The Story of Our New Robot Vacuum Named Roomba

ByMarc Silberberg


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a robot in your house? I still think of robots as those big bulky machines that are much taller than the average person. I have met a few in my local Stop & Shop a few years ago but it looks like they have been fired. Sleeping on the job or not answering the customers questions correctly, I do not know why they are no longer around. When my cousin visited last year from Boca Raton, we spoke about how we upkeep our homes as we get older. When I asked my cousin Karen how they managed vacuuming which I find challenging she told me about her robot vacuum cleaner. My husband and I checked online for details and decided at that time not to go for it. Several months later, with some more aches and pains from lugging our heavy upright vacuum, we heard from another family member about a great robot vacuum called Roomba.

My husband and I have been Costco members for many years. We have bought several vacuum cleaners from them in the past. If there is any trouble they stand behind their products. A sale came up several weeks ago on the iRobot Roomba i4. We finally decide to jump in and take a chance on twenty- first century technology. We are never looking back on the heavy schlepping of our upright vacuum cleaner again.

Firstly, our robot vacuum is so much fun. And it is not only us. Our cousins recently purchased the same model as we did, and we have reports that they are laughing and having such a good time just as we are. The first day that we opened our new vacuum was challenging. We had trouble connecting it to the Wi-Fi on my husband’s android phone. He spent two hours trying to connect it and even with customer service he was not successful. Then he had an epiphany and connected it to our iPad.

Low and behold a successful launch occurred. Watching the Roomba scale the floors and carpets was quite confusing. It goes from one room to the other without completing a room. It seems as if she has no rhyme or reason with her system. My husband was almost ready to return her to the store, but I begged him to wait a few days and see how she does. We are so happy we kept her because like any other new member of the family or pet you must give them a chance to show you what they can do.

Our Roomba has a long battery charge and when the charge is up, it goes nicely back to its charger all by itself and when recharged continues cleaning. We were suspicious if this vacuum completed an entire cleaning cycle of our house. It seemed to move randomly with no set pattern. This is when we began questioning the sense of keeping the robot and perhaps returning it to Costco. My husband decided to check on the iPad and imagine our wonder and relief when we saw an exact diagram of our house and where the Roomba had cleaned so far.

I guess you can compare it to a budding romance, sort of like a girl or boy pulling at a daisy, love me love me not. Once we began to trust that our Roomba will eventually get to all the parts of our home in due time, we relaxed and went back to our own responsibilities. After a few hours, our new friend returned to its charger to refuel. When the recharging was done, it continued cleaning until the house was done. Another advantage we like, is that the machine tells you when the dustbin needs to be emptied. Some people might complain that this is too often as the bin is small. I personally like the fact that the bin is emptied often. No need to worry that dust or dirt will go back on the floor. For someone who does not want to clean the bin there is an optional charger that comes with an automatic dirt bin emptier. This means that when the bin is full the Roomba goes back to the charger and the charger empties the bin into a large hidden bag. Yes, eventually this bag must be changed, however it is quite large. Besides the fact that we do not want to spend the extra money on this extra, we are happy that our Roomba hides inconspicuously in its small charger.

The Roomba is also light weight, so if you want to move it to a different location it is quite simple to do. If there is no furniture blocking it, it will always return to its charger even if you are not at home. In fact, it is fun to leave the house and come back to a freshly vacuumed home. Or you can turn it on from your smartphone or iPad while you are out. For those families who have Google Home or Alexia, there is more fun in store. I cannot give you a critique on this option, but I have checked it out online and it is utterly amazing.

For a person like me who is not a pet owner, nor do I want to be, the Roomba somehow has become a toy pet. It sounds crazy but we worry about our little robot. Suddenly during a cycle if we do not hear it or cannot find it, we immediately search for it and are so relieved when we spot it. Sometimes it is because it gets stuck in a tight spot which is rare and mostly it is under the beds which is one of best parts of owning this robot. We tried our best to vacuum our bedrooms but somehow only got under the beds once or twice a year with a standard vacuum.

With a Roomba, there is an elimination of dust all over the house in places a regular vacuum cleaner would not reach. There are three tiny brushes on one side of the Roomba which clean around the moldings of the carpet or floor. One day, I found our Roomba in our bedroom slacking on the job. I could see that the entire bedroom was not cleaned yet. Why did it stop? If it needed a recharge it would have gone back to the charger. What could be wrong? I picked up the Roomba and saw something attached to its brush. Not knowing what goes on underneath the robot yet, as it was quite new, I was baffled. I waited for my husband to come home and showed him our robot.

“Oh my”, he exclaimed. “That’s my pillow earphone for my radio”. My husband is considerate and since he listens to the radio before falling asleep, uses a pillow earphone to listen to the shows. It is more comfortable than wearing earphones to sleep and it goes right under the pillow so that only he hears the noise of the radio. The lesson we learned from this is that you must ascertain that there is nothing on the floor before turning on the Roomba. That is not to say that it will indiscriminately destroy any object in its way. One day I walked into one of the bedrooms and found two socks right near the bed. I know they were not in that place before since I would have removed them. I realized that when the Roomba cleaned under the bed the brush pushed them and somehow placed them near the bed. Sometimes there are good surprises.

We have written about the great advantages that our robot vacuum has, cleaning corners and under the beds. However, as powerful as it is, and the suction is great there is one especially important maintenance job that it cannot tackle. That is the cleaning of the vents of our central air conditioning system. It is of the utmost importance to ensure that the registers of the central air conditioning are cleaned. It is imperative that the homeowner hire a professional air duct cleaner for the safety and efficiency of the unit. Ceilings and any household add-ons such as lights will never get cleaned with a robot.

Many people spend their time keeping their homes spic and span. The bathrooms are washed regularly. The kitchen floor is shined to perfection. The carpets are vacuumed and sometimes the ceiling corners are dusted with a long duster. It reminds me of most of us who concentrate on what is going on the outside of our bodies. Frequent haircuts for the men, salon visits for the women and the purchase of the latest fashions. What about internally? Are we being careful of keeping our bodies clean? What about our minds? Are we filling them up with nasty images?

A good duct vent cleaning can be compared to keeping our bodies healthy. We may not see what is going on in the ducts of our house but sooner or later, the dryer will not dry properly, and the cooling system will not cool efficiently. Why wait for the inevitable to happen? Ask a reliable vent cleaning company to come and give you an estimate for the cleaning of your ducts. Whatever you pay now will pay off later when unfortunately, your systems break because of neglected upkeep.

Our Roomba vacuum is a great addition to the dust control in our home. When it comes to floor cleaning it is a winner. This machine has nothing to do with the well-being of the rest of the house. In those spaces only a professional will do.

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