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Old 09-23-10, 01:56 PM   #1
Xringer
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Default IRobot vacuum?

Does anyone here own a robotic vacuum cleaner??

iRobot Home Cleaning Robots: Vacuuming, Floor Washing, Pool Cleaning, Shop Sweeping, Gutter Cleaning



YouTube - Newegg Review: iRobot Roomba 560 Vacuum Cleaning Robot


We just pulled up about 80% of our wall-to-wall carpet and now we notice
every little bit of dirt etc on the hardwood floor.
So, I'm thinking maybe it's time for a Robot to help out around the house..

Until now, I never knew that 0.64 % of every cookie, cornchip or cracker that I eat, ends up on the floor!!

Anyways, does anyone have the scoop on these robots.?. Recommendations?

Thanks,
Rich

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Old 09-23-10, 04:40 PM   #2
RobertSmalls
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I have a dead Roomba that was left in the closet when I moved in. I've also seen live ones in action. My impressions: They're fun to watch, but they're noisy, slow, and weak. They might do better on hardwood than on carpet, though.

The Roomba manual tells you how to make a room "Roomba-friendly", changing furniture configurations that it will get stuck on, placing beacons near things it won't like, etc. It's tedious enough that you probably don't want to let the thing roam in more than one room.

The Roomba is too big to fit between the legs of a dining room chair, which is unfortunate because it's often dirty under a table.
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Old 09-24-10, 01:05 PM   #3
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noisy, slow, and weak.. Yeah, that's the impression I got after watching a comparison
of the Roomba and a newer machine. The Neato XV-11 looks like a much better unit.

Check out the video on this page:
Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum review -- Engadget


neato robotics | Home of the Neato Robotics XV-11 Vacuum Cleaner

The main problem I see is the price.. $400!
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Old 09-25-10, 07:54 PM   #4
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I know someone who just got a job at iRobot, and one of the things he found out is that most of the people working there want to be involved with the robotics. He is perfectly happy to work on the other systems, so maybe the mechanics and the vacuum portion of the Roombas will get better?
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Old 09-25-10, 09:52 PM   #5
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I think a lot of those folks working on robotics, are working on other robot apps..

They are clearing buildings in war zones, (instead of floors)..

iRobot Ground Robots





YouTube - IRobot Packbot action!
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Old 09-27-10, 02:19 PM   #6
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I have one and use it less than I could. It works much better on smooth surfaces than it does on carpet, so it is a good candidate for hardwood. It tends to need babysitting, which can get a bit tiresome. Typically I use it when I am cleaning the house. I pick up the big stuff off of the floor and let the roomba do its thing. Since you are at home most of the time (lucky retired folks) it may be a good option for you. They have ones that start at lower prices. Check discount stores along with your local big box store for ones in the $150 range. All in all, it is an expensive toy that makes my life marginally easier.
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Old 09-27-10, 03:12 PM   #7
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Thanks Ben.. What model do you have? I've been looking at the 560,
but I'm wondering if I should spend more or less..

I've read that some folks have spent 200-400 bucks, plus another
$100-200 over a few years replacement parts and consumables..

Some of them say that's too much money for a unit with a lifespan for 2 to 4 years.
That lifespan thing makes me wonder. Since it seems like you can just buy new
parts as they get old and fail..
Or, does a main component die? One that makes it too expensive to repair?
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Old 09-27-10, 03:32 PM   #8
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I can't remember the model number--I will look when I get home--but I spent around $200. It was a mutual anniversary gift for my wife and me. The parts that need replacing are a small brush that draws dust bunnies in, a filter, and the battery. These are all proprietary (read: expensive) but I am sure that most of it could be replaced cheaply with some creative tinkering. It is the battery that really kills you, but I think people have so much trouble because they don't follow proper battery maintenance--keep it charged. The devices themselves may draw down the battery too much, but I am not sure.

I am not sure why people are saying a 2-4 year lifespan. The design seems solid enough and I haven't had any problems in the year that I have had it.
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Old 09-27-10, 06:16 PM   #9
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One store that gives you a lifetime warranty, specifies the life span is 5 years..
iRobot Roomba 500 Series Robot Vacuums - RobotShop
They will fix you up if it has defects, but the consumables are all yours..

Not sure about these guys..
Roomba Robot Vacuums - Hammacher Schlemmer

I've seen the brushes and batteries on Ebay, maybe the parts aren't too unreasonably.?.

I don't like the idea of babysitting it. I can't stand the noise of our regular vac.
I hardly ever vacuum anything upstairs. Just use a couple of vacs in my shop.
And when I use the big shop vac, I have my shooting ear-muffs on..

We were talking about this topic at supper tonight. My wife thinks the new
hardwood cleaning job will give her something to do.
She said, "I didn't think it would have to be done Every day".
I replied 'yeah, we couldn't see all the cookie crumbs in the carpet'.

Anyways, we are re-thinking the whole robotic vac idea.
Maybe, becasue I'm leaning towards the (very loud) $400 Neato..?.


Which acts more like a robot with some real programming..
I'm thinking of waiting a year to see if Neato becomes a topdog or goes
the way of most startups.
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Old 09-18-12, 10:59 PM   #10
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Xringer,

I have a 400 series Roomba that I picked up at Big Lots for $99. It works great for me. I have no carpet. I'm still in renovation of the house. I live alone. It was said earlier that Roomba's are noisy. That's absolutely true, so I turn it on before I go to work and empty it when I get home. I think its great, however, sometimes it starts up doing a backward dance like it can't get its bearings. A few blasts from a can if compressed air cleans out the bump sensors, and it good as new.

I liked it so much I went and got a Scooba with my tax refund check. It works great too, however cleaning is a bit more involved than the Roomba. The Scooba does NOT like climbing anything, even a 1/4 inch tile. The Roomba tackles that with no problem. I just alternate between the two every day and I really don't have to worry about hiring a maid.

Good luck with it.

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