Monday, June 18, 2012

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Guess what came in the mail today.
Go on, guess.


(no Mac, we're not replacing you.)

 I'm (understandably) SUPER geeked about this, so I decided to do a little review here of the Roomba's maiden voyage in the basement.

 I don't really know how to phrase my disclaimer here since this isn't a paid endorsement by the people of iRobot/ Roomba... but they did give the thing to me for free (minus the cost of a roll of tinfoil and Mac's doggie-dignity).

If any of this Dog/Roomba talk is new to you, you should start here. But otherwise, let's make this happen!

It's notable how much bigger the Roomba is than I originally imagined it.  Not very heavy though, just sturdy and ready to rock, more or less straight out of the box.  According to the little booklet/ CD that came along, you're supposed to set up the docking station and let it fully charge before the machine's first run.

Three hours later, and it's time to press the big button in the middle which reads, simply: CLEAN.  And so, that's just what I did.  And then we (Mac, Bubba and I) all sat back and watched.  Seriously.  We watched it go over the entire floor.  It was mesmerizing.

Initial thoughts on the whole thing?

  • I was amazed at Bubba, who was not at all scared of a self-propelling vacuum.  Perhaps he will become a Roomba-Riding Cat after all.
  • Mac was the most unsure of the Roomba by far.  The first half of the little guy's run, Mac made sure to position himself between me and the machine to make sure it couldn't get me.  And then it hit him in the foot, and while I'm certain it didn't hurt, it did scare him to pieces.  
  • I was impressed with the little bumpers on the front.  As it runs into things (like the wall), it clearly makes a "mental" note, and the next time it passes by that object, it slows down a bit before it hits.  
  • Changes in flooring didn't trip it up at all - I thought perhaps it would see the change between the carpet of the living room and the file of the bathroom as a barrier, but it just shuffled right on in.
  • However, once it got in the bathroom, it got behind the door and accidentally shut itself in.  Which was funny but I'll have to either supervise the vacuuming sessions to let it free again or just sweep the bathroom on my own.
  • I could have finished vacuuming the basement in less than 5 minutes.  The Roomba took roughly an hour.  Which was annoying as I watched it (because the OCD in me wanted so badly to be all "You just passed by here!  go to that corner, you haven't been in that corner yet!") but in the end, the Roomba is supposed to be a set it and forget it sort of thing, so generally speaking from here on out it'll vacuum for that whole hour while I'm off being productive elsewhere.  
  • When it hit a dirty spot, it would back up and go over it a few times.  Color me impressed.
  • It picked up, a LOT of crap.

All in all, I'm really excited about the Roomba.  I give it two thumbs WAY up.  It did a very thorough job, and I'm also pretty sure that if we had people over and we were bored, hitting "CLEAN" would instantly liven the party back up.

Everybody wins.

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