Let's get ready to Roomba!
Mom got me a Roomba for Christmas. It was backordered for a long time, so it didn't come until the second half of January. I've been running it on occasion for a couple of weeks now.
By and large, it works as advertised. The first thing I noticed about it is that it drains its battery rather quickly. It takes up to 14 hours to charge the battery (they claim 12 but it's definitely longer for me), at most 2.5 to completely use it up. I can't cover my whole apartment on one charge.
I don't especially want to run it at night after work (nobody lives below me right now but I don't want to disturb the neighbors on the sides with thudding on the walls), and I'm still not at the point when I can just start it and leave for work--need to get the pattern down of what to put away and what I can safely leave out. So that means I can only run it on the weekends. That gives me plenty of time to charge the battery, but if I'm trying to get things clean, it's difficult. Then again, vacuuming 2/3 the apartment once a week is better than... well, we won't go there.
I found that I was filling the dust bin completely full after each run. Last week I just ran it in my living room area about three times (one charge's worth). The first two times it filled up. After the second time I finally decided to act upon the wise advice the manual provides, that Roomba is great for light work but it doesn't replace the occasional (ahem--like I said, we won't go there) deep cleaning from ye olde upright. So I got it out and went over the same area again. After the third Roomba run the dust bin wasn't full--it was less than 1/3 filled. I guess the rest of the apartment needs that same treatment.
So one of the educational things for me in this is getting to see exactly how much dirt was being picked up from the carpet after each run. With a traditional vacuum with a bag it all goes together so you just see how much you've accumulated over time, not how much you pulled out that day (and thus how much accessible dirt must have accumulated since your last run, leaving you to wonder just how much is buried down deep...).
One other minor nuisance: Twice on Saturday it decided that it was finished for its run while it was right underneath the metal shelves I use for my TV stand. I had to reach under and drag it out. I'm glad that so far it hasn't decided to call it quits while in the corner underneath my bed... I'd really like to see a "seek to home" feature where it runs around for a while, then heads back to the charging station to charge up for a while (14 hours in my case, 2 if I got the deep charger). That becomes a problem right away if the charging station is in another room, but obviously you closed all the doors or put infrared walls up to keep it in this one... which quickly gets us out of the area where low cost and high tech intersect.
Speaking of whom, she recently had this to say regarding my article on certifier nullification:
WOW! Didn't quite understand alot of it but makes me feel I should have given you an increase in your allowance! ;))