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I have owned an iRobot Roomba 560 for less than one month. I was initially absolutely delighted, my house was looking consistently cleaner than ever before. Roomba comes to life when scheduled, leaves it's charging base, vacuums the whole downstairs of my house, & returns to its charging base when finished. To vacuum upstairs, I simply take the unit upstairs, press the 'clean' button & away it goes. It comes with two virtual walls or lighthouses which can either be used to prevent Roomba entering some areas completely, or to ensure one room is completely clean before entering another & then assists Roomba's guidance back to the charging base. However, after less than two weeks, the brushes stopped turning. I contacted Domotec by email who contacted me by phone the next day to say they were sending out a new brush motor assembly which arrived in the post the next day. When I took the unit apart to replace this brush motor assembly, it became obvious what the problem was. Despite emptying the dust bin, cleaning the filter & brushes after every use, there is nothing to stop dust & hair getting in around the motor & gears, eventually stopping it turning and probably causing the motor to burn out. I now routinely disassemble the unit every week to vacuum out the internal workings & brush motor, which is not ideal, but keeps it running perfectly!
This is my seconds Roomba as the first one died after 2 years of use everyday.
To start of with if you have wood floors and a dog you NEED one of these.
Roomba comes on everyday at a set time and does a very good job at cleaning wood floors. On carpets its not as good but makes them look better than before.
It comes with "light houses" which can be used to block the vacuum from entering a certain space. Roomba is very compact and goes under quite a lot of my furniture and does a good job cleaning under it.
All you have to do is clean Roombas brushes and empty its collection box every 2-3 days which only takes a couple of minutes.
The dog also doesnt mind roomba unless he gets a bit too close but then he just walks off.
I couldn't live without this vaccume as before I had to sweep the floor every day due to the dog.
If you don't have one you need to buy one now as they are the future of cleaning!
I bought this amazing robotic vacuum cleaner 4 months ago and it's a godsend. 'Having a child in the house means messy house- having a Roomba in the house means clean house'. It cleans very well, even beneath your furnitures where its hard to reach for other biggger vacuum cleaners. It works brilliantly on carpets too. But it does take its own sweet time to clean the room and it is kinda noisy. So it's better to run it in the night or might be when you are going out.
*Schedule buttons- It has buttons so you can schedule it to run at whatever time you want it to work.
*Antitangling facility- although it says anti tangling i would recommend to remove all movable items from the floor. It might drop items like vases or mugs while its vacuuming. Tags, threads do get tangled in its brushes. But it works on and around small rugs easily.
*It docks itself into its charging area when the cleaning is finished or when the battery is low.
*It includes features known as 'virtual wall' and 'lighthouse' - the virtual walls where kept divides the room virtually so that roomba can avoid going to that part of the room. the 'lighthouse' feature is the new addition which when kept to clean more than 1 room would finish one room before going to the other.
*It has cliff sensors so when it is working on landing area or stairs, it will not fall off.
*But its dust collector area is small. If the room is too messy you might have to clear the roomba before leaving it in the other room.
But these are minor points when you consider the fact that it does the vacuuming of the room when you can just put your feet up and relax.
Avg price- £250, might be cheaper on ebay
Weight of Roomba- It says it is approx 7kg but feels quite light to lift it and empty contents . It's 33cm in diameter and 8mm in height so easily goes beneath sofas and beds.
Time- It takes approx 3-4 times much longer than manual vacuuming because it moves in criss-cross directions.
Battery- It needs atleast 2 hours charging to clean 2 rooms, lasts for around 3 hours i guess before it completely dies out.
Customer service- I have had problems with the charging dock once and the customer service received was excellent. they got it checked and replaced it too.
I was so in love with this little machine when I saw it at the Ideal Home Show and it only took the discounted show price to make me bring it home. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time vacuuming up dog hair and so it seemed just perfect.
You just plug it in to let it charge and then press the clean button and off it goes around the room and gives it all a spruce up. When it is done, it returns to its dock and recharges itself (obviously this doesn't work if you've moved it to a different room to clean - in which case, it just seems to keep going until it runs out of battery).
On the whole, as long as you have removed anything it can get stuck on (I have a candlestick that it always gets wedged on if I don't move it) or suck up (it has been victim to a discarded sock on occasion), it goes around the room and picks up dust and hair well.
It is recommended that you empty the bin and clean the brushes every third use but I don't find this is enough and I do mine everytime but it pops back together very easily so this doesn't take much time.
If it has a problem, it plays an alert sound and stops then when you press the button, it will tell you clean the brushes/empty the bin etc. The only time that I've found this to be inaccurate is that it always fails on my navy blue spare room carpet and tells me to clean the cliff sensors (the bits that stop it tumbling down the stairs). We have mostly wood/tiled floor which I think it is more successful on than carpet as I guess the fluff is easier to pick up.
However, whilst being wonderful in theory, I got through three units in one year with the brush motors failing after getting clogged up. The last unit that I have, which is working wonderfullly well now, has a redesigned brush motor which doesn't have a gap, preventing fluff and hair from getting jammed behind it and ultimately failing the motor. Problem solved maybe?
