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Who has tried robot vacuum cleaners?

Valentijn

Senior Member
Messages
15,786
One thing that has bothered me - could they flip over, and do they have an automatic cut-off if that happens? I have visions of finding a flipped-over robot with a terrified cat stuck to it! :eek:
And if they do have such an automatic cut-off, can it be disabled? I'd pay good money to see an upside Neato with a cat trapped on it by the suction :rofl:
 

Indigophoton

Senior Member
Messages
127
Location
UK
It's not a lack of logic, it's very sophisticated logic, designed originally for bomb-detecting robots. The coverage programming was designed to make sure all areas were covered regardless of the multitude of objects in any room.

Interesting, I didn't know that.

Regarding floor coverage, when I was looking into these things originally, I found some time lapse videos on the web which showed that both the Neato and the Roomba got the whole floor. The Roomba just took a lot longer. The Neato overlaps its passes a little, just as a human would do, to avoid missing strips.

Of course the Roomba does have one excellent additional capability that, sadly, the Neato seems unable to match:


 
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Indigophoton

Senior Member
Messages
127
Location
UK
One thing that has bothered me - could they flip over, and do they have an automatic cut-off if that happens? I have visions of finding a flipped-over robot with a terrified cat stuck to it! :eek:

They are broad and squat, with quite a heavy battery, low to the ground, with a low centre of gravity, so very difficult to flip.

If it's picked up whilst in action, or lifted partially off the floor, it stops hoovering, and politely asks to be put back down.
 

PennyIA

Senior Member
Messages
728
Location
Iowa
Someone beat me to the 'pick up turn off' feature and that they are very low to the ground, so you can't tip it over by bumping into it.

In addition, they have sensors, so if there are ledges or steps down, they won't go far enough over the edge that they'll go down either. So, I'm pretty sure your cat is safe.

Mine hid from the roomba. My dog found it quite curious until it realized it would pick up things like food crumbs, suddenly my dog didn't love it so much.
 

PennyIA

Senior Member
Messages
728
Location
Iowa
While we're at it and talking about cleaning machines - and at least a couple have a cat. I just bought a new cat litter self-cleaning litter box. I'd tried the ones with a rake that scoops... only the rake would constantly have issues with the solid waste, ok with the clumping liquids. When I called the manufacturer they would claim that it was the brand of litter I used - it wasn't... I think my cats just don't do as good to bury their solid waste and the liquids clump better simply because they don't have to get buried. But the motor would burn out with the rake issue.

I've seen the littler boxes that flip over, but I was still worried about the screens getting gummed up just like the rake ones.

But a sister-in-law had bought a cat genie and couldn't say enough about it. This does NOT use clumping litter - it uses re-usable plastic pellets. The 'bowl' fills with water and cleans the plastic pellets and it 'grinds up' solids and disposes of the waste water with either your clothes washer waste pipe or you can hook it under the lid of the toilet so that it goes into the toilet bowl. Then it blows hot air onto the plastic pellets so they are dry for the cat's next use.

I haven't hooked mine up yet, but she adores hers... since there's no bin to dispose of and it just takes care of it all on it's own I would think it would be good for pwme who do have cats. The pellets do get tracked, but so does cat litter... I picked up some 'sticky' pads that are supposed to reduce tracking - but figure worst case - the roomba out to pick up the pellets (?) that might get tracked.
 

Valentijn

Senior Member
Messages
15,786
We just got a Philips CF8810 SmartPro Active Robot Cleaner.

It was easy to set up and get charging. There's lots of options for programming it to run on certain days at certain times, and different options to select for how much it sucks, and the cleaning pattern used.

But it can also be started on a cleaning run by hitting one button on the remote, and it cycles through all of the cleaning patterns automatically. If it detects a dirty bit, it swirls around on it a bit before moving on. When it's done with it's cycle, or when the "home" button is hit on the remote, it goes back to its charging station.

It handles walls and corners very well - the front brushes extend beyond the edge of the machine itself, so it's reaching out a bit to pull dust and dirt toward its sucker. It does great on the wood floor, and even handled a deep entry way mat area, though looking a bit slow and awkward there.

It's a lot quieter than a normal vacuum cleaner, but still a noticeable buzz with a fair bit of bumping and grumbling sounds. Due to the noises, rolling around, and spinning, we've named it Dalek :alien: If using a program, I wouldn't run it at night, due to the bumping.

It bumps into pretty much everything, though gently. It has a bumper on the front which takes the impact first and it backs off before hitting anything harder. It shoves around light weight items regardless of size ... my flip-flops and an empty watering can were all pushed several feet in different directions :p

The only problem so far is that its brushes and wheels got stuck due to a bunch of my hair from the floor wrapping around them. This would probably be less of a problem if vacuuming on a regular basis, but it's been several weeks since we did a manual vacuum job before trying out the robot. At any rate, it was extremely easy to pull of the brushes to remove the hair, and removing the wheels to get my hair off the axles was also pretty straight forward.

