Saturday, February 13, 2010

Death of a Roomba and my Dog - Picture

Yes, I have a roomba. 
Yes, it is dying. 
Yes, I am disappointed.
Yes, it is way too soon.

Ok, Enough Dr Seuss type prose!   I have had a Roomba for about a year, maybe more like 14 or 15 months.   As you can see my house has floors, not carpets.  I also have a dog.   If you look closely, you see a spot near her yellow toy.  That was a piece of fluff that was missed by the roomba that morning.   It never was all that efficient at keeping the house clean, more like a sweeper.  It worked, but it would have to be run daily.  Now that the batteries are dying on the thing, I'm thinking it gives me an excuse to get a real vacuum and stop using the "Toy" to clean up after the dog and myself.  

The biggest problem that I see with the Roomba was that it never was easy enough to clean.  Not the house, you just press a button and it would stumble around seemingly randomly and get the place clean enough to pass as long as the place was mopped.   The dog hair though would get caught up in the wheels and the works of the thing and jam up the machine.  Now, if you could unbolt parts and brush off the bearings and so forth, you could recover from the dirt and let it work more efficiently.   When you have to get out a screwdriver and a knife and cut the fur off the spindles and worry the dirt off the wheels, you know you have a major design flaw.

Would I recommend a Roomba?  Only very conditionally:

No furry pets - cats or dogs in the house mean this thing will die early.
Make sure you clean the filter at least weekly.  Soap and water works well, and I'm still on the original filter.
Inspect the machine frequently and make sure that all bearings and wheels move freely.
If the Roomba looks dirty, clean it.
Make sure that there are no wires or small objects on the floor that can get caught up in it.
Expect your dog to hate it.  Mine did until I trained her not to.
They are noisy, and they run for about a half hour at a shot.
No Carpets.  Anywhere.  Ever.
If you have a place that something can get under, it will and you'll wonder where it went.

I wouldn't get another, and luckily mine was very cheap.

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