||[Jul. 12th, 2011|08:13 pm]
Thrilled with my new Roomba iRobot vacuum cleaner. It was very easy to set up and I had the little guy driving around the sitting room, eating dust and hair like a pro, within minutes of getting it out of the box. Fortuitously that day I'd been off sick (just back from Tallinn) so I had the full day to get him to try out most of the rooms in the house. As he drove around, I was struck by the resemblence to a trilobite, pottering around in circles and heading off in crazy directions with a little antenna poking its way this way and that.
The performance on wooden floors was flawless, though I had to move loads of cables and trestle tables out of the way, cause it kept snagging and dragging the cables and getting stuck under the trestles. But once you gave it an open playing field, it was unstoppable. Particularly crazy was our bedroom - you wouldn't believe how much dust two people can create just by sleeping there every night. I'd last swept the place only a month or two before but I still completely filled the robot's dust container twice over.
On the landing carpet, it had a "cliff sensor" to detect the top of the stairs (and prevent death), and after leaving it there nearly an hour, I came back up to find that it had scrubbed all the inground hair off the carpet, leaving an intact bolus in the centre like a little Roomba shit. I later found more hair entangled in its brushes - a morass so thickly matted that it looked like an arts and crafts project.
In general though, it's totally worth it - and a huge win technology wise: I felt like a Jetson. You put a robot in a room for half an hour, and look what it can do!