Everytime it has failed, Domotec customer service have been fantastic and it has been collected and returned to me in a number of days.
I think perhaps if you restrict it to light duties, it operates better and we do have two long haired dogs which much be a Herculean task for the little robot.
All the time that it is working - I love it! Saves me hours and much lugging around of the hoover. I'd recommend it particularly if you don't have a lot of carpet and you want something to keep the wolf from the door in between thorough vacuums.
I have been using my Roomba 560 for nine months and I am very pleased with it. The (few) downsides are that you have to tidy up for it (yes, I know I should anyway!) and protect it from things which rip the arms off its 'daisy wheel' We are on our third revolving brush, because I found that he gets tangled with the electric storage heaters - I now fence off any hazards. We had to send it back once because the motor burnt out - beware, the filter needs cleaning very frequently. However, the company were fine about it, collected, replaced the motor and delivered all at no cost. I have slight misgivings about how durable it will be long term, but so far it's a terrific boon.
I have the advanced model with a timer, virtual wall and light house. The timer might be useful if you are out all day. I did use it to start with, but it's simpler just to press 'start'. The virtual wall keeps the robot out of trouble, but the 'lighthouse' enabling it to go to new rooms, is awkward. He gets behind door, pushes them closed, then can't get out again. - the basic model would be just as good.
It's very hard to refer to him as 'it'. He rapidly becomes one of the family - we call ours Robbie and he has a very cheerful disposition.
===What Is It?===
The iRobot Roomba is one of the latest robots; built for busy people and to fit into peoples day-to-day lives. It is an automatic vacuum that runs efficiently, safely and effortlessly on its own. It uses technology that is used for bomb disposal robots in the armies all over the world. Now that is pretty cool!
===Why Would You Buy It?===
I got the iRobot Roomba recommended to me by a friend. I had gone over to her house and saw it vacuum the whole room while we were busy chatting! I sat watching it cleaning around the chairs, tables and even the lamps gracefully.
She was saying how useful it was and you could even go out shopping and you would come back to a vacuumed house. That was enough to convince me.
Other reasons to buy it would be if you have an older relative who finds it hard to clean the house then this would be perfect as it does all the vacuuming for you! All that is needs is to empty the BAGLESS compartment (I have had terrible chasings with vacuum bags which I will talk about later) and to charge it every so often.
I have dogs as well and it is designed to pick up dog hair using one of the brushes. It will work on most types of animal hair as well (which is a huge thumbs up from me!)
But also after getting a lovely email from mumsymary which made me think that this would also be fantastic for those who have medical conditions. Arthristis, Osteoporis and fatique syndromes are just a tiny few. If you are finding it hard to pick up your current hoover, or to much work to do the hoovering in general then this would be absolutely perfect for you.
===Where To Get It===
I got my iRobot by chance on price-drop TV. I had never used a television channel to buy stuff before but I was skimming through the channels and stopped to see what was on them.
There the presenter was explaining all about the iRobot. We had had a look on the Internet but it was very expensive (Some asking for £300) but they were offering it for £179.99.
Other reliable place to get the iRobot Roomba from (sourced from iRobot.com and google search engine) is:
www.domotec.uk.com (where my friend got hers for roughly same price)
They can be seen on QVC, Price-drop TV and Bid TV but you will have to check listings.
===The iRobot Family Tree===
There are around 3 different families of iRobot robots. The Roombas are the first, them being the hovering robots. My friend has the 'Silver' which is the smallest and cheapest, designed to fit homes and do around 2 full rooms per charge. Then there are the two bigger more expensive which are more designed for hotels and guesthouses. The 560 is the more fancier version avaliable and more for bigger houses or with people who have dogs. This suited us more.
There is then the iRobot Scooba which is designed to scrub floors, which I am seriously thinking of buying. This is one of the newer ones of the iRobot family so there will possibly be newer models coming out soon. More info on iRobot website (www.iRobot.com)
Then there are the Packbots, which are actually bomb disposal units and are used by police and the army. I'm not really sure if you can buy them but they are definitely worth a mention. On the website it says it has even saved lives which is very impressive.
When I signed for it 2 days later (quick delivery) I wasn't really surprised by the size of the box. The box had a huge picture of Roomba on the front and information about the other robots on the side. Inside, are the Robot itself, the charger, information manual, extra filter and a 'Quick Start' card on how to quickly set up your new Roomba.
===Setting It Up===
After reading the Quick Start card I found you had to connect the charger to the vacuum through a plug and leave it to charge for 8 hours. That really is all I can write, it is that simple! You will here a very 'cute' little beep, and it gets straight to work, really!
===How To Work It===
After you have left it for 8 hours (or overnight) then you are ready to go. There is a green power button, which you just click, it then seems to beep a 'Hello' to you, which is really cool and waits for you to click a mode. Roomba has three big buttons on the front, representing modes saying:
Easy enough, so the Quick Start card recommends you just click 'Clean' and you're away. iRobot will start up and start cleaning. If you click 'Spot' it will start to circle, this is great if there is a concentrated area of dirt. And Max where it is on max power meaning a really deep clean (I find it does seem to use battery quicker but the clean is VERY through) you then just leave it for up to two hours.
