In 2002 iRobot introduced the first Roomba and the fantasy of the robotic vacuum became a reality at first. I thought it was just a gimmick but after having my first Roomba for a couple years now I no longer have to manually vacuum my home on a regular basis.
What do you need to know about Roombas before buying?
I’m using 595 an older Costco model but all the considerations that we’ll talk about are generally applicable to all roombas as the newer models haven’t really evolved from the original core functionality.
The main thing you need to know about Roombas is that they’re dumb as in their dumb robots. When you send your Roomba off for the first time you’ll watch it mindlessly start vacuuming and after a while you will probably become frustrated watching it miss a patch here or fail to go into the next room.
The Roombas pathing is pretty much random sometimes. It will hug a wall or some furniture but don’t expect it to intelligently vacuum every spot in your home. Your room bows have features like lighthouses and virtual walls that help with pathing but expect you to the random passing of the room boasts that the device will only hit about 90% of your floor during a typical session.
So I recommend running it a couple days of the week so you get full coverage over multiple sessions. The Roombas lack of intelligence also means that you need to robot proof your home so that it doesn’t get trapped or lost this means. Opening all your doors completely reducing clutter on the floor and modifying furniture that can trap the Roomba underneath.
Roombas do have a couple centers to give it some intelligence such as the IR sensors that determine when it’s going to hit a wall and allows it to slow down just before impact. But it will still bump into walls causing scratches to both the wall and itself. After prolong usage I had to put felt tape on my unit to help reduce the damages that it causes Roombas also have cliff sensors so that they won’t fall off stairs but the same sensors prevent the Roomba from working on dark black floors as it will detect it as a cliff and freak out or just turn back around.
Those are the main considerations that you should understand before you go off and get a room by yourself but as long as you have a fairly simple home layout and tend to keep your floor pretty clutter free the Roombas do a great job maintaining a clean home and reduce one less chore I need to worry about on a regular basis.