Vacuum cleaning robots

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Humus, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Humus

    Humus Crazy coder
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    Are they any good?
    I need a vacuum cleaner for my new apartment, so I'm thinking of getting one of those robots, like a Roomba or Trilobite. They seem to be reasonably priced these days. Are they doing a good job at cleaning though? Anyone had any experience with them?
     
  2. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    They're junk for the most part from all reports. A clean living bachelors apt they might take care of, but a decent vacuum cleaner would do better/quicker.

    (I just got a new Dirt Devil upright yesterday btw, vacuums are a specialty of mine. With 2 kids, 2 cats, and 3 dogs we tend to chew through them over here. We usually get 2 a year. :lol: )
     
  3. Dresden

    Dresden Celebrating Mediocrity
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    A couple of my friends have some models produced by iRobot. To be frank, they're dumb as a brick. They get cornered frequently and can't really pick up stuff that well.

    Someone needs to invent a real life mouse droid from Star Wars with a vacuum feature.
     
  4. Dominik D

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    Latest Roomba works very well for several of my friends. Based on their experiences I'd buy one if I didn't like cleaning up my apartment by myself.
     
  5. Npl

    Npl
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    I wouldnt ever trust a robot with cleaning, who knows what valuable goods it would suck up with no sign of bad conscience. The floor is an extension of the desk for me anyway, so on a second thought I wouldnt trust anyone but myself from seperating crap from treasures :grin:
     
  6. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    To be fair, there are differing levels of complexity that you pay for. If you buy a "cheap" Roomba, it will perform at the level that you paid for it. As such, don't expect the $149 model to have the longest battery life, to pick up every spec of lint, dirt and debris, and of course don't expect it to always know where the hell it's going or how to get back.

    If you don't mind the pricetag, the ~$400 models work superbly. I've never had one get stuck (even when I've moved things around not thinking...), it does a great job with small and large debris, and works well on my berber carpet and wood floors.

    The only reason I bought one is because several other members of my family bought similar models -- starting with my father. After his experience, my brother bought one, then my mom, and lastly me. My mom bought the top of the line model with a built-in scheduler so it runs around at different times on different days; she needs it to run more often because she has two dogs.

    So, my experience has been quite good. However, I didn't get the bottom-line model, and accordingly, didn't pay a bottom-barrel price. It's definitely one of those "get what you pay for" sorts of things.
     
  7. Humus

    Humus Crazy coder
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    I'm thinking of a high-end model, like the Roomba 530 or 560. If they do a good job, I think it's well spent money. Do you ever find that you have to bring out a manual vacuum to finish the job? Like in the corners and stuff?
     
  8. Davros

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    Ive got one of these and it rocks
    but i so wish it sucked :D

    [​IMG]
     
  9. RussSchultz

    RussSchultz Professional Malcontent
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    We had a roomba and it worked very well for the dogs.

    But my wife's hair was what killed it.

    It wrapped around all the axles, and at least the model we had wasn't very servicable (no way to easily get the hair off the axle) and it eventually just stopped being effective.
     
  10. 3dcgi

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    I have a Roomba Discovery that's almost 3 years old and it works fairly well. It's not smart as some have said, but it doesn't really need to be in my house. It's gets stuck occasionally, but it's not a big deal.

    I also wouldn't worry about if it cleans everywhere each time. The idea is that you can run it often enough that if it misses a spot one time it will get it the next time. I have no problem with starting it and then leaving for work or to run errands.

    The primary consideration should be the state of your house or apartment. People that have kids with junk everywhere probably shouldn't get one as unless you pick up toys frequently it will probably suck up little ones.

    Those that leave other forms of junk all over and don't want to put it up before starting the robot should also stick with a human powered vacuum.

    For me it was money well spent... by my parents when they bought it for me as a house warming gift. :wink:
     
  11. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    What kind of dogs? I'm curious about their hair length.
     
  12. RussSchultz

    RussSchultz Professional Malcontent
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    Short hair dogs (fox terrier and dachshund). Golden retreivers would probably kill the thing pretty quickly
     
  13. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Thanks, sounded like short hairs. My dogs have a mix from retriever to spaniel length. :???:
     
  14. PellePlutt

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    I attended a lecture by a guy involved in designing one of these for Electrolux. They had a sonar for obstacle detection, and apparently their first test-version had a sophisticated algorithm for systematically cleaning an entire room.

    However, after doing some consumer tests, they concluded that a "dumb" version was much more popular. A random movement pattern was found more interesting, whereas an intelligent, efficient cleaning robot was too predictable and boring..

    Won't help you make any purchase decisions, but thought I'd share anyway :smile:
     
  15. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    First thing I saw something like this in real life was in the form of a lawnmower. Of course, this was on an island in a Swedish lake, with theft being less likely, or else you might not want something like that by itself. ;)

    We've thought about this, but we have a lot of small rooms, and our house in the city is really not big enough for this to be really useful. We prefer to spend $22 a week on a cleaning lady - much more versatile too. ;)
     
  16. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    We occasionally bring out the "big vacuum" if we've had a party or something where the floor gets really dirty. I think we do that mostly because we just want to get it done quick versus waiting for the Roomba.

    It has little edge bristles for corners, and does a generally good job; the only places it usually misses are two places where the carpet drops down about 3/4" to tile -- it sees the drop as too tall and steers away from it. This keeps it from going ass-over-teakettle down a set of stairs, but also keeps it from cleaning anywhere in our guest bath or mudroom. Ultimately it isn't a big deal, as we'll just mop those up anyway.

    As for pets -- I have a white rat and a beta, so neither leave any hair on the floor :) My mom's dogs are shorter haired, nothing longer than perhaps two inches. But her carpet is quite pale, and both her dogs have black hair -- so you can tell if any gets left behind. I believe she actually has two of the Roombas now because her house is big enough that it makes more sense to have two. They do an excellent job for her last I checked.
     
  17. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    How do pets react to them? I can imagine some quite funny scenes.
     
  18. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    Didn't even know about these, I think I want one, though I'm not sure the cats will like it. Are the lighthouses neccessary? I mean if I have 2 big rooms, won't it eventually get the entire floor done in both even if it swaps back and forth?
     
  19. Davros

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    even more reason to get one, paint a huge set of teeth on the front for added scare value...
     
  20. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    I don't use the little IR things (lighthouse) and it seems to do fine.
     
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