Roomba, Roomba, Roomba… {updated}

An iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Review:


Click for larger image.

I really like the Roomba 770 robotic vacuum. When these first came out years ago I thought they were a gimmick and back then they probably were. Now though these things are pretty impressive.
Getting started was a breeze. Pull a couple protective strips from the bottom of the vacuum, set the clock (easy!) then find a somewhat out of the way place for the charging dock, charge the Roomba up and finally press the Clean button. The Roomba will zip all over your open floors getting into practically every nook and cranny. If it gets full while it’s working it will light an icon on it’s top letting you know it needs to be emptied. After about an hour to an hour and a quarter the Roomba will decide it’s battery needs a recharge. It will then head back to wherever you put the charging dock, back itself onto it, play a little tune to let you know it is done and start charging up for the next time.
At it’s most basic it doesn’t get any easier, one button and it’s off. If you want a little more automated control you can program the Roomba 770 to start at any time of the day on any of the days of the week. Further control can be established by using either or both of the two included Virtual Walls. These devices (which take two C-cell batteries) can be used to keep the Roomba from entering rooms or areas you don’t want it venturing into.
I am amazed at what this little thing picks up. I am a vacuum’s worst nightmare. I have very long (3 feet) hair and I shed. Before we set the Roomba off I ran our upright vacuum over the two rooms we were going to have the Roomba cleaning regularly a couple extra times. The bin on the upright was nearly empty the last time I ran it but the Roomba comes back nearly full each time it runs.
Cleaning the Roomba is a lot easier than cleaning a large upright vacuum. The dirt collection bin pops on and off easily The Roomba also comes with two tools to make cleaning and hair removal from the brushes quite easy.
While the Roomba 770 is very handy I do want to mention a couple cons I’ve run across while using it…
If you watch the demonstration videos you’ll see they show off the Roomba in a very minimalist environment. We have clutter. We have a table with X cross feet that’s close to three walls. The Roomba can and occasionally does get stuck. It will let you know (it talks!) when it gets trapped or stuck. Though all you have to do is rescue it (and figure out how to keep it from getting stuck again!) and press the clean button to sent it off again.
The Roomba seems to be better on carpeted floors than on hard surface floors. On our hard floors it seems to scatter sand and such around while cleaning. It does get the majority of stuff but not all of it.
In the end the Roomba is great for people with busy lifestyles or for the disabled or handicapped person who just can’t drag out a heavy regular vacuum all the time.

{Update:}
The Roomba 770 includes a remote control; It’s nice to be able to start the Roomba from across the room but if you’re using the scheduled cleaning you won’t need to do that. You can also use the remote to direct the Roomba around the room and command it to return to the charging dock. Two AA batteries for the remote are required but are not included.
Steering the Roomba with the remote; Once you take control of the unit with the remote it only moves when you are pressing one the directional buttons (left, right, forward) when you release the button the Roomba will stop moving. I found this method of control a bit awkward and mildly uncomfortable to use.
Warranty; For a device this expensive I would have thought it would have a better warranty than one year parts & labor with just six months coverage on the battery.

Hawk (iBlogger therefore iAm)

Disclaimer: I received the iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot to review free of charge from iRobot and the Amazon Vine program. I received no compensation for writing this review.

4 Comments

  1. Carl

    I would say that anything that gets me out of having to do house work can’t be bad. This roomba sounds like it would be worth checking into, but there is a lot of obstacles at my house so I don’t know how good it would be, sounds like there may be the possibility that I would end up spending a lot of time rescuing it.

    Reply
  2. Hawk (Post author)

    To be honest the only place it’s gotten trapped, twice, is by the dinette table in our kitchen. It sits on an X shaped foot and the narrow area the set is in makes for a maze that it couldn’t get out of. The 2nd time it got stuck it ran itself up onto the round metal base of one of the dinette chairs and one of it’s drive wheels hung up. Beyond that area it’s gotten itself into and out of (based on the tracks in the carpet) places I didn’t think it could EVER have gotten to.

    Reply
  3. frosty

    Hmmm… We are in need of a new vacuum. After six years, our Dyson Animal is falling apart. Literally. (Piece of expensive garbage with excellent suction.) I don’t know what a Roomba costs, so I’m wondering – do you think it’s worth it’s price? I would LOVE to have a vacuum I didn’t have to run. The fact that I could set it on a timer is insane. And if it’s great on carpets and will suck up all the animal hair, holy mackerel awesome. (Five beasts + two humans = TREMENDOUS of shed.)

    Reply
  4. cwalt54

    I was sufficiently impressed the first time I used my roomba 770. I works well on hard floors and carpet. I have found the virtual wall to be very helpful. The remote takes a little experience to use correctly so keep trying until you get it work for you. I would highly recommend this product. It does everything the the commercial claims it does.

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