Tech Toy of the Month: iRobot Roomba

roomba.gifOne of the more simple chores that most of us put off doing is vacuuming our floors. Especially for those who have carpets that easily show dirt or crumbs, vacuuming can seem like a never-ending job. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just have a little robot zip around our floor when we’re not there and clean up for us (that way, we wouldn’t even need to keep rug cleaning tips in mind)? Apparently so, because one company has a whole line of little robots that vacuum our floors for us.

The Roomba, from a company called iRobot, is a line of small robot vacuum cleaners. The original Roomba product was introduced in 2002. So this Tech Toy has been around for many years, but it still is not very well known among the average consumer. I’m writing about it because I recently noticed that the company has expanded their product line to include robots that handle all sorts of menial tasks. So it would seem that this company and their products have been very successful.

But I’m going to focus on the Roomba products for this article. Now on their 3rd generation of robotic vacuum cleaners, the Roomba basically works by periodically navigating your floor area, cleaning as it goes. It uses various sensors to avoid stairs, drop-offs, and areas you deem as off-limits. It is small enough to travel under furniture, clean into corners, and along walls. It automatically adjusts for hard floors or carpets, and also is smart enough to determine how dirty an area is and spend extra time on spots that need additional cleaning. Click here for a more detailed video showing how the Roomba works.

When not in use, the Roomba finds it’s “home”, which is where the Roomba recharges itself when not working. The newer Roomba models can run on a schedule, so you can set it to run when you’re not at home, or if you don’t mind, while you are sleeping. Since the Roomba runs more often than we humans tend to vacuum our floors, it tends to keep messes from building up, which should give your floor an overall cleaner look most of the time.

As I mentioned, the iRobot company now has a whole line of cleaning robots. One is even designed to clean swimming pools! So if you’d like a little help keeping your home clean, check out the iRobot line of products.

If you have come across an interesting device or emerging technology, please let me know and I may include it in a future newsletter.