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DesktopWeb FormText   roombaThu, 24 Feb 2005 03:27:26 GMT # 

Andy asked about the Roomba. when i got it ... i was like 'hell yes'! since then, i've dropped the 'hell' but still give it a solid 'yes'. our vacuuming habits have changed. instead of vacuuming a room with an upright in about 10 minutes. we just wall the Roomba off in a room and let it run til its out of juice. e.g. dont compare 5 minutes of upright time to 5 minutes of Roomba time. but the Roomba will run much longer than i want to vacuum with an upright. not to mention you can just set it off and let it go as you walk out the door. ours comes with a remote which is basically worthless. it also comes with virtual walls. the virtual walls are necessary, but kind of suck in that they dont broadcast the walls at the angle you would expect. you've got to use the virtual walls because houses are too open. if you dont block it off, then the Roomba will just run off and wont actually get anything done (other than entertaining your cats). instead, you need to wall it off and tell it to clean some room until its out of juice. it also has a docking station that it can return to and autocharge. thats a slick demo for guests, but not necessary either. if you're too lazy to undock it and dock it, then you probably were not vacuuming pre-Roomba. other parts that suck is when it gets stuck. in general you can do a visual 'sweep' of a room and know what it will get stuck on. then you just remove those obstacles. also, you have to periodically clean the vacuum brush because that gets nasty real quick. as far as actual vacuum capabilities, it picks most everything up. if there was something that you had to run over with an upright multiple times to finally get it to pick up, then that will probably be left behind by the Roomba. now i want one that will continually push falling snow off my driveway. i also want another one so i can have my own battlebot wars ...