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Thread: Robot vacuum?

  1. #1
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    Robot vacuum?

    So many features on some. Anyone have experience with these things? What features do you recommend? We have old growth pine floors with area rugs and no pets. There are stairs and this will be dedicated to the upstate’s, about 1300 square feet. Self emptying at the base sounds like it would be good. Other than that the available features are a bit overwhelming. Any advice or recommendation appreciated. Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    I don't know if they changed from having to have 3 feet of clear space on each side of the receptacle or not - but - that was a deal breaker for us a few years ago.
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  3. #3
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    We have a Roomba and a Shark. We use them all the time.

    Of the two, we like the Shark the best, it self cleans into the wall charger base, which mean you empty the charging station about once a month, it's also quieter in operation so we can run it in our main living area without it being loud, i.e. we don't need to adjust the volume on the TV while it cleans around your feet.

    We had the Roomba for about 18 months before we bought the Shark, like it but wasn't totally satisfied. The Shark, we saw on a infomercial with a 90 day return policy, so we took them up on that offer and kept it.

    We have all hardwood floors with area rugs. The Roomba would struggle to transition up onto the area rugs and get stuck, half on, half off the rug which required you to go attend to it. Do this five or six times and I may have been better off just manually vacuuming.

    Both are pretty good at going back to the dock and recharging mid clean, if they need it.

    In super tight areas, the Roomba gets stuck more often. It can find its way into a tight spot but doesn't have the logic to reverse out.

    Both will get into tight spots.

    The area rugs look cleaner with the Shark, even though it's noticeably quieter it seems to have better suction.

    The only negative about the Shark, the smart phone app has trouble connecting to the Shark, so phone control doesn't work for us. It worked initially for several months, but with software updates to both phone and the Shark app, we've had trouble getting it to be reliable, so now we just have to walk over to the shark and press the button to clean.
    Last edited by ChrisA Edwards; 11-24-2021 at 8:00 AM.

  4. #4
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    We have the Roomba i9 with the self-emptying base. Actually we have 3 of them on different floors of the house. The self-emptying feature is a game changer. We have 3 long-haired dogs, and it works great on hardwood floors. I'm not sure how well it would do on carpet, and it tries to eat rugs, dog toys and cords. But it is a great vacuum. And we never have to vacuum which is awesome.

    Interestingly, the Braava jet mopping robot is a great addition to it for our kitchen. It picks up an impressive amount of dog hair that the Roomba leaves. I use a mixture of 4:1 water and denatured alcohol with a drop of dawn, and the floors look great.
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  5. #5
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    We have the Roombas from time it came on the market, updating models every 3-4 years up to i6 model. Right now just awaiting from last two robots to died or break. Biggest complains - noise it make when running, emptying it, or forgetting to do it, and struggling in transition areas, like hardwood floor and rug.
    On the plus side - it vacuuming floor very well, collection a lot of dust, dog hair, ladybugs . iPhone software working very well, easy to schedule, easy connect to Roomba.
    Probably I will go with Shark, as a next robot, or who knows what we will see next year or so.
    Ed.

  6. #6
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    A number of years ago we had a more basic Roomba brand unit and its job was to keep our master bedroom floor dusted after we determined that the brick floor in the kitchen/bird room was too rough for it to last very long physically. Here at the new place, we have a Shark "intelligence" unit that we got from Costco a few months ago and it's maintaining the whole first floor, including the bird area. It maps the space so you can tell it what areas to clean if you don't want the whole thing done and even empties itself by returning to the charging base mid-job. It's name is "Monk" and it's an important member of the family now.

