I can honestly say that these two household robots, the Roomba Vacuum and the Braava Mop, are my favorites. They truly do a great job keeping our floors squeaky clean, with virtually no labor on our part.
We live in what has got to be one of the sandiest regions of the country, and it has been a constant battle for us to keep our floors reasonably clean.
Enter our iRobots! Problem solved! No kidding!
I actually had one of the original Roomba vacuum robots many years ago (my best guess was 2003). (As you can see, we even had the "gadget bug" 15 years ago.)
That early Roomba looked like this. It was not nearly as effective as the one they produce now.
It seemed to suck up okay, but was highly erratic about covering the floors thoroughly and consistently; leaving several areas untouched.
iRobot has come a long way with it's robotics.
Let me tell you all about these Smart Home "Must Haves"...
First we'll discuss the iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaner. Then we review the Braava Mopping Robot.
You'll also get to see our Smart Floor Cleaners in action.
The Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum website describes three cleaning stages:
1. Edge Sweeping- It has a small but efficient brush which juts out beyond the reach of the Roomba disc to sweep debris from hard-to-reach corners and edges into the main path of the vac.
2. Main Brush Sweeping- Two counter-rotating brushes and a squeegee loosen dirt for pickup.
3. Suction & Dust Filter- Powerful suction picks up debris and filters through a 10-micron dust filter, for later disposal.
The iRobot company also boasts about having the most modern robotic skills built into the Roomba with it's many sensors:
1. iAdapt Navigation- A "full suite of sensors" direct Roomba to thoroughly clean entire rooms; even under furniture. Pattern algorithms worked out by MIT researcher Rodney Brooks are credited with this feature.
2. Dirt Detect Sensors- Internal acoustic sensors detect heavy soiling or debris and direct the vac to concentrate on that area.
3. Cliff Detect Sensors- 4 infrared sensors on the bottom keep Roomba from taking a tumble down stairs.
4. Auto-Adjust Cleaning Heads- Allow a smooth transition from hard-surface floors to carpeting.
5. Return Home Sensors- Infrared beacons guide the Roomba back to it's home charging dock when finished with the job, or when the battery gets low.
TIP: Robotic floor cleaners are not recommended for households with Jack Russell Terriers. Seriously, folks :)
For more info or to buy Roomba, you may click on Amazon affiliate links below.
And here is the link for an extra Virtual Wall Sensor:
This short video shows our two robot floor cleaners in action:
Braava is iRobot's Floor Mopping Robot, designed to wet or dry mop hard-surfaced floors. We only use ours for wet-mopping.
Braava uses either disposable or reusable/washable cleaning cloths.
After thoroughly cleaning our tile floors with the Roomba vacuum, we unleash this little beast to mop them clean.
Though small, he does an impressive job covering the entire area.
This is what we did:
We bought 6 permanent mopping pads off eBay; these have the proper backing to fit the Braava Jet 240. They are washable and reusable to save money.
Then we filled a spray bottle half-and-half with water and vinegar. Whenever we need to mop, lightly spritz the mopping pad with the vinegar-water.
Then fill the mop unit reservoir with water before setting him down to mop.
*Never put vinegar in the reservoir; it will corrode the innards of the robot.
Tip: Don't worry about the cleaning grid or pattern of either the Roomba or the Braava Mop. Just unleash them (Roomba first, of course). Somehow, they get the job done, so don't sweat how they do it.
You can see our little Moppy in action at our place in the video above.
And buy one here: