iRobot Roomba

Vacuum Cleaning Robot

This is a public Robot Group  public


    What I like and what I'd like to see
    Entry posted June 16, 2016 by KostaNewbie, last edited June 16, 2016 
    What I like and what I'd like to see

    I've had a Roomba 870 for two weeks now and love it. I've observed that it has certain key strengths:

    - Big: it "forces" you to declutter so that it can do its job. It's a sort of "Roomba Feng Shui". My house has never been so Zen-like in its lack of clutter. I swear I've gained 100 square feet of room. What a brilliant example of how technology can influence human behaviour for the better -- just like how a fitness tracker can raise awareness of your periods of inactivity, poor heart rate stats, etc., and subsequently motivate you to behave in healthier ways.

    - Big: it does, indeed, clean very well. I was skeptical at first, but it excels at cleaning around the perimeter of a room, around the legs of tables and chairs, and under sofas and chairs -- all with way more persistence than I have. I acknowledge that, if Roomba misses a few spots, they'll be fewer than the spots I would have missed, and I can be confident that it won't miss them next time. I also don't mind it cleaning over the same spot several times because, by doing so, it can pick up dirt that it may have scattered there from another spot. I'd put Roomba right up there with other passive technologies that we take for granted, like the dishwasher and the washing machine: yes, they occasionally fall short, and they may require a bit of prep and maintenance, but they generally do their job very, very well.

    - Spot-clean mode is fabulous for mats.

    - It's easy to empty the dust bin and get to the HEPA filter. I also find it's quite easy to remove spinning parts to remove hair.

    - The battery is great (for now).

    - I don't mind the weight, as it nudges objects a bit and holds its weight to get out of a bind.

    And now, suggestions for improvement:

    - Roomba still ploughs right into objects, especially thin ones like furniture legs. It needs better sensors to avoid such obstacles. It also grinds over floor registers: it needs to adjust its height or do something to handle them better.

    - The carry handle seems too thin: make it sturdier. I'm waiting for the day that it'll just break off.

    - Try to make Roomba shorter/thinner. I'm not sure if this is a long-term goal (sort of how, say, tablet and laptop companies make it an incremental goal to make their devices thinner and thinner), but, if it's not, maybe it should be. I have three low dressers, two low sofas, and two chairs with low stretchers that Roomba can't get under because it's about an inch too tall.

    - Try to make it quieter. Yeah, I know, you can program it to work when you're away, but hey.

    - How about eliminating virtual walls / lighthouses entirely? They're cool, but they're also a drag. You should be able to place Roomba in a room and have it recognize the exits, avoiding them until it's done cleaning the room. Or, place it on the threshold and have it visually "mark" that spot as the exit. (I admit, I have no idea how you would accomplish this in an open-concept home.)