If you are anything like I was, you may think a robotic vacuum cleaner sounds to good to be true. But, after almost two weeks of using the Robomaid automatic vacuum cleaner he has become a member of our household and something I would not want to lose.
This was my first experience with a vacuum robot, so I only really have the regular kind to compare it to. Lets just say, my life is that little bit easier with one less thing I have to make time for. I have two children with a three year old and a crawling baby – if you have ever had kids you know that crawling stage…everything on the floor goes in the mouth, even the tiniest dot, so you really need to vacuum regularly.
When I received the Robomaid robot vacuum in my chosen shade of red it was a bit bigger than I imagined. I don’t know why but I pictured a zippy little thing which would fit in the palm of my hand. Which, in hindsight wouldn’t work AT ALL because where would it put the dust? So, he (I like to think it’s a he) is not quite hand sized but still much more compact than your average vacuum at 3.5kg, a diameter of 35cm and a height of 11.5cm.
Before the first two uses you need to give him a good charge, just like a new mobile phone – so I plugged in the docking station and charged overnight. The next morning my three year old woke me up with excitement because he had been waiting to see “Roby” since the day before. I will suggest you read the instructions before you start, but really it’s easy to get going so even those of you who like to wing it will find success.
I turned the Robomaid on and off he went! It moves fairly slowly compared to how you would vacuum yourself, but this means the job is done thoroughly. For a while my son and I sat there watching our new robotic vacuum cleaner toy, it was such an unusual experience having something else do the housework. We do have narrow kitchen chairs so I put them on the table like I normally would – but all in all he is really good at maneuvering into different spaces.
On the non carpeted flooring this vacuum cleaner is quite loud (I wouldn’t say it is any louder than your typical vac, but because you aren’t the one doing it it’s more noticeable) but the sound is muted significantly on the carpeted areas. The best thing you can do is set it to go (it’s programmable) when you are out so you can come home to clean floors. You do get used to it though, sometimes I will sit at my desk with him cleaning behind me and completely forget it is there.
This will work on most floor types, with lino, carpet, floorboards and tiles among the compatibility list. There are a couple of things you should look out for – it isn’t suitable out of the box for dark carpet and won’t work on shagpile rugs. I do have a shaggy rug but block it off while the Robomaid is cleaning the rest of the floors. And, it is smart enough not to fall down the stairs if you have them.
In terms of features it can cover up to 100 square metres with one charge. It doesn’t exactly map your house so you can pick and choose your rooms by closing the doors (there is also a virtual wall included) but makes a random pattern so that the whole area gets covered. It will get stuck if you leave things lying around like computer cords but will navigate around furniture without any problems.
With electricity bills skyrocketing it is also important to note that even if you use the Robomaid every day it still works out cheaper than if you were using a 1700 watt once a week. This is something I am really conscious of with a young family and rising energy costs.
Then we have cleaning – this doesn’t even deserve its own paragraph because it is that painless. When the vacuum is full it will let you know and you empty it in the bin. Do a more thorough clean after every few uses and that’s it.
There are two attachments which really make this robotic vacuum cleaner complete. There is a side brush which helps sweep out corners and around table legs so that the vacuum can access the dust AND a mop attachment so it can mop as it cleans! Any little spots it may occasionally miss I just run around with my handheld vacuum for a couple of minutes. It has a remote too in case you want to give it some direction but I try to keep this hidden otherwise it will be treated as a remote control car.
When Robomaid is tired he will automatically go back to his docking station which for some reason I find incredibly cute.
Are you not convinced you need one yet?! There should be some kind of law that gives every mother a dishwasher and a robotic vacuum to make life that little bit easier!
Robomaid currently have an offer for $399 (usually $599) and most of the parts are replaceable.
For more information visit www.robomaid.com.au or call 1800 794 191.