Even after getting stuck and being turned off, and turned back on in a different location, Dalek went back to its charging station after I hit the "home" button on the remote. Kinda cute watching it slowly maneuver into position then back its butt into the docking bay :love:

Dalek's a little too tall to get under our couch, but by about a centimeter or less. I think it managed to get pretty much everywhere else downstairs. We can probably screw in different legs to the couch to get it slightly higher.

It doesn't "remember" the area, so there's no problem with moving it somewhere else to start, such upstairs instead of downstairs. It shouldn't fall off of ledges, but we haven't tried that yet.

Removing the dirt trap is extremely easy. Bend over, pull off the cover, and grab the little closed bucket. Open the bucket and empty into the trash. It's just as easy to put it back in.

Hopefully my hair isn't an ongoing problem. It's 2-3 feet long, so can make quite a mess :p I'll get the fiance to vacuum upstairs a day or two before we run Dalek up there, so he's not get too tangled all at once.
 

Comet

I'm Not Imaginary
Messages
695
One of my beloved Roombas just bit the dust. :lol: :( Turns out you can't really get them fixed anywhere though.

Anyway, if I decide to replace it, I found out that Hammacher Schlemmer offers a lifetime guarantee (in the US - don't know about elsewhere). They are slightly pricier than Amazon, but seems like it would be worth it.
 

Strawberry

Senior Member
Messages
2,133
Location
Seattle, WA USA
That would keep me entertained for hours.

Ditto! They must all ready have had the vacuum first and got a kitten second. My cat is very wary of the neato. But then, so is my 21 year old daughter! And it isn't loud!

For the record, we named her Miley. Because she... ummm.... well... she sucks. :p Also, she likes to back up to chair legs and bounce up and down. So she twerks too.

I love my neato! The only problem is I have to pick up the cat toys first or they get sucked up too. So it is definitely not zero energy for me to use. My daughter has hair to her butt so it gets wound around the wheels easy, but much easier to clean than a vacuum. It is hardwood and linoleum only upstairs, and I won't let my daughter use it on her carpet downstairs. She is healthy. She gets the regular vacuum. So I don't know how it works on carpet, but the hardwoods are nice and clean feeling on the tootsies.

I also have never programmed it to run on its own, as I hate fishing cat toys out of the garbage can. But all the reviews posted make it sound easy to program.

I think it was this thread that talked me into buying one, and I have never regretted it. Best self birthday present ever.
 

JAH

Senior Member
Messages
497
Location
Northern California
Interesting, I didn't know that.

Regarding floor coverage, when I was looking into these things originally, I found some time lapse videos on the web which showed that both the Neato and the Roomba got the whole floor. The Roomba just took a lot longer. The Neato overlaps its passes a little, just as a human would do, to avoid missing strips.

Of course the Roomba does have one excellent additional capability that, sadly, the Neato seems unable to match:



This is hilarious- like some weird performance art.

Thanks for posting.
 

AndyPandy

Making the most of it
Messages
1,928
Location
Australia
I read a stomach churning story on FB recently about a robot vacuum cleaner coming on at its programmed time in the middle of the night and spreading dog or cat poo throughout the home.

Apparently the manufacturers took pity and replaced the unit as it didn't work after the owners washed it!

:wide-eyed:
 

Cheesus

Senior Member
Messages
1,292
Location
UK
I read a stomach churning story on FB recently about a robot vacuum cleaner coming on at its programmed time in the middle of the night and spreading dog or cat poo throughout the home.

Apparently the manufacturers took pity and replaced the unit as it didn't work after the owners washed it!

:wide-eyed:

I saw that same thing! It had methodically smeared crap over every floor in the house. Very efficient!

Was it maybe George Takei who posted it?
 

AndyPandy

Making the most of it
Messages
1,928
Location
Australia
I can't remember. I am FB friends with some young ones who like all sorts of stuff that I wouldn't otherwise get to see.
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,589
Location
Texas Hill Country
The cat who refuses to join the trend of roomba cats.


That was so cute - the poor cat looked and sounded so stressed, well, at least couldn't stop telling us how unhappy he or she was, but also didn't seem to be able to stop what he or she was doing --- or maybe was yelling about how dirty the floor was and why don't you humans clean up after yourselves!

I am going to have buy one of these robot vacs - there are so many to choose from now! I just vacuumed yesterday, the last time was 2-1/2 months ago. It looks so much better. Unfortunately, of course, that was my main energy
expenditure of the day and it will be many weeks before I can do it again. And I have lived with a messy floor for weeks and weeks, which I hate. After reading how well they work on this thread, I think it will be my Christmas gift to myself (probably an early one! :p)
 
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