Monday, August 6, 2007
I Heart My Roomba!
About two weeks ago I caved in to my mom's decree that everyone needs a Roomba, especially me. She even offered to pay for it. I stumbled across a Big Lots in Renton quite by accident, and was reminded to check if they had any. They're selling reconditioned Roomba Discovery models for $149. My mom had picked hers up in SoCal.
Strangely, my Roomba was kinda skanky even for a reconditioned unit. It looked like they forgot to empty the dust cup and filter and there was hair and stuff wrapped around the brushes - ick. So, before charging it, I gave it a good cleaning and was all set to wait 16 hours for the initial charge. I got the green light after only about 3 hours and decided to see what my mom was so ecstatic about.
The Roomba went right to work, picking up small debris and the furballs that collect in every corner. Our thick doormats seemed to confound it -- is it a carpet or a wall? -- and it got stuck and got all balky on them. This is a good opportunity to note that it makes funny, early computer-game-type noises whenever its status changes (Clean! Stuck! Successful dock!). I started moving things around to suit the Roomba and followed its progress and mishaps (banging into furniture legs, getting stuck, pushing around the dog dishes, etc.) for the next hour and a half or so. It loved noodling into corners, under beds, wherever it could fit. When the power light turned red it waddled back to the charging dock like it was tired and drunk, which was the coolest thing. Then it played a little happy tune (not "99 Bottles").
I'd have to say I'm impressed with the Roomba. It doesn't take the place of regular vacuuming, but is great for in-betweens and tidying up. I'm thinking about getting the Scooba, which is the Roomba's floor mopping counterpart. Now if iRobot could come up with a robot that dusts, I'd be happier than a pig in a blanket.