly it's a ridiculously convenient thing to have, and will mean that my floors (all hardwood and lino) stay clean with minimum effort on my side. Plus, it will have the added benefit of making me keep my floors clean of clutter.

    So far I am thinking this is money well spent. :D

    UPDATE 29/06/2013

    Well, I came home today and out of curiousity let Richba go in my bedroom and watched it do it's work (yes, really, it fascinates me like only a time and energy-saving gadget can). In the 30 mins it was doing the cleaning cycle it went into every conceivable place it could physically fit into. It looks so random the way it veers and bumps about, but no matter how much you think "Hmm, it's missed a spot" it always ends up going to that place eventually. The logic it runs on, while chaotic, seems pretty damn thorough.

    I hadn't had my bedroom hoovered in a couple of weeks and now the floors just really feel clean, no fluff on my socks or dust on my bare feet, and I can honestly say that it does a better job than I do with a hoover. Yes, there are of course parts behind and inbetween some things that it just cannot reach due to obstacles and furniture, but for the 95% it covers, it really does the job.

    Absolutely delighted with the purchase, and I really don't understand how anyone can come out with rubbish like "they are completely useless"or "oversized paper-weights" etc etc.

    The facts are that after almost a week of daily use my hardwood and lino floors are visibly and to the touch cleaner than I have seen them in ages, and I would not say that if I genuinely didn't think so, and the proof is right before my eyes. Fantastic little machine, and I don't regret the purchase for a second. :)
     
    Last edited: 28 Jun 2013
  2. Apex

    Capodecina

    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 11,466

    Location: Surrey

    hire a professional cleaner. seriously. don't pay over the top for a rubbish vacuum to do a rubbish job at vacuuming a small part of your house, get a pro in who will do everything. vacuuming is like the easiest thing to do, if you get this you'll still be stuck doing everything else.

    and these suck! they don't have the power to create the suction required to suck up all the dirt, so although it may look visually cleaner as the big things have gone, there will be grit still around.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2013
  3. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,294

    Location: Utopia

    I used to have a professional cleaner then stopped as it just wasn't worth it... when I do clean I go a good job and their work was no better than mine.

    The Roomba is also much cheaper (the outlay is equivalent to 11 hours of professional cleaning time) , and I know exactly what its limits are and how it will help me. :)

    As for the rest of your post, like I said, there is a ton of objective feedback on the web supporting their good performance.
     
  4. Apex

    Capodecina

    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 11,466

    Location: Surrey

    but it's obvious, you don't need to use the internet to see that they simply are too small and don't have the suction. look at a miele for instance, the size of it etc and it's suction power, then this. the miele is over the top for the sake of being over the top, the suction is important to picking up the dirt. the robot has a few very thin brushes and a tiny under powered vacuum.

    they are cool and nothing else, but they are programmed to work whilst you aren't there so really you'll never see it do anything cool.

    not sure who you used by assuming you've gone with the cheapest vacuum which i see is £300, 11 hours cleaning would mean you've paid £27 per hour? I charge £14 per hour and have a constant fight with customers as my prices are considered high.
     
  5. kwerk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 May 2009

    Posts: 5,748

    Vacuuming is the only household I quite enjoy, besides mowing the lawn. It's sort of like mowing an indoors lawn in a way. I have a pretty nice Dyson though.
     
  6. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,294

    Location: Utopia

    1) You are wrong about the first part, while of course not as powerful as a dedicated upright, they DO pick up lot of dirt and grime in combination with the sweeping action, and tons of independent review confirm this. Go do some actual research instead of just quoting your subjective opinion without the facts. :)

    2) I live in another country to the UK where prices are much different... £235 for the Roomba and £20 per hour for a cleaner. ;)
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2013
  7. Mr Gimp

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Sep 2003

    Posts: 3,449

    Location: Somerset

    The Roomba is an absolute pile of arse. I used to give them away with mobile deals and we had one in the store. It couldn't clean to save its life and is nothing other than a novelty.
    Sorry for your waste of money dude :p
     
  8. Chris1712

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 29 Jul 2004

    Posts: 9,135

    Location: Somerset

    Cool, I look forward to your review! From what I read each iteration is a considerable improvement over the last, so interested to see how feasible it is in reality.
     
