Breaking in the roomba - first impressions

2 minute read

It’s well known amongst my friends that I loath cleaning (though I love a clean house.). I’m not sure why. I have friends who find it therapeutic. It may be that it’s because cleaning, and especially dishwashing and vacuuming, were used as punishment for transgressions when I was a child – in fact, I used to “design” small saucer robots with treads (obviously powered by imagination alone) which would take care of the vacuuming for me.

I mentioned to my family just before XMas that I needed to “hire a housekeeper or get a roomba or something”, which, in lieu of any other indications of what to get me for Xmas, ended up with me carting a big box home from Canada from my international electrical standards oblivious parents.

Anyhow, taking a good hard long look at the growth and proliferation of monster dust bunnies round the apartment since I’d headed back to the True North Strong and Free, I charged up my little Roomba 530.

Anyhow, it’s actually a lot better than I thought though I’m dying to figure out how the AI works on it. I can hear it right now, whirring away in the master bedroom after making its way there from the living room where I started it on its dust bunny destruction routine (it’s missed some spots in the living room, but I assume it’s coming back on the way to its base station again… besides, it still has the kitchen to do.).

It’s a little hilarious actually, as it zig zags around the rooms. One bit of a surprise is that I figured it would have a bit better proximity sensor than it does, but it does have a tendency to bang into things directly a little more than I thought it would, which is a little disconcerting the first time you watch it. I also had to rescue it from a sucked up shirt that it was rotating around after discovering it under my bed (as well as a few other things I was surprised were under there and probably have been under there since before I moved in).

Still, it does clean really well. Save for a few dust bunnies that are a bit too light and big for it (so it ends up pushing them rather than sucking them up), it has really cleaned up the floor wherever its gone. Very hard to complain and the occasional bang while I’m working on the laptop is more than enough to bear. Even the vacuum it has is pretty quiet compared to other ones I’ve heard in my lifetime.

And let’s face it, turning it on and leaving it to go while I sit here doing other, more valuable tasks, is a major timesaver.

Now if I could just get the landlady to put in a dishwasher…

tools robotics