In a desperate and forlorn effort to reduce the amount of screaming in my domestic situation I splashed out on an iRobot Roomba 630 which Costco at Majura Park is flogging for $500.
While the shouting has only intensified the floors, with very very little effort, are now spotless despite living with shedding dogs.
So I thought there was some value in sharing my thoughts.
On arrival you take the big disk out of the box, put it on its docking station and wait for it to charge. This is something of an anticlimax.
Eventually the charge light turned green, the clean button was pressed and the magic began.
Beeping like a reversing truck the Roomba backed out from its docking station, turned around, and started trundling over the floor.
The dogs were initially alarmed, but after a bit of woofing settled down to watch it warily from the commanding heights of the couch.
After half an hour I interrupted it to check its dustbin and it was jam packed. Emptying it into the bin is a simple task and it was soon back on its way.
Despite having given the house a solid manual vacuuming earlier in the day it kept finding more and more, and more, mess to hoover up.
It trundles around for an hour or so, gets itself into all the rooms, generally manages not to get tangled up in anything, and then backs itself into its docking station to charge.
At the touch of a button (and an emptying of the bin) the house is getting a daily vacuuming which otherwise it just wouldn’t get.
After the initial cleanup it generally comes back with its bin 3/4 full.
Vacuum snobs claim it isn’t as good as a committed human putting an hour in with a top of the line Dyson.
But I don’t have an hour a day, nor a top line dyson, and I was never that committed.
It does take a bit of getting used to.
Finding where it gets stuck (trying to get under cabinets mostly) and sticking a dog bed in the way or deploying the included virtual wall to steer it clear will take a little bit of trial and error.
But after a few weeks it now makes it around the house and back to its dock with a load of cleaned up mess nine times out of ten.
The random paths take it around the house eventually, but it won’t clean methodically room by room, so you’ll need to repress your command and control instincts.
The spot clean function in particular is worthy of note though for going over carpet cleaner. Drop the roomba on the spot, hit the spot button, watch it work its way around in a thorough spiral.
If you want to live in a house that’s been vacuumed (and particularly if your home is single level) but don’t want to be doing the vacuuming, then I really can’t recommend it enough.
Welcome to the future.