    These things do not replace a traditional vacuum cleaner for deep cleaning work, but they really do help keep things neat and it makes the actual "cleaning day" for whomever has that task a bit easier. The new more automated units like we have mean you can both schedule and do ad hoc as needs be.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 11-24-2021 at 9:26 AM.
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  7. #7
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    We have a basic Trifo and despite all my doubts, it actually does a pretty good job on the carpet and wood floors. Enough to reduce the need for a hard vacuuming to every three-four weeks. It gets stuck a lot so you can't just leave it and go somewhere, but it gives you time to work on something else. No special wall space requirements. Its not very smart, as far as remembering where its been. So bottom line, it was a good purchase and does its job well. It does freak out when there's a power failure, as it keeps looking for its base until its battery runs out. In fact, when we hear it say "returning to base" in the middle of the night, we know the power is out.
    Last edited by Stan Calow; 11-24-2021 at 9:57 AM.
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  8. #8
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    We have an older (5 years?) Roomba that only got used in our cork-floored bedroom until we took up the rest of our carpeting and put down bamboo, now it gets used in the whole house including the basement (Pergo flooring). No use anymore for our upright vacuum. The Roomba gets used every time the grand dogs visit. In the bedroom, I raised the beds just enough for it to sneak under to get the dust bunnies without getting stuck.
    NOW you tell me...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    The self-emptying feature is a game changer.
    We've owned a half-dozen of them over the years, and currently have the Shark with the self-emptying base, and I will never own another without that feature. It changes a novelty "toy" into a full-fledged appliance.

    My daughter has the Roomba with the self-emptying base -- hers uses a bag, and that makes it much more tidy at emptying time. The Shark is bagless, an advantage when you don't have to buy bags, but emptying is slightly more messy.

    Both the Shark and the higher-end Roombas use room mapping software, which is better than the random flail-about-the-house strategy, but I still think we are a couple of software breakthroughs before we get to the Rosie of the Jetson's show.

    As it is, our "Rosie" vacuums the entire 1st floor daily, and we only break out the big vacuum every few months for a deep clean or a big spill. It's been going strong for nearly 2 years, and has had no battery degradation or service issues worth noting.

  10. #10
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    Has anyone tried one of these in a home woodshop after the bulk of sawdust, shavings, etc. have been swept/vacuumed up?
    Last edited by Mike Soaper; 11-24-2021 at 12:40 PM.
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    Maryland

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Soaper View Post
    Has anyone tried one of these in a home woodshop after the bulk of sawdust, shavings, etc. have been swept/vacuumed up?
    I think a regular version wouldn't like that environment, but there have been some heavier duty versions available for more extreme conditions. Check the specifications carefully and remember, even the largest of these things is relatively small, so space to hold what's swept up into the holding "tank" is very limited.
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  12. #12
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    I just ordered one for my wife for Christmas (Yes, she has been wanting one and has let me know she is wanting one). After looking at different brands and models and reading reviews, and talking with people who have them, I went with the Roomba j7+. It comes with the base station that it empties into, so the base only has to be emptied every 45 days or so; it's good with pet hair (we have 5 small dogs); and it has a lot more suction than other brands or lower models. Also, the mapping software is said to be some of the better software available on these vacs. The area we will use it in is laminate flooring with a couple of area rugs. Hopefully it works as well for us as others say it works for them.

  13. #13
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    Inquiring minds want to know: is the self-mapping feature good enough to keep the widget from throwing itself down the stairs when used on an upper floor?

    (Just ordered a 'renewed' Shark IQ from Amazon...mostly for downstairs, so it doesn't freak out the cat, but ya never know.)
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    is the self-mapping feature good enough to keep the widget from throwing itself down the stairs when used on an upper floor?
    I believe most of them have "cliff sensors" that detect when they are hovering on the edge of the abyss... ours occasionally gets fooled by the HVAC floor registers & panics. I don't think they rely on the mapping as the last line of defense.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    These things do not replace a traditional vacuum cleaner for deep cleaning work, but they really do help keep things neat and it makes the actual "cleaning day" for whomever has that task a bit easier. The new more automated units like we have mean you can both schedule and do ad hoc as needs be.
    As always, Jim has the correct answer. They keep the dog and cat hair down enough to be able to walk around, and make the actual cleaning much easier. Not a replacement.

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