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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2012
I was very sceptical about this product but it is very simple to operate and more importantly it does a brilliant job. These are first impressions after 24 hours of course and it still needs to prove itself over time in terms of durability. If you are super fussy it's probably worth mentioning that it won't beat the thin pointed nozzle of a powerful Miele or Dyson going into the corners and it can't do stairs of course. Apart from that it is simply fantastic. You can schedule it to do a clean any or every day of the week at same or different times. You can stop it from going into another room too. It will not fall down the stairs and not damage your furniture. It cleaned a 5m x 4.5m room having to navigate around and under two armchairs and the settee, a number of other pieces of furniture and go over a rug, in just about 35 min and performance was far better than I expected. We have a cat and it picked up the hairs beautifully. After it went through the dining room and kitchen, the bin indicator showed full. So far then, I am more than impressed. Look forward to coming home from work to a clean house every day.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2011
It finds its way to and from the charging station much better than my old Chinese made robot vacuum. The way it moves around the room indicates to me it has a much more intelligent algorithm. It seems to pick up more dirt from the floor and does not mount the skirting board at all. I have used it nearly a dozen times now and I only had to rescue it once. Where before with the other robot I had to rescue it several times on each outing. My old robot vacuum had a habit of `head butting' the door and furniture, the Roomba does not. The Roomba actually made its way under a cupboard in my bedroom and cleaned under there, something the other one never attempted.

It is very easy to clean after each outing and means I can watch a video or hoover another room while the Roomba is doing its stuff. All I can hear in the other room is the Roomba 'tickling' the door and skirting board with its rotary brush, it is sometimes hard to work out that its finished cleaning. Since I have been using it has always made it to the charging station and instigates what it calls a 'fast charge'.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2012
A very busy lizzie. I used my upright cleaner after ' Dusty' had finished and was delighted to see only a small amount in the dust bag so we will now use Dusty every day
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2012
this is fantastic, it can clean when you aren't at home. Very quiet and encourages us to keep the floor clear...or he does it!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2013
I've had this for just over 3 months now, and the 555 version previously for over two years so feel I can now write a qualified review.

I previously thought that the 555 was one of the best things I've ever bought. It was an amazing product but the 770 beats it in many ways.

Improvements in the 770:
- Roller brushes don't get clogged up with hair now. This is a HUGE plus and in my view the best improvement. Previously, there would be enormous amounts of hair building up on both of the rollers. This was a huge problem as it ultimately caused my 555 to overheat and melt part of the cleaning head module which was very costly to replace. On the 770 this is somehow almost non existent! There's also hardly any build up on the ends of the rollers as well. Cleaning the 770 is miles easier than with the 555.

- The dust now seems to be finer and can pack more into the compartment before it needs to be emptied. I'm guessing this is a result of the new HEPA filters. This also means that emptying it is much easier. Previously there were big chunks which would get snagged and you'd have to use your hands to get some of the dust out the compartment. Now everything just falls straight out.

- Faster than before and can move backwards. There's now a reverse gear so previously where the 555 had to run in circles to do some dirtier spots, the 770 just runs back and forth before moving on. It also seems to be more nimble in general than before.

The above are the main improvements over the previous generation. As to the other benefits of the Roomba in general, well the other reviews have probably covered most of them. It really makes life so much easier and keeps the floors really clean. Maintenance is now also much easier as I've pointed out above.

One minor thing is that most people, myself included, tend to have a normal hoover as a backup, to do things like stairs/crevices, or other odd jobs. The Roomba is not good for these and is more suitable for a scheduled clean of the whole floor. I bought a small handheld Dyson DC34 about a year ago and this has proved to be the perfect companion to the Roomba. I haven't used my old Miele at all since then as the DC34 is far more versatile and quick to use.

I also notice how a lot of people complain about Roomba's seemingly haphazard route and the fact that it takes ages to clean a room. Well, both may be true but these are hardly negative points. Over weeks of daily or even every other daily cleans, the route that Roomba takes becomes irrelevant. All that matters is that you have a consistently clean floor. Also, like I mentioned previously, the best use case for Roomba is for scheduled cleans or using it when you're not around. If you are in and for some odd reason need a dirty floor cleaned (shouldn't happen very often if you are already using the scheduled clean) and done quickly (you really can't wait for half an hour or do something else?), then yes, the Roomba won't really cut it. If you face this situation a lot then stick with manual hoovers.

