Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's been a couple weeks since Zorro, our very own vacuum-cleaning robot joined our family. He arrived while I was gone, so Johnny plugged him in and let him charge up for the entire day. When I got home, we gave him a whirl.
Inside the package was Zorro (a ROOMBA 550), a docking station, two virtual walls/lighthouses, some extra filters, and a cleaning brush. All I had to do was press the center "CLEAN" button, and he sang a quick little song and off he went! For the first try, we quarantined him to just our living room. He slid right under our sofa and went crazy. His little blue "SPOT" light lit up every couple of feet and he would spin around and clean that spot even better.
I had read a ton of reviews of the iRobot Roomba before I made the purchase, so I knew to keep a close eye on him for the first few cleanings. Even though I used to make every effort to vacuum on a semi-regular basis, Zorro's dirt tray filled up quickly, and we had to empty him at least 5x on the first night (oh the horror and embarrassment I am sharing...). The hardest part of cleaning him is getting all the hair out. Who knew I shed so much? It is pretty fun to clean out though because you get the satisfaction of knowing just how gross your floors are without a good cleaning. Seriously made me reconsider the "5 second rule"...
Zorro cleaned up underneath our bed, which had tons of dust and feathers that he was able to eat up with no problem! He's picked up change, bobby pins, and other fairly large items that get misplaced from day to day.
The best thing about Zorro is that I can schedule him to clean whenever I want, even if we're not home. He can clean every day if I want him to, so he has less and less to pick up as time goes on. When we went to Vegas a few weeks ago, he cleaned up while we were gone. He did, however, get stuck on a stray cord and sucked it up around his brushes. The cord was fine, I just needed to pop out the brush and unwind it. Zorro is so smart that when he senses a problem, he'll make some noises to alert you, and if you don't come to help within 30 seconds or so, he'll just shut off and wait patiently, even while we're 300 miles away for a couple of days. Sometimes this will require a system reset, which is done in a cinch by simply holding down the DOCK and SCHEDULE buttons until you hear a beep.
John was skeptical about this until he saw him in action. Now he's impressed and so am I!
** Note on video: Zorro is not actually as loud as he sounds in this video, we actually let him zoom around while we watch TV sometimes.