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The Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Clean Floors Without The Effort

Updated on September 27, 2011

Choosing a Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Most of us like a clean house, but few of us enjoy the chore of keeping it that way. Vacuuming is a time consuming task and one that sometimes gets ignored. With a robot vacuum cleaner, vacuuming becomes effortless and a clean house becomes attainable.

On this page, you can learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of these devices, get some tips on choosing one, and see a few of the more respected models.

The Pros and Cons of a Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Like all products, a robot vacuum cleaner offers a number of advantages and a few disadvantages as well.

  • They allow you to reduce the amount of time you spend vacuuming. In fact, you can schedule them to do the task while you are out.
  • They are ideal for keeping pet hair/fur to a minimum. Because they can easily be scheduled to vacuum at least once a day, you can be sure much of the fur is picked up routinely. In fact, some models provide features designed especially for households with pets.
  • They can help vacuum in hard to clean spots. Most robot vacuum cleaners will clean under beds and sofas. They will also get closer to walls and furniture than some upright vacuum cleaners. Those with side brushes will certainly pick up more debris along the edges of the room.
  • They can help reduce the strain on your back. For anyone with an existing back condition, vacuuming can be a difficult or painful task. A robot vacuum cleaner eliminates this problem.
  • Because these cleaners can vacuum more frequently than most people find the time to do manually, they can also be useful for people with allergies to dust, pollen, and pet dander. These allergens will be picked up more regularly as described above, but in addition, the person with allergies can be absent while vacuuming is occurring, further reducing their exposure.
  • On the downside, a robot vacuum cleaner won't clean stairs. And, if you have two floors in your home, you will either need two cleaners or you'll need to carry it from floor to floor.
  • In addition, one of these robotic cleaners will cost more than the average upright vacuum cleaner, although less than some high end vacuums.


Choosing a Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Before choosing a robot vacuum cleaner there are a few things to consider:

  • The surfaces you want to clean.
    First you need to determine whether or not you want a vacuum cleaner or a mop. Most are designed for vacuuming but there are a few that will wet mop. If you choose a vacuum, then you'll want to be sure it can handle the types of surfaces you have to clean. Ideally, the vacuum can automatically transition between hard floors like hardwood, tile, vinyl, and linoleum, to carpeted surfaces. In addition, it's best if it can handle going over rugs without getting caught on the edge or sucking up any fringe.
  • Ease of Use
    There are a number of features that can make a particular robot vacuum cleaner easier to use. Certainly having a bin that is readily accessible and easy to empty will make the task more simple. If you have pets, you'll probably want to consider the capacity of the bin as well. If you have a multiple cat household for instance, you could potentially have to empty the bin 3 times in a single cleaning if the bin is too small.

    Another convenience feature is the ability to schedule cleaning times through a timer. This would allow the robot to clean at a specific time each day without any additional action on your part.

    Automatic recharging is another convenience feature. If the device autmatically charges itself when it's done with it's task, you won't have the problem of being unable to useit later due to a drained battery.
  • Effectiveness
    Certainly suction power matters. Looking at current customer reviews can give you a good idea of how owners of a given robot vacuum cleaner feel about it's performance. In addition, you can look for features like side brushes which help the device get closer to walls and so forth.
  • Capacity
    You'll also want to be sure that the area you wish to clean isn't larger than what the device can handle. Of course you can purchase two vacuums or you can rotate where you use it, but this definitely cuts down on ease of use and how frequently an area gets cleaned.

Roomba 500 Series

The iRobot 530 features a 3 stage cleaning system. This robot vacuum cleaner has spinning side brushes to pick up dirt in corners and along wall edges and 2 high speed counter rotating brushes for picking up debris such as pet hair, food crumbs, dirt, and cat litter. With a fine filtration system, it will help to eliminate dust, pollen, and other allegens from your home. It automatically senses areas with more dirt, then spends additional time cleaning those areas. It will also automatically adjust when transitioning from hard floors such as wood, tile, and lineoleum to areas with carpeting and rugs.

With bumpers along the sides and a cliff sensor, the iRobot 530 won't fall off edges such as along steps or damage furniture and walls. Instead, it will gently touch surfaces and automatically redirect itself. In fact, it's perfect for cleaning under furniture and other hard to reach places. The 530 comes with two "virtual walls" that can be used to block off rooms or areas that you don't want cleaned. The anti-tangle features assures the vacuum won't get stuck on cords, the edges or fringe on rugs, and so forth.

