I was pretty excited when I got the package in the post as I had been waiting for it for a week or two. I opened the box and was presented with this:
It looks amazing! A bit larger than I imagined but just look at it!. In the review notes sent to me by iRobot it says that the Roomba is not made to replace a conventional hoover, it’s here to compliment it. Much like a microwave compliments an oven. I have to say that from my experience I disagree.
After charging the Roomba for a few hours it was time to test it out. The first place I tested it was in my hall. The hall is fairly small (about 3×3 meters or so) and I had hoovered it the day before Roomba arrived. I set the robot up, closed all the doors and left it to its own devices.
My hall is an odd shape and I wasn’t sure the Roomba would cope with it. After a good 20 minutes or so I heard the robot docking itself which meant it was done. I had a quick look around and was very impressed with the results. The on board bin was full of dust and my hall looked as good as if I had done it.
I think that I probably jumped the gun a bit getting it set up so fast because I had no way to measure its success, I could tell it had done a good job but I decided to set up another test that I could write about.
Next up was my living room / kitchen. The actual floor space is fairly large for a small flat. and takes 10 or 15 minutes for me to hoover it all on my own so it would be very interesting to see how the robot does. I took a few photos of messy areas so I could compare the before and after pictures.
The first picture is of the floor in front of my TV. The hamster likes to relax in his ball here for some reason and often drops straw and does his business here.
The second picture is a close up of part of the first. The table that the TV sits on has an edge that sticks out which had dirt in and around it, I wasn’t sure if the Roomba could get under and clean it.
The third picture is where the carpet meets the kitchen floor. I wasn’t 100% sure that the Roomba would be able to get over the little bump or adjust to the different floor type.
The last picture is where my two couches meet. It creates a small square and I’m not sure the Roomba will be able to clean it efficiently as the square isn’t that much larger than the robot itself!
This next picture is just a close up of the small square. I have a bonsai tree that sheds its leaves onto the floor.
I moved the dock and robot into my living room and then used the “virtual wall” device that came with it to block the door from the living room to the hall. This device does what it says on the tin, makes a virtual wall that the Roomba cannot pass through. I know I could have just shut the door but I wanted to see if it worked… it did.
I then clicked the clean button on the Roomba and let it do its thing. It took a fairly long time (around 45 minutes) to clean the floor and the results were astonishing.
It had done such an amazing job. I swear 100% that the pictures are real and I haven’t done any more cleaning. I have no reason to lie, It really is that good.
I wanted to show you how much it has actually picked up off the floor, keep in mind this was completely empty before It cleaned the living room.
That dust pile is 2 or 3 cms high.
The robot has a few nice features built into it. You can schedule how often the robot cleans and set an exact time it starts, mines currently set to clean the living room every day at 9am. If you don’t want to do that it has a big “clean” button you can press and it gets to work right away.
It also has a “spot” and “dock” button. The “spot” can be pressed if the robot is in a dirty area and it spirals around and around that area until it is clean, I have never used this button as the robot automatically detects dirty areas and spends more time on them. I’m also hardly ever here when it is cleaning so I can’t use it!
The “dock” button makes the robot return to its docking station.
It is useful to me because if I am in the flat at 9am I can just send Roomba home and it won’t be buzzing around.
The robot charges itself so I have no idea how long the battery lasts, it’s long enough to clean a room which is all I need it for!
I am extremely impressed with the ability of this robot, It’s buzzing around the room at the moment giving me inspiration as I write the review, I did leave a plastic bag on the floor by mistake which the Roomba got stuck on. I know this because it stopped and literally said “Please check left wheel” to me, I just hope it doesn’t develop conciousness…
To sum up I am very very impressed with this machine. Yes it takes much longer than doing it yourself but the point is you dont have to. If you have a spare £349.99 I would definitely recommend you purchase this machine. I wish I could afford it myself as it has made my life so much easier.
Definite 5/5, best product I have ever tested!