If you're thinking about picking up a Roomba iRobot vacuum cleaner then you need to read this article. We're going to look at whether or not it will do as good a job as a standard vacuum would.
The Roomba iRobot is a "robotic" vacuum cleaner that does not require you to do the actual work. It has an infrared sensor that will sense when it is about to run into something, like a wall or furniture, and it will change course automatically.
The idea behind these vacuums is that you can set them free in a room and they will gradually work their way around the entire space without you having to do anything.
So the question is, do they really work?
The answer is not quite so simple, unfortunately. They do work as advertised – they will sense walls and furniture, adjusting course as they go to avoid hitting them. The way they are designed to adjust course will gradually cover the entire floor of a room.
There are a couple of drawbacks to them however. First, the infrared sensor works well for the most part, but on occasion they will miss something and get stuck, requiring you to reset them to get them moving again. This kind of defeats the purpose of a robotic vacuum.
The other, and probably more significant drawback is that the Roomba iRobot is not the most powerful vacuum. Because they are designed to be small and unobtrusive, they do not have a particularly powerful vacuum motor. They will do fine at picking up dust and small items, but large spills are beyond their abilities for the most part.
Plus, because they are quite small compared to most vacuums, you'll find that you need to empty the disposal compartment more often.
The other potential drawback to the iRobot is that they run on batteries. They have rechargeable batteries built in, so you are not going to have to buy new ones all the time, but if you forget to plug it in to charge overnight you might find your vacuum out of commission for a few hours while it charges.