Care of this robot vacuum cleaner is simple. It has an bagless dustbin that can be easily emptied and snapped back in place in just seconds. The device even returns itself to the home base for charging automatically. It comes with a fast charge battery, 3 hour charger, and power source. It provides 120 minutes of continuous cleaning on a single charge. The 530 comes with a one year warranty.

The iRobot 535 also allows users to schedule preset cleaning times, allowing you to come home to a clean house after a long day at work. It comes with a bumper extension, brush cleaning tool, power adapter, rechargeable battery, 1 extra filter, and a virtual wall with batteries. The iRobot 550 (pictured in black) comes with a bumper extension, cleaning tool, power adapter, rechargeable battery, 3 extra filters, 2 Virtual Walls, and batteries.

A Closer Look at the Roomba 530

Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Owners

The iRobot 532 is ideal for those who have indoor pets. This robot vacuum cleaner has a gentle bump system for sensing obstacles to guide it around the room. Of course this also protects furniture and walls. It will automatically recharge itself as well. It has an extra set of easy to clean brushes to help pick up more pet hair/fur, cat litter, and so forth. It also includes a high capacity sweeper bin to store this increased debris as it cleans.

The conunter rotating brushes are perfect for picking up embedded pet hair and the fine filter will even help trap dander, dust, and pollen to improve air quality in your home. It comes with a rechargeable battery, 2 virtual walls to block off areas/rooms you don't want cleaned, a power supply, 2 brush cleaning tools, an extra bristle brush, an extra beater brush, and 2 extra filters.

The iRobot 562 is another robot vacuum cleaner that's perfect for pet owners. It adds a "spot clean" feature for cleaning spills and concentrated messes, and the ability to preset up to 7 cleaning times each week so that the floor is cleaned whether you're home or not.  It has the same automatic recharging, anti-tangle feature, and gentle bump system described above. It's ideal for cleaning even high pile carpet and comes with 2 virtual walls for blocking off rooms as desired.

iRobot 4210 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

This quiet Roomba vacuum offers an easy empty bin and comes with a rechargeable APS battery that provides 2 hours of continuous cleaning per charge. It also comes with a 3 hour charger, 2 virtual walls, 2 air filters, and a IR remote control.

Like the other Roomba robot vacuum cleaner models, it has dirt detection so that it spends more time on areas that need more cleaning, cliff sensors so that it doesn't fall off steps, automatic adjustments for the various floor surfaces, a stasis sensor, and automatic recharging that sends it back to it's home base when needed.

It features 3 cleaning modes; clean, spot and max and has edge cleaning side brushes to get along the edges of walls and corners.

Mint HardFloor Robot Cleaner

This robot vacuum cleaner is for dusting and mopping of hard surfaces; from linoleum to hardwood. It is very low maintenance. Since it doesn't vacuum, there is no dust bin to empty or filter to change. Instead you can choose either re-usable microfiber cloths to pick up pet hair and debris or disposable pre-moistened cleaning cloths for damp mopping.

A single charge will provide up to 3 hours of cleaning. Using the North Star Navigation system this cleaner maps out the room to clean the open areas, around any furniture and rugs, and along the room perimeter. When it's done, it returns to where it started and shuts itself off. It can map up to 1,000 square feet and mops to 250 square feet at a time. (This assures the cloth is sufficiently wet)

It offers whisper quiet operation and comes with 1 mopping and 2 sweeping cloths, which can be re-washed and reused hundreds of times. It comes with comes with batteries, power adapter, quick start guide, and user manual. It is backed by a 1 year warranty.

A Closer Look at the Evolution Robotics Mint Robotic Cleaner


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    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I wonder what my dog would do. They do look interesting.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 7 years ago from Ireland

      I'm very, very tempted to buy one of these, after reading your great hub. They're not so expensive and it would be fun to see something else doing a job I hate to do. I like other household chores, but something about vacuuming drives me wild. I'm a great believer in the benefits of robots for us humans. Besides, it would give me more time to write hubs.

      Thanks for the great hub.

    • Seakay profile image

      Seakay 7 years ago from Florida

      I've seen these in action. Howver, I have tile throughout my house (3 cats!). Good information, however, and a useful write! Thanks Mulberry1 !

    • profile image 7 years ago

      The idea of having a vacuum robot is very tempting. Considering the pros and cons of a vacuum robot, I must say that this good stuff.

      I imagine now how relaxing it will be to watch a machine do you vacuuming for you. That is if I ever bought one.

      This a good hub, thanks.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This is great invention. I really enjoy the information robot vacuum cleaner. I never thought about this before. Good job, my friend. Rating up!