  9. PobodY

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 May 2006

    Posts: 242

    Location: Trent Vegas

    I love my Roomda Discovery. - No, it's not a real vacuum cleaner; think of it more like a mobile dustpan and brush.

    Not very good at carpet, but quite good on hard floors if you let it go. - I enjoy it's chirpy little noises and the random way it progresses around the room.

    We used to have a dog, and the Roomba was great for collecting the hair from around the house; plus for some reason the dog could ignore the Roomba, but not a vacuum cleaner.
     
  10. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,294

    Location: Utopia

    Don't worry, you'll get the full low-down whether good or bad! :)

    Sounds good, my apartment is exclusively hardwood or tiling anyway. :)

    Again, tons of objective professional and user reviews disagree with this.
     
  11. Azza

    Caporegime

    Joined: 6 Dec 2005

    Posts: 35,536

    Location: Birmingham

    DJ Roomba!! Tearin' it up!

     
  12. Mr Gimp

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Sep 2003

    Posts: 3,449

    Location: Somerset

    Just my personal view having had one for over a year. Great if you've got laminate floors, but still too much of a novelty IMO.
    Good luck with it though :)
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2013
  13. Flukester

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,402

    Location: Christchurch UK

    We have had a roomba for 3 years now.... Every sat morning I set it off, when we come home floor is clean. Only thing I suggest is clean it roughly every time before you set it off, and clean with a air hose / strip every few months.

    We don't even own a normal vacuum :)

    Edit I think there is a wifi mod so it can tweet / post on facebook what it's doing lol
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2013
  14. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,294

    Location: Utopia

    So it cleans well then? Guess it must do if you don't own a regular vacuum! :)
     
  15. Flukester

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,402

    Location: Christchurch UK

    Yeah, it used to do our old carpeted flat. Split the flat into to 3 zones with lighthouses. Before we went out we would pull curtains so not on floor and just check nothing to snag on. (We went out one Saturday and came back and it had trashed Christmas tree and pulled it over lol)

    In new house it does open plan wood floor, and makes dam good job, never have to sweep it... It kinda hunkers down on solid flooring.

    Before I leave on sat, I empty dust bin, then pop out the the two rollers underneath and pull hair off them, then manually set off. 2hrs later when we return floor is clean and it's sitting back on base station charging

    The whole robot strips right down with a screwdriver in a modular fashion, and with a air hose you can get it squeaky clean.

    The biggest complaints you'll see is people not cleaning the thing, and eventually hair and dirt causes resistance on moving parts and works way into gearbox, but with a little tlc ours is still all original and it must of done more mileage than a mars rover....


    Yeah it's abit of a gimmick, but it does actually work dam well :), if it broke I'd buy another...


    Oh the only thing I replaced was the battery which lost charge after two years... Got a uprated third part one off ebay much cheaper than OEM part
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2013
  16. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,294

    Location: Utopia

    Awesome sounds good, thanks for the info mate that's the exact kind of clear and reasoned feedback I was looking for. :)
     
  17. Glaucus

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 11 Mar 2004

    Posts: 76,645

    How close do they get to obstacles. Always wanted one, but surly they can't clean to the edge and if you have a dining room with table and chairs it would be fairly useless?
     
  18. Apex

    Capodecina

    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 11,466

    Location: Surrey

    from what i've seen the little brushes come out further then the machine, and the machine will go all the way until it feels resistance, so long as the brushes can move the dirt then it'll get somewhat into the corners. it's a circle after all so a square corner it wont have any chance of getting to.
     
  19. arknor

    Caporegime

    Joined: 22 Nov 2005

    Posts: 37,449

    Location: Newcastle/Zurich





    Cat's approve of the roomba
     
    Last edited: 24 Jun 2013
  20. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,294

    Location: Utopia

    Yup, that seems to be the case.

    Should pick mine up this week, getting impatient grrr.