My life with a robot – Day 1

There is a new member of the Wohlers family. Last week I managed to catch a Roomba on woot for a really good price.  I haven’t told Palley yet, because I was going to be selfish and keep it to myself in my room. She tends to be skeptic of gadgets, and I didn’t want to hear about the “waste of money”.   But, since my room is in a shambles and I really wanted to let it run, I decided today while Palley was gone to play a bit.   I  brought the newly charged Roomba downstairs and first let it go in the living room.

Read on for my adventures with the roomba!

The living room turned out to be a bit tough for the poor little guy,  you see, aside form being land mine of obstacles on the floor, which he navigated around quite well,  the living room also has lots of throw rugs.   I’ve never liked throw rugs, they always bunch up and get in the way, and we spent the money on pretty decent carpet, why cover it up with cheap $10 throw rugs… I don’t get it… Neither does the roomba…  He did his best to navigate the evil rugs but because they have a nasty tendency to roll at the corners he kept getting stuck on them.  This same thing happens with the full size vacuum so I wasn’t surprised.  He did manage to get himself unstuck all but twice though, so I’m REALLY impressed with the programming code.   After about 10 minutes of watching the poor roomba struggle I decided it was time to give him an easy task.

I then took him and the invisible wall to Palleys bedroom.  The room was just vacuumed  yesterday using the upright  so I figured this would just be an exercise  in watching the roomba navigation tactics.   I first setup the virtual wall at the door, setup is a loose term here, you set the little wall device on the floor outside the doorway and hit the power button… thats all… Yes I could have closed the door and that would have made more sense, but I was curious about the wall.   After the wall was in place, i set the roomba in the middle of the room sat down on the bed, and hit power, and clean on the remote control.   Roomba let out its happy song and then started to work.   First he did a little dance in the middle of the room, then made a bee line for a wall.  When he found the he again began his bee dance and scrubbed and vacuumed his way around the room.  About a minute into the cleaning cycle he discovered the bed.   I was worried for the little guy, as I really didn’t want to have to crawl under the bed to get him…  I heard him banging around under there, and a couple of time she stopped to take a breather. then all of a sudden with a happy wirrr  he came charging out form under the bed happy as a clam.  He then shot off towards the heavy trafficked area of Palley’s room, and then stopped and began to spin.  I noticed at that point the little blue “dirt” light had came on and he realized there was extra work to be done.   A few seconds later the light went off, and he shot back under the bed.   Again he made a lot of noice, and stopped a time or two under there, but he came back out, this time trailing a present for me.  “Here ya go, I found this neat coax cable under there and I thought you should see it”    Ok, so the roomba doesn’t really talk… yet…  but I felt like that’s what he would have said if he did.  I stopped him removed teh TV cable and stuck it back under the bed.   In the future I will have to get some of the 3M wire clips and tie that cable up to keep it out of the roombas way.

The roomba continued its floor show around the room for about an hour.  It did managed to get itself fully stuck under the bed one more time, but again I think thats due to the cords under there, something the manual does warn about.   After a while of roomba running I thought i noticed a difference in the appearance of the carpet.  It seemed somehow less trodden and fluffier.  I walked around a bit, it felt fluffier…  Naaha, its got to me my imagination.   When I finally decided roomba had had enough of a workout I stopped him.  I then decided to empty the collection bin just to see what he had managed to get.   Remember we had already vacuumed in this room yesterday and it gets vacuumed once a week anyway.   I removed the bin (a simple task to say the least) and looked inside and was shocked!  There was almost a cups worth of dust, hair, and little flecks of dirt and such.  I couldn’t believe it.

This little guy rocks! I’m now starting to pick up and clean up my bedroom to give him a go up there.   I can’t wait to see the results!    I am also now REALLLLY curious about the scooba, if it works as well as the roomba then say goodbye to mopping.