Sunday, 4 July 2010

Product Review: Roomba i-robot (4*)

I think many of you are waiting to hear my views about the roomba i-robot 562 pet series that we bought a couple of weeks ago. well, after using it for a couple of weeks, we'd say as pet owners, we're quite pleased with it.

the house has been relatively free of furballs... i rmb CY once commenting about the flying fur balls... hahaha. west and claire have kinda gotten used to it as part of the family rather than a predator LOL initially they'd hide in a corner inaccessible by the i-robot and stay v still LOL so cute.

we let it run once a day either in the morning while getting ready for work or in the evening. ours comes with a timer function which we will probably start to use. the first few times we tried it, it got caught in our stone path near the door. it went yee arggh yee argghh... tee tee tee tee tee and stopped then a robotic female voice said something like, "error 1: move roomba to new location and press restart". so we put one virtual wall there.

it's just a little device that runs on two C-sized batteries and shoots out IR rays to stop the i-robot from going beyond. it also got caught running over the bathroom mat so now the mat is INSIDE the bathroom instead of outside. note that the area covered cannot be 100%. it's probably about 90-95%. it's also possible that it keeps cleaning the same spot and goes back to clean the same spot while missing others but then if you on it everyday with 90% coverage, it should have cleaned all the required areas in a week LOL there're also areas it can't clean because of inaccessibility. basically it goes in a straight line but will bump into the wall/furniture/threshold/door etc and then turn around. I think the angle at which it turns is randomised. looks kinda like brownian motion to me hahaha but chris says the AI is some statistical algorithm... ok... anw sometimes it bumps into my piano which initially made me a little worried but now i don't care le hahaha when it's done it goes back to its docking station to charge.

we do maintenance once a week (longer if you're lazy, everyday if you're hardworking) because it takes us just one week to fill the refuse box with fur!

this is one week's worth of fur (and hay and dono why got rubber band hahaha)

you have to empty the refuse box and rinse the filter if you wish and just clean the brushes a bit. i rinse and air dry them too. do remove all hairs otherwise the hair may cut the rubber brush.

[from left, machine upside down, refuse box, filter and bottom are brushes)

there was once some of our bunny fur got stuck inside the brush and it couldn't rotate so the i-robot couldn't move properly. when there's something wrong, the robotic female voice will tell you. she kept telling us to wash the brush which we did but still the problem was there. we couldn't figure out what's wrong and switched to the new set of brush (the pet series comes with an extra set of brushes) and it worked perfectly. i was like, "ha?? so fast must change brush?? how can??" then one day i itchy hand unscrewed the old brush and found a lump of fur stuck inside... tsk tsk tsk... i just removed it and it was ok. so i switched back to the old brush. chris still doesn't know how i did it hehehe.

i personally don't feel that this can REPLACE regular cleaning but what it can definitely do is LENGTHEN the interval between regular cleaning. for example, we used to vacuum and steam the floor every week but now we can do it every 2-3 weeks. for those weeks we don't need to vacuum, i just let the i-robot run one round then mop. good for those weekends when you're busy or just want to be lazy.

my colleague (whose wife is also my colleague) also has it and says his toddler son thinks it's a pet and loves chasing it around the house so that gives him and his wife some personal time (ooh lala!) LOL he has the mopping machine too which he says squirts out water, has a brush that rotates to "mop" and then something sucks away the water. he was hoping that this can REPLACE regular cleaning but the wife still INSISTS on bringing out the vacuum cleaner every week because of their kids so he -.- hahaha

i'd say i'm glad we bought it because now at least we're not eating and breathing in fur and sweeping fur everyday hahaha and when i mop or vacuum, the water is also not as dirty (less fur).

for people who don't have pets, i'm not sure if you NEED it. it's almost $900 if you buy the regular one neh. according to the china salesguy, the pet series is exactly the same except that it comes with an extra set of brushes and an additional virtual wall. it costs $100 more (so almost $1000). but it's good for busy working (or lazy) people i'd say.

from COURTS near IKEA.