Support Andy, click to buy via us...
This is a gadget for parents with busy lives looking for a way to multitask vacuuming with other jobs. The Roomba is one of a new range of labour saving robotic devices. They may not be cheap, but they offer a Tomorrow's World style convenience in your hands today.
Our Roomba arrived while I was at work, and I had an excited email from my other half about an interesting shaped box. Her excitement turned to intrigue as I unboxed it that evening. But it wasn't until we left our new robot friend to do its thing whilst we watched the TV for an hour or so that she got really interested.
Returning from the living room to our other three rooms we found them free from dust and dirt, with not a crumb left under the table (which after kid's tea time is some feat). It was actually a surprise to both of us that this toy-like gadget had actually done its job very well. Our floors (being laminate and non-pile carpets) were possible quite well suited to the device, but never the less it still did a good job.
Its determined, haphazard hoovering pattern, bumping into furniture and the like, reminded us of our youngest son.
The next few days were spent setting our new family member to work on the various rooms around the house. It was funny, for some reason we all started calling it a him. Its determined, haphazard hoovering pattern, bumping into furniture and the like, reminded us of our youngest son Ollie (1). The little Roomba had a personality all its own.
Ok some details: the Roomba is a round self-powered low flat cylinder. It's small enough to fit under most furniture. It has conventional suction and brushes that are impressively powerful for its diminutive size. It is powered by two wheels underneath that give a tight on-the-spot turning circle and can even lift the unit up when tackling awkward obstacles.
Our Roomba was the 530 model which could return itself to the charging station once finished, although didn't have the scheduled cleaning option of the more expensive little chaps.
It was also great at cleaning under the furniture.
It made too much noise to have it going while you were trying to relax in the same room.
Overall this is a toy-gadget that exceed our expectations. Whether it is worth the price of entry probably comes down more to whether you would enjoy having a robot like this in your life or not. Those to whom it does appeal probably already have a pretty tidy home and just want a hand with the finer details. Those that have more cluttered environments may well need something more substantial that a light hoover.
We were surprised how attached we grew to our little guy. But we know the day is approaching when ou sample Roomba has to go back home - and that will be a sad day in our household.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: