So you’re thinking about getting a Roomba, but you have a few questions before you go ahead and buy one. Perhaps you want to know whether you’ll be able to clean your whole house on one charge, or how many rooms your Roomba will be able to clean.
Let’s have a look at these questions, and a few more, to find out how the Roomba works and what it can (and can’t) do.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Roomba:
Roombas are really useful little machines, but exactly how useful are they? Do I just need one, or do I need to buy a separate Roomba for every room I need to clean? What factors affect how much my Roomba will be able to clean on a single charge?
Once you’ve read the answers below, you’ll have a much better idea of how the Roomba works, and whether it’s the right option for you.
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How does the Roomba work?
The Roomba works just like a regular vacuum cleaner, only a bit smarter. It’s the same as a regular vacuum cleaner in that it uses brushes to dislodge the dirt, and then sucks the dirt up. Where it differs is that the Roomba doesn’t need you to push it around.
The Roomba seems a little bit like a magic machine that zooms around the house cleaning up the dirt, except that it’s not really magic but a clever system of programming and sensors.
The Roomba swirls around the room, using its onboard systems to detect the dirt it needs to clean up, but also anything that might get in the way, like an electrical cord. Once it’s finished cleaning, it zooms back to its docking station to recharge.
How does the Roomba know where to go?
You have a couple of different options for getting the Roomba to clean your house – iAdapt Navigation sensors and mapping, or the lighthouse method.
What is iAdapt Navigation sensors and mapping?
You might remember that the early models of robot vacuum cleaners weren’t very good at navigating around houses, and would often get stuck. Fortunately, things have come a long way. New models of the Roomba come with sophisticated navigation software that creates a map of your house and stores in in its memory. The iAdapt Navigation sensors allow the Roomba to clean different rooms in the house, following a preset cleaning pattern until each of the rooms in your home are clean. The cleaning patterns can be random, so you might sometimes be surprised by the patterns the Roomba follows to clean your rooms.
One downside is that the Roomba needs to find the doorway to leave the room and move on to the next one, so if something gets in its way it’s possible for the Roomba to get stuck in room. This is still much better than the early models, where you had to physically move them from one room to the next.
What is the Lighthouse method?
If you need to have more control over how your Roomba cleans your house, Lighthouses might be the right option for you. Lighthouses are small sensors you place in the rooms you want to be cleaned. The Lighthouses will then guide the Roomba to the areas that you want it to clean. If you choose the Lighthouse option, most models come with to beacons. You can also choose to purchase extra Lighthouses for an additional fee
Are there any other ways to tell my Roomba where to clean?
Another way of keeping your Roomba where you want it is with virtual wall barriers. These devices use beams of light that send a signal to the Roomba’s sensors telling it not to cross the beam. This helps you to make sure that the Roomba concentrates in cleaning the areas that need it most, or sticks to the parts of your home that you use most often.
Will it only clean one room at a time?
Your Roomba will clean multiple areas, unless something obstructs it and causes it to get trapped. The spaces it cleans depends on what cleaning pattern you choose. For instance, if you choose a random pattern, your Roomba might vacuum the same spot a few different times in different directions.
How many rooms will I be able to clean from one charge?
The number of rooms you can clean on one charge will depend on how big the rooms are, and how much they have in them. Roombas are very energy efficient, but if it has to navigate around a lot of furniture and other obstacles, it will use up more power. The first few times you use your Roomba, watch how it goes and see if you can move your furniture to help it clean as efficiently as possible.
By choosing the cleaning pattern that best suits your needs, you should be able to get your Roomba to clean multiple areas in your home. If you choose a more advanced option, you will find the extra navigational features make it really clever at choosing the best way to get around your house.
It might take a little bit of setting up by trialling different cleaning patterns and maybe moving some furniture, but once you’ve got your Roomba set up correctly for your house, you will be able to leave it to do its thing.
The clever sensors on the Roomba can seek out dirt and work out which spots just need a light clean, and which need more going over. Sit down, put your feet up (just tell yourself you’re making sure you don’t get in the Roomba’s way!) and watch as the Roomba zooms around the house making the dirt disappear.
No more hauling your vacuum cleaner around the house, spending hours trudging from room to room cleaning up dirt and dust. Just press a button, and off your little robotic helper zooms, making your floors spick and span.