iRobot Roomba 581

After long hesitating and doing some personal research, we finally decided to get our first household robot.

Although I do believe that in the near future (next 10 years) robotics at home will become available for different household tasks and also excepted by consumers, I wasn’t completely convinced that today’s appliances where already good value for money.

Thus far, there are only a few limited models available who can liberate us from our daily household tasks: mops, vacuum cleaners, mowers and there will be a towel folding robot available soon.

We got our self the roomba vacuum cleaner because from what I read so far it seems to actually do the job, and that’s vacuum cleaning.

With 2 children we also do a lot of vacuum cleaning and is for me really one of the most boring jobs to do.

Our model came with a remote control and 3 virtual walls/lighthouses.

The remote control you can use to schedule the cleaning times, which is convenient so the roomba will clean when there’s nobody at home.

The lighthouses you use to guide the roomba to different rooms or to block it from entering rooms which is very useful in case you didn’t have time to clean the children’s room for example.

I must say that after fiddling a bit around with the lighthouses, the roomba is actually doing the vacuum cleaning, and I have time to write this post.

There are some points to improve of course: the dust bin is rather small and it doesn’t do any floor mapping, so when you look at it in action the cleaning pattern looks really random and it will not remember its last position when it stops cleaning. We have an open floor plan which I think is another prerequisite to work well as of course it can’t climb stairs.

But after 2 hours crawling around, it collects pretty much the same amount of the dust as if I would pass with a normal vac.

There’s also an interesting side effect. The children think it has some kind of artificial intelligence because they interact in a way as if  it’s alive. They talk to it and even dance around it while it cleans, which I think is really funny.


iRobot Roomba 581

iRobot Roomba 581



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