Should You Buy a Robot Vacuum?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Does the prospect of having a robot clean your floors seem too good to be true? Well, fortunately, it’s not and there are several options to choose from. Having a roboticvacuum can free up your time and allow you to focus on other things like cleaning the rest of the house or an afternoon at the pool.
 
Using advance technology like sensors a robot vacuum can clean your entire home, and it even stops when it comes near a pet or child. And the good thing is, while they may need to recharge, they don’t get tired.
So, is a robot vacuum right for you? Consider what you gain.
 
Everyone is more busy than they should be or certainly than they want to be. Hiring a housekeeper is great, but may not always be an option. But a robotic vacuum cleaner can do the work for you, and you don’t even have to be there. You can even program it to vacuum every day. Nobody wants to do that!
 
Robotic vacuums are automatic and work unattended. Turn it on and go about your other business. It randomly paces your room and cleans without supervision.
 
Generally the robotic vacuum is a flat, disk-shaped device. It’s low enough to the floor to go under furniture and can reach many places that a normal vacuum just can’t. You don’t need to move sofas, stools or tables. 

The disk shape allows it to go around corners and furniture legs. But not to worry, there’s a bumper guard to protect your furniture and wall surfaces.
 
Conceptually, the technology of a robotic vacuum is similar to what the military uses to clear land mines using multiple sensors to detect dirt and sweep it up. The sensors are advanced enough that the unit will focus more on the dirtier part of a room and clean it repeatedly as needed. And not to worry, the units can tell where the stairs are so you don’t need to worry about damage when using the unit upstairs.
 
While a robotic vacuum does its best work on hard flooring surfaces, some models can transition from floors to low-level carpeting. You’ll find some can cover thicker carpet but the transition may not be quite as smooth.
 
They’re not as expensive as you might think. Sure you can spend more, but generally expect to spend between $200-500 for a robotic vacuum. But if you want to look for more features and options, you can spend well over $1,000.
 
When you’re looking for a robotic vacuum, consider whether you need something just to dust your hardwood floors or if you need a higher priced option that includes a scheduler, memory and additional sensors.
 
Most models will come with cleaning brushes, remote control, a rechargeable battery which includes the charging base, a program scheduler. Some will also include virtual walls that allow you to prevent the robot from going into certain areas.
 
The charging time needed will depend on the model. You may need to do some research between different models to see which option is best.
 
The size of the dust bin on the units will also vary. Obviously a robot with a larger bin is going to be more convenient. Make sure the bin can be removed and replaced easily since you’ll need to empty it frequently, if not every time you use the robot.
 
Keep in mind that you can’t expect your robot to work around your clutter. So you’ll need to remove things such as newspapers, toys, strings or other small articles on the floor. Drapery hems and pull cords shouldn’t be left on the floor.

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