I, for one, welcome our new roomba overlords

(Another product review offered as part of my ongoing quest to make friend’s lives better.)

Our old roomba has been dying since this spring- battery life was flaky (both because it was getting old and because there were some bad internal connections) and when it did charge it behaved really strangely (stopped and started, backed up when it didn’t need to, etc.) Fixing would have required at least a new battery and probably more work on the sensors and such, so it probably would have cost over $100 to get in working shape again.

So when the new roomba came out, it seemed like a no brainer to go ahead and get a new one. It arrived yesterday, and so far I am mostly very pleased. We didn’t get the very top of the line model- couldn’t quite justify that money for those features- but still, a nice improvement.

The biggest improvement is the noise- I used to not like to run the roomba while I was in the room, because it was too loud. I’m typing this with the new roomba running around the same room I’m in, with no substantial irritation. I know it is there- it isn’t that quiet- but I have no desire to run away to another room. It now slows down before it runs into most things, which is nice- should improve the long-term robustness of the thing. Supposedly it also is smarter about eating cords; I’m not sure I believe that, and frankly, I’m nervous to try (since I think an encounter with a cord is part of what led to the death of the old machine.) But I’m glad it at least thinks that it is the case. At least one (though not all) of the axles which used to be impossible to clean of Krissa’s hair has been re-engineered to make it less likely to collect hair, which is a nice touch- cleaning it will be more pleasant than it was.

All told- I continue to recommend roombas to anyone who doesn’t like vacuuming. It isn’t a perfect replacement for a really thorough vacuuming job, but a 90% roomba-ing multiple times a week almost certainly trumps a 100% traditional vacuum that happens monthly, and the new roomba makes it even more likely that you will use it regularly.