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What should I get

 
master steward
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I have decided that at this point in my life ... I need one of these.  My floors are concrete so a hard surface cleaner would work. It would only be used in the kitchen/living area, just one room.  I don't think I need or want a programmable one as I am always at home, there is no need to tell it to vacuum before I get home from work...

My thinking is to let it run at night while we are sleeping and empty it in the morning.

I have never seen one work other than on TV.

I want one TODAY ... but am going to wait until after Christmas just in case someone is thoughtful enough to give me one for Christmas.

There are so many to choose from and many different price ranges.

Please, if anyone has one of these or is also looking at getting one ... I would love to hear your thoughts, recommendations and reviews.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I tend to leave valuables lying about. This would mean checking carefully.  I'll bet cats love these things. Don't forget to fill YouTube with hours of reviews.

If I were a proper gentleman farmer, I'd have an indentured servant handle all menial tasks.

Does anyone want to live in a little cabin,  in the woods?
 
steward
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So we have one of these. My wife really wanted one, so she picked one up at costco last fall. We have 3 indoor cats and hardwood floors. Here's my observations. Does it work? Yes, it does, but not like the tv commercial leads one to believe it does. It has a little bin that needs to be emptied each day, and yes it's full of cat hair and other crumbs and crap, so it does vacuum. The one we have does not "learn" the size or layout of a room and does not track of where it's been. It will go over some areas 4 or 5 times and leave other small areas untouched. I've been home enough to watch it come on and run around each day and it takes a different route every day, it moves about at random. It does not get in the corners. It does however do a pretty decent job of getting along the baseboard, if it gets lined up and decides to hug the wall and go its length. It can sometimes get hung up on a doormat or our small kitchen rug in front of the sink, then it's basically a beached whale and requires human intervention to set it free.

It is smart enough to know about stairs and turn around instead of tumbling like a slinky. Anne, you mentioned you'd like to run it at night while sleeping. It's not exactly quiet, and it makes a pretty loud smack when it bumps into furniture, walls, chair legs, whatever's in the way. I know people can get acclimated to anything, but be aware it's a little noisy.

My conclusion: It's a novelty. Don't rely on it to keep the house clean.
 
gardener
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My parents got one. They have a dusty dirt lot, shop, and a dog. Didn't work for them. I knew a single guy with a cat in an apartment and he said it worked for him. I drool over there idea of something else doing cleaning around here, but even the dog leaves her stuff around and we have a wood stove (ashes) plus house plants and seed starts (dirt), etc. so I have concluded the only thing smart enough to eliminate this mess is a set of humans, though I have looked into the robots from time to time.
 
pollinator
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My parents have one and was sadly disappointed by it and no longer use it, but my Mom is a clean freak too. Oh she likes her gadgets, but it was not to her liking...
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks, everyone for your thought!

I watched a video on the dirt devil whiskers so I know how small the cup is.  I liked the price but the reviews said it has a short battery life and the battery is $50.00.  Funny, dirt devil dot com has a video but no robot vacuums on their website.

I don't expect it to be as good as the upright vacuum.  

James, what brand is yours?
 
James Freyr
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Hi Anne-

We have a roomba.
 
gardener
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I had an 800 series roomba on a bare concrete floor. I give it 5 stars. It turned on everyday, vacuumed a 600 sq ft house, parked itself to recharge, then started again the next day. Its random,  no mapping,  but seems to get everywhere.

You will go thru a learning curve and will likely change buying habits in the future based on it. I need a couch, will the roomba go under it, wedge under it, or bounce off of it? Really, you WILL go thru that thought process in the future. Lol

Youll also learn to be a little tidier, like leaving stuff on the floor that may tangle up in it.  Part of your bedsheet draped on the floor, cords etc.
 
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Hi everyone

We have other conditions (flooring etc) but we have experience with two of them.

1. Dirt devil spider: very cheap but holds not long, have to get back manually, dust bin is not optimal, every part is expensive to buy (filter etc).

2. Xiaomi mi robot vacuum: intelligent, plans the route, clever sensors, big ass battery means it cleans our flat for 40% of the battery capacity. HEPA filter! You can use it loud with strong vacuum or on pretty low sound level. Better dust bin, programmable. It costs know about 200-240 dollars. But the good thing is that the parts are cheaper (for example 10 euro 2 HEPA filters, if you change the filter, the brushes it costs about 20 euro).

We are definitely happy with the new one i can really recommend it, not cheap but definitely cheaper than the big names, roomba etc.
 
Anne Miller
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Hi, Kate   Welcome to permies.

Our daughter gave us a Roomba for Christmas so I have had it for about 10 months.

I have never liked anything as much as I like it.  I can get the floor vacuumed without my back hurting.

It occasionally runs over a dog toy that we didn't pick up and it gets stuck under the fridge door so I put some cans there so it will bypass that area.  My husband calls it "Rambo".
 
Anne Miller
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Mine is the 600 Series:




We don't use it with our phone since we do not have a data plan. We control it using the desktop.

It came with one of these that we use to keep it from spilling the dogs water bowl.




And I bought the Replenishing Kit:




The 3 can of tomato sauce keeps it from getting stuck under the fridge door!
 
pollinator
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We had one at the office and we kept a score board on how successful it was. More often than not it didn't make it back to the charging station for a number of reasons.
Cables, plastic bags, shoe laces, and socks choke it out on a regular basis. It would often get stuck under desks, and free standing shelves.

Not exactly a great vacuum solution for the workplace environment or any environment where there are lots of cables and things on the floor, or furniture that has small gaps to get stuck in.
 
pioneer
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We purchased a Roomba when we were living in an apt with hardwood floors. But like others have mentioned it is problematic. I used to "prep" an area for it to clean (basically moving all the furniture either onto a bed or into the hall, so it could have a fairly clear path it would still get hung up on something almost every time. Also the model we purchased zig-zagged arbitrarily all over the apartment for hours. We could corral it using some invisible (IR) "fences" which sped things up a bit. But there I was spending time managing a robot that was supposed to save me time. The vacuum power was decent at least.

Since we moved into a multi-story home it hasn't been turned on once. We hire a housecleaner now who mostly uses non-toxic products (and also does kitchen & bathroom fixtures, stairs, and a host of other things Roomba wouldn't and couldn't touch). It's more expensive, but the house is cleaner overall and the money goes to a local human instead of Skynet.
 
Posts: 185
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Connected to the internet, a map of your house exists on line. Which the NSA and the black helicopters could use for their no knock raid when you are found to be illegally harvesting government rain water.....
 
Anne Miller
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Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Shared

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/technology/roomba-irobot-data-privacy.html

My house is so small that someone wouldn't need to map it. And Roomba only is used in one room.  I am so remote that "the NSA and the black helicopters" probably would not want to waste their gasoline.

BTW, before I got Roomba the hubby wanted to hire a housecleaner.  Roomba was a gift so I am saving a lot of money.
 
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