Overall, the 770 is really the standard on which all future robot hoovers should be based on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2014
This was a speculative purchase, which proved really successful. Having lived with the 770 for a month, with hindsight I might have gone for the 780 which adds "multi-room", which is a function I didn't really understand from reading the spec and reviews online, or even the 880 which should be better with dog hair. The 770 is not a perfect product, but the bottom line is that it really works and is better than vacuuming yourself. Our house is mainly wood and tile floor with the odd short pile rug. The rooms are mainly about 5x5 metres square. We also have a short(ish)-haired dog that permanently sheds - mainly by rolling on any rug she can find!

Plus points:
:) it works, i.e. it saves time and effort compared with doing it yourself!
:) it's relatively quiet
:) it gets under furniture which you would not normally vacuum easily by hand
:) it's fun having a new gadget
:) our 10 year old likes going to sleep with it doing his room ???

Limitations:

:( the separate transformer on the base station is a poor touch showing it's US origin - it wouldn't take much effort to redesign the internal transformer to get rid of the separate transformer that gets in the way and looks poor.

:( the bin capacity is modest, which means that it needs emptying after each room, and sometimes more than once per room. The idea of the robot doing a whole floor of our house while we are at work is fantasy, since the bin would need emptying 4 or 5 times to do a floor, which is 5 or 6 rooms of about 100 square metres. It depends a lot on the terrain, so if it's just wood or tile and you don't have a dog, then it would probably do several rooms without filling up. But as soon as you add dog + rugs/mats into the equation, then you will struggle to do even one room without having to empty the bin.

:( brush cleaning needs doing regularly - perhaps once every 4 or 5 rooms - to get the dog hair out which not only gets in the brushes, but also winds itself round the axle spindle. The 880 has brushless design I think, so should be better, but is really expensive. Cleaning the HEPA filters is another chore. The net effect of the routine activities of bin-emptying, filter cleaning and brush cleaning means it is a much more hands-on device than a conventional vacuum cleaner where all you do is change the bag once a month. With the Roomba you are fiddling with it once an hour getting your hands on dust and hair and throwing it about. I use a water mist spray to stop the dust flying around when I empty the bin.

:( the algorithm for covering the space works really well in a rectangular room, but if you have a really irregular space it doesn't really work. For example, if you leave it to do multiple rooms separated by doorways, it doesn't really cover the ground sensibly. (For this you need the multi-room function of the 780 or 880). Another example is that we have a T-shaped landing which it struggles to cover. Again multi-room would cope with that. Online, lots of people complain that the navigation algorithm is 'stupid', but if you research it a bit online and understand what it is really doing, then it makes sense. It's a bottom up approach, not a top-down approach. This means that it never gets lost (coz it never knows where it is), so never gets confused, e.g. if you move furniture when it is half way through a room it doesn't care.

:( the base station slips on wood/tile floor, so the Roomba can't drive off the base station, but rather takes it with it. This is cured by gluing some rubber sheet or similar on the bottom to make it grip. Like the unnecessary transformer, this seems a surprisingly basic minor design error for a product that has sold millions of units.

HOW DO WE USE IT

We do one room at a time (which takes about 30-45 minutes) emptying the bin after each room. We either leave it to get on with it, or do other cleaning chores in the same room in parallel - dusting etc.

OVERALL

Great product which should get even better with further development.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2012
We have 2 dogs who seem to be constantly shedding. This cleaner will keep the open-plan tiled kitchen/lounge/diner reasonably free of dust and hair. The dust bin is quite small so in our case although the floor area is not very big it probably needs emptying 2 or 3 times before the area is done. It will also clean under the bed, but it doesn't do corners or stairs. Budget for a Dyson for those.

The algorithm for the cleaning pattern sometimes seems a little baffling, as it can decide it has finished having only cleaned a small area, and it is probably only my imagination but if I set it going whilst I am still in the room it seems to make a beeline for my ankles! Perhaps it has a PIR sensor? :D

This machine does have one flaw though. I had only had it six months when the front castor wheel started dropping out. This is because they have made it with a spindle which is a push-fit into 2 plastic lugs. When you clean and maintain the machine you need to remove the wheel and pull out any fluff and pet hair which has got tangled around the spindle. This obviously means you have to pull out the spindle, and this obviously means the plastic lugs which hold it are going to get worn. This has been a known issue since the 500 series but they haven't addressed it. "Computer says no."

All of that would be a small problem, were it not for iRobot's Customer Service (NOT). I contacted their English-speaking people and having got to the 'send us your postal address' stage for a replacement part I was then told that because my address was in France I would have to start again, in French, with their French office. I did so, and literally had to start again, from the very beginning. I was NOT impressed. No apology. They also tried to charge me for the part, until I reminded them it was still under guarantee. They insisted on a copy of my purchase receipt. The order confirmation from Amazon's eCommerce website wasn't adequate.

