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Does Roomba Work?: iRobot Review by Jesse Bluma

Does Roomba Work?:  iRobot Review

Busy with work, business, family, friends, and other responsibilities is something we all experience.  If you are looking for a way to reduce some cleaning time, getting a Roomba may be for you.  I recently bought a Roomba and have enjoyed not having to vacuum once a week.  It keeps my floor clean and allows me to do other things while it runs.  I purchased one of the top models, although not the most expensive one.  If you have allergies you may enjoy no longer having to breathe in the dust that gets stirred up as you vacuum.  

"iRobot was founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists with the vision of making practical robots a reality.  iRobot’s corporate headquarters are located in Bedford, Mass. The company also has offices in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, California, the United Kingdom, France, China and Hong Kong.

The Roomba is a series of autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners sold by iRobot.  Under normal operating conditions, it is able to navigate a living space and common obstacles while vacuuming the floor.  Several updates and new models have since been released that allow the Roombas to better negotiate obstacles and optimize cleaning.

The Roomba was introduced in 2002.  The Roomba features a set of basic sensors that allow it to prevent itself from falling down stairs, change its direction when it bumps into an obstacle, and detect exceptionally dirty spots on the floor. It has two motorized wheels that can operate independently from each other. The Roomba uses the wheels to move forward and turn around its own axis to go in another direction."

The newer Roomba model was voted as a best vacuum pick by Real Simple.  "Set it to make its rounds while you’re out (or fast asleep) and it will find its way back to the charging base when done. Small enough to slide under most furniture, it has sensors to keep it from getting stuck on obstacles or falling down stairs."--by Stephanie Sisco, Real Simple.

My Roomba Tips

1.  Research before you purchase a Roomba.  There are many models and each is unique as to its cleaning capabilities.  Avoid impulse buying, read reliable product reviews, and read information about each model on the manufacturer's website.   This will make choosing the right Roomba for you a better experience.  

2.   Prior to first using the Roomba read the directions and charge the battery.  Use an upright or other vacuum to clean your carpet while the Roomba is charging.  This will make it easier for Roomba's first cleaning cycle in your space.  I did not do this and Roomba had to run twice in the first two days to clean everything up.  After this my Roomba has maintained clean carpets.

3.  Double check that all doors are fully open in your space.  If a door is closed to a room or partially closed the room will not get vacuumed.  

4.  Program the Roomba to run when you are not home.  The first time I used Roomba I watched it to ensure all went well.  After that I programmed it to run while I am at work.  If you are home will Roomba is cleaning it will go around you and not clean where you are standing.

5.  Remember to empty the vacuum bin after each use.  Remove and empty the vacuum bin of debris over a trash can.  This keeps all dirt, dust, and crumbs picked up by the Roomba off the cleaned floor.

6.  If you have pets, such as dogs or cats, you may wish to acclimate your pet to the Roomba.  Some animals are disturbed by the quick movements and noises of vacuums.  This can cause your pet to fight, flee, or freeze.  Using treats and toys with your pet may desensitize the animal to the machine.  Each day and time you practice get a bit closer to the vacuum.  Distracting the pet by focusing their attention on you and your calm demeanor is key.

7.  Roomba will do spot cleaning.  Although for larger jobs and automobiles a dust pan and brush, carpet cleaner, and wet-dry vacuum is useful.  I dropped a glass baking dish on the floor.  Smash!  Thousands of pieces of glass.  After that I used a dust pan, then cleaned with wet paper towels, then cleaned with my old upright vacuum, then used my Roomba to spot clean.  That may sound like overkill, although it is best not to take chances with glass.  

8.  Those with multi-level homes and spaces would need to buy a Roomba for each level.  Another alternative is to use a Roomba on one level and an upright vacuum on the other level.  

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Disclaimer:  Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven is editorially independent.  No payment is accepted for editorial coverage.


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