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iRobot Roomba Pet Series 562 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Review

Updated on September 4, 2010

Pets are cute, lovable and horrendously dirty. No matter what, the fur gets everywhere.

The mess varies greatly depending on your pets and the style of carpeting. Sometimes it’s easy to clean and sometimes it feels like you’ve been vacuuming the same spot for weeks, trying to get the last bit of those super-clingy hairs.

If you happen to have pets that shed often, cleaning pet hair can be hard to keep up with, especially when you are a profoundly physically lazy tech-geek. This is where the iRobot Roomba Pet Series 562 robot comes to the rescue.

The 562 is a revision of the flagship iRobot Roomba 560. New brushes have been added to the kit to deal with pet hair specifically, and the dirt bin has been upgraded to high-capacity. Other than that the base unit looks and functions the same.

The iRobot Roomba Pet Series 562 is noticeably more robust and powerful than previous generation models. It weighs a full 8 pounds, 1.6 pounds more than the Discovery, and the added girth accommodates the robot's larger wheels and upgraded dust-bin capacity. There was a need to beef up the flagship line since iRobot found that people were using the units far more often than expected.

One tap of the large “clean” button will launch the iRobot from its dock. The 562 moves around your home like a horseshoe crab. Instead of claws, it has two little brushes that dislodge dirt and direct it toward the back of the unit where the dust-bin is located.

You should be aware that the technology has its fair share of quirks. Despite the ability to sense obstacles and slow down accordingly, Roomba’s have a “bumper car” approach to navigating. It’s a simple robot folks, not the T1000 “maid edition.” The unit will clean an area next to your couch, bump into the couch a bit, swerve off to the left to clean up another patch, and then return close to where it began. In short, the path finding appears to be pretty random to us humans.

Spend even more time on your computer thanks to the iRoomba.
Spend even more time on your computer thanks to the iRoomba.

Although it isn’t particularly smart, the Roomba makes up for it in sheer work ethic. So what if it goes over an area multiples times? Being extra thorough is a good quality for a robotic slave to have. The point is to let it do its thing while you relax on the balcony, sipping on Piña colada and cheap cigars.

Another possibility that opens up is the ability to clean when you aren’t even home. The 562 has a scheduling feature that allows you to designate cleaning tasks for specific times of the day.

Of course before you can “set it and forget it” some experimentation is required. Firstly, you’ll probably want to use the included Virtual Walls which shoot an invisible beam that the robot will not pass. This is handy if say, you don’t want it to venture into the kitchen due to the ceramic tile floors. Secondly, if you are planning on vacuuming multiple rooms, you’ll need to optimize the placement of the dock because it can sometimes have trouble finding its way back. By adding Lighthouses and finding the best spots for it, everything should be running smoothly in time.

To ensure the Roomba doesn’t crash to its death, it will stay away from stairs. This is a good feature because of the limitations of the technology but keep in mind that you’ll have to pull out the good old fashioned upright for stairs and other tight spots.

Roomba vacuums really shine for cleaning underneath beds and tables as these spots are hard to get at with traditional vacuum cleaners. You might even find a few hidden treasures such as pocket change and earrings.

Review Verdict

With its robust frame, decent power, scheduling features and numerous incremental upgrades the 562 is without a doubt the best vacuum from iRobot to date. It’s also the most expensive. If you plan to use the unit often, the 562 is worth the money. Those looking for occasional assistance with cleaning duties will do just fine with one of the less expensive models.

If you have don’t have pets, you might as well save your money and buy the 560 instead. It’s basically the same model minus a few extras.


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      S. Falls 7 years ago

      Having gone from a canister vac to an upright, I feel the Roomba will be in the same category. don't own one, but a real vac would do a superior job and doesn't really take much time over the multiple weekly roomba brush/bin cleanings I've read about.

      Add up how much time you spend with your Roomba. It takes me about 25 minutes to vac my 1100 sq feet on the main floor (hardwood and tile). It takes me about 10 minutes to do the less cluttered 900 sq ft basement. While I am a gadget guy, I'm also realistic. It takes the kids a little longer, and they need the discipline.