Also, if you have pets or babies, beware. We have an old dog who can be incontinent. He managed to get into the room when the cleaner was going. The result was NOT pretty. That wasn't the machine's fault, but if you have a situation where it has been exposed to something messy or sticky (baby porridge, poo, forgotten Chinese takeaway dish under sofa) it is an absolute nightmare to clean. You have to disassemble it, and even then the wheels etc. have motor units built into them, so they are absolutely NOT washable. I spent the best part of 2 hours with a screwdriver, 2 small paintbrushes and a bowl of disinfectant restoring my robot back to something close to factory condition. That's not really the way I like to spend my summer evenings.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2012
Bought this as the vacuuming is a pain in the a*s and gives me a bad back. It's expensive so we were apprehensive at first - a lot of money if it's disappointing. But we were not disappointed. The number of times it needed emptying the first time it cleaned showed just how bad our last vacuum cleaner was and the robot wouldn't stop cleaning until it was satisfied the room was done. We did move things off the floor and shut doors so it would only do one part of the house at a time, but it never snagged, never got stuck, never fell down stairs and it did a good job on old and worn carpet as well as rugs and expensive deep pile. If used regularly you won't have to empty it halfway through a clean, but we don't have kids or animals and don't wear shoes inside. Emptying and cleaning it is very easy, simple and quick after the first time, and the robot gets right back to it afterward.

All in all, a fantastic product which will make your life a lot easier - but you will still need to do your own stairs, and the occasional corner which its round shape has missed.

UPDATE: a year later and it's still going strong. One thing worth mentioning: we just this month got a Dyson animal as we got a dog. Using it after the robot still filled the Dyson chamber after just
one clean. This shows for me just how good the Dyson is rather than how bad the robot is as the result was the same in a different room cleaned with a regular vac ( we wanted to test). So. I would say the robot is great for a regular hands free clean, but if you really want to get deep down clean (or have pets and/or allergies) still invest in a Dyson for a more occasional deep clean.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2013
I expected the Roomba to be decent, but not as good as it turned out to be. I thought it would be mostly like a handheld vacuum on wheels, but after seeing the amount of dust it picked up I was impressed and now our poor Dyson hardly sees the light of day. Its reasonably quiet as well, so can I can just about watch the telly whilst its on.

It happily hops between our wooden floored lounge, carpeted bedroom and tiled bathroom and stops itself from diving down the stairs.

We had a problem after 11 months with the item, the brushes stopped spinning. I contacted Amazon and I had a new one at my front door the next day, no questions, no quibble.

The only things I have to complain about, is that its a bit dear, and it can wedge itself under furniture which is just the right height, supervision is advised if you have the odd hazard lying about.

No-one should be pushing a vacuum cleaner around now that there's a product like this..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2014
I've wanted one since they first came on the market but never felt that I could justify the spend. I gave in and after a bit of market research and reading reviews I decided to spend more to get a bona fide Roomba and the most expensive model I could afford. Oh my goodness, why didn't I buy one sooner. I have quite a big house, two cats and two teenagers but I am also a single parent so it's all down to me (mind you a lot of my married friends say it's all down to them in their house too but their husbands contribute to the mess!). Usually by the time I have tidied up and cleaned and polished I have no time or energy left for vacuuming but I do like to have clean floors! I walk around bare foot all of the time and hate it when my floors feel dusty or dirty. I have a mixture of carpets with and without rugs on, bare floorboards and tiled floors. Some of my rugs have tassels or are a bit curly on a corner etc so I followed it round to make sure it didn't get into difficulty. It didn't! it took it all in it's stride! It spent yesterday vacuuming my 4 bed house while I tidied and dusted and cleaned. It only needed recharging once but charged very quickly and although I did have to empty the dust bin a few times I would point out that I hadn't vacuumed my house for a couple of weeks and it was in a pretty bad state. Now I can keep on top of it with the help of the Roomba it won't get that bad again and I guess the bin will need emptying less often. I will also admit that it does a much better job than me and my Henry ever did. I have kept Henry as you do need something to do stairs, suck up ceiling cobwebs, vacuum out dusty drawers or behind radiators etc. and there are a few awkward corners that I will need to vacuum myself periodically because Roomba couldn't quite get to them. With the help of Roomba I cleaned my whole house from top to bottom yesterday (including using Henry to hoover the stairs) and do not feel worn down by it at all (and with time for shopping and laundry). I now have Sunday to do whatever I like instead of finishing off the housework!
My only disappointment? My cats haven't sat on it and ridden it around the room yet, like they do on those YouTube videos, but there is still time. Maybe a dab of liver pate would solve that problem ;-D
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