By Pat Woods
Like other homeowners, husband Rob and I like clean floors but hate vacuuming. Our knee joints rebel at cleaning under beds and heavy sofas. We don’t have to–Roomba Rhonda, our vacuuming robot cheerfully cleans floors for us!
U.S. manufactured Roomba is the greatest invention since email. Our robots are welcome family member. Unlike a dog, Rhonda doesn’t need walking or vet services. And she does not bark, bite or make messes. Quite the contrary—Rhonda cleans up after us!
My hubby loves Rhonda. “The engineering and programming is incredible!” he said. “This robot is smarter than some engineers I formerly worked with. And Rhonda doesn’t call in sick, take maternity leave, vacation or smoke breaks.”
Intelligent Roombas are engineered to interact with their environment. Because every room is different and changes frequently, sensors enable robots to maneuver around furniture, objects, people or pets. Powerful vacuum and counter-rotating brushes pull out dirt, dust and pet hair.
Rhonda gets out dirt we didn’t know existed. She deftly maneuvers like a miniature all-terrain vehicle over ceramic tile, plush carpet, linoleum, bound carpet mats and plastic chair mats. “Virtual walls” keep the robot in designated areas. Wouldn’t this be great for grandkids?
Rhonda is user friendly–no computer skills needed. We simply press the power and clean buttons and she takes off. To focus on dirty spots, we press “Spot.” Rhonda cleans until her dirt detection sensor says it’s done. Despite her round shape, Rhonda does a good job in corners, closets and under tables, desks and chairs.
Busy working people like Roomba scheduler models that can be programmed to clean when owners are gone, and then return to the charger on their own.
Caveats: Owners must keep robot batteries charged, empty dirt bins and clean filters. Before we turn on our robots, we pick up little objects that have fallen and move small decorative items off the floor. We kept our regular vacuum—Roombas do a great job on floors but cannot vacuum bookcases or furniture.
For his birthday, I gave Rob Dirt Dog, a garage, patio, deck and workshop floor sweeping robot. Rob beamed as he sat on a stool reading the newspaper while “Rex” robot darted around cleaning the garage floor. Rex is the electric train Rob never got as a kid. The robot’s 4-inch height enables him clean under work benches, automobiles and golf cars.
Because we needed a new floor scrubber after Rob injured his leg, we ordered a joint Christmas gift. Scooba Sam washes, scrubs and dries our ceramic tile floors while we read or watch TV.
Sam preps, washes, scrubs and squeegees hard-surface floors. The round, 13-pound robot deftly cleans under cabinet edges, tables and chairs using a Scooba Clorox/water solution, a vinegar/water solution, or plain water. Virtual walls keep Scooba in the designated area.
“I could never get 700-square–feet of ceramic tile this clean with a mop!” said a smiling Rob. “This dream machine picks up an incredible amount of dust, dirt, grime and fuzz—and it stays off the carpet. Scooba’s engineering is incredible!”
Although Scooba’s $300 – $450 price sounds high, it costs less than hiring a cleaning person. Our robot investment is a fraction of a weekly cleaning service for a year.
Our robots are much-loved family members who cheerfully work for us and play a happy tune when turned on. Robot wrangler Rob built a 3-tier charging station for our robot family.
Buy floor-cleaning robots from www.iRobot.com, Fry’s Electronics, Costco, Target, Sears, Kohl’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond — or call 800-727-9077. U.S.-based iRobot’s tech support is very helpful. Read robot reviews and get where-to-buy tips at www.roombareview.com. iRobot also makes pool and gutter-cleaning robots.