===How Well It Cleans===
I was a bit skeptical when I first got it. How could this little robot get into every nook and cranny? I am no longer skeptical at all.
When it finished my kitchen, hall and living room I was simply amazed! It really had got everywhere and had picked up everything. It has a bumper at the front so when it approaches chairs, tables lamps etc it will gently nudge them but then just hoover around them.
It worked very well on carpet, which surprised me slightly. It works brilliantly on any surface, really. The only dog hair I could see was on the dogs, which really is a first! I would say I cleaned deeper than I could ever clean it and my other hoover is now in retirement. Roomba is now out full time cleaner, and with little effort from myself, means I can be doing other things. 5 stars for cleaning!
When it first starts up it is quite loud as that is the brushes starting etc. But when it starts cleaning it is fairly quiet. You can hear it but it deafiantely isn't as loud as our other hoover (who's brand name I will not share) but it was very loud.
Roomba's noise is more from the brushes and you can sometimes hear it delicately banging into the tables or chairs. Yet you forget it is there and one of the best advantages is when it goes near the television, it doesn't get any interference like you do with other hoovers (or electronics) which is an added bonus.
If Roomba is full, it will stop and beep 3 times. If there is anything else wrong with it will beep a certain amount of times (like if there is something caught in the brushes) which is very smart. These beeps are very loud and noticeable which is a good thing. So overall it is pretty quiet but it can be very loud if it needs to be.
I am very impressed by the safety of this little robot. If it hits something it will just stop for a millisecond and turn in another direction. It has not yet even scratched any of the furniture at all because of its soft bumper.
I only found out about 3 weeks ago, when it was upstairs it came to the stairs and got so close but didn't fall. I read the instructions and found it is designed not to fall down stairs or holes which I thought was amazing!
If it gets caught on anything like sheets or lots of wires then instead of dragging it, it will just turn off and beep every so often. This happened before when I found it underneath the computer. I since have covered that bit up to stop it going in there again.
When you first get Roomba you need to charge it a full 8 hours. After that you will only need to charge for around 4/5 hours at a time. It will work on full cleaning for around 2/3 hours, which is thoroughly cleaning around 1 room per hour. I am very impressed with the battery power and cannot fault it.
Now as I said I paid £179.99 excluding postage and packaging. That is a lot of money but I really believe it is worth it. I bought iRobot Roomba 560 in November 2007 (last year) and have used it almost everyday (including Christmas day!)
It is more an investment and has saved me so much time, and let me do other things in that. Well that is how I thought it was. Now I can get on with the rest of my chores. So you do have to be pretty serious in 'investing it' as it is a lot of money.
There are a lot of sights offering nearly £300 which you shouldn't go near. However if you are interested try one of the sites above (I would recommend the first one www.domotec.uk.com as that is the official site) You might decide you would like the bigger ones which are more expensive but have a lot more features.
===What's Right With It? ===
Everything is right with iRobot Roomba. The robot itself is stylish and modern and it works perfectly. It picks up even tiny bits and when you empty it out you are amazed on what it has picked up. This is because it goes over the same area twice or even three times for a deep clean.
It is delicate around furniture and is able to get under sofas and tables if it needs to. It works near stairs and you are able to leave it for example to go shopping and come back to it finished.
Once you start using it, it is hard to stop and I have almost stopped using my other vacuum altogether. I cannot fault it at all, it is just FANTASTIC!
===What's Wrong With It?===
It doesn't do that well with rugs that have edging on them as it can choke on it. Same with sheets or lots of wires on the floor, anything it can get caught on should be moved from the floor. But that really is it... I cannot stress enough how great this is!
===Some Extra Facts===
It has sold more than 2 million Roomba's in Britain alone
The Packbot Robots (Roomba's 'Cousins') have saved British troops lives in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan and have been praised by the government.
Roomba won the Readers Choice Award 2007 "Best Consumer Product"
It was on the Channel 4's "How Clean Is Your House"
It is used by some of the biggest hotels in the UK
One of the best gadgets I have ever bought, no the best (including computer!) I have bought something that is so useful and timesaving it is brilliant. I have worked on this review a lot to try and persuade people to get it as it is BRILLIANT! The price is off putting but I really believe it is worth it and have never had a trouble with it yet. Simply a brilliant bit of machinery for the 21st century house.
Ok it is a robot, but it is so safe and brilliant, that it has just ran past my feet RIGHT NOW! How odd, and it is busy cleaning as I write this. If you are considering buying it, then do. I can guarentee you will wonder what you did with out it!
© scotlandizdabest - dooyoo.co.uk
P.S. If you would like to see how REALLY safe and FUN this is watch this video. If you are thinking of buying this you HAVE TO SEE THIS ON YOUTUBE!
Short name: iRobot Roomba 560