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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 29 March 2008
I don't know how we managed before Roomba. It's the best thing I have ever bought! Ok it's a little more expensive than a traditionl vacuum cleaner but it does it all for you, so lots of extra free time and no arguing about whose turn it is to do the vacuuming - and a lot cheaper than employing a cleaner. I was afraid it wouldn't work that well, my husband thought I was completely bonkers buying it. But we were both very impressed and love it. I schedule it to vacuum while we'e at work and come home to a beautifuuly vacuumed home. If you live in a house rather than a flat, you can clean the ground floor on Mon, second floor on Tues... You can schedule it all in advance, and let Roomba do everything else for you - it knows where to go, it doesn't bump into furniture, it cleans brilliantly and redocks itself to recharge when it has finished. It's amazing. I have been raving about it to friends and colleagues since buying it 4 months ago.

I would defnitely recommend it, and frequently do...!
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on 2 May 2008
Someone said they don't know how they managed before buying the Roomba - I do - I tried to avoid vacuuming as much as possible - but with the Roomba 560 it couldn't be easier. Simply press the large green 'Clean' button and let it get on with it. Alternatively, setup the schedule and you don't even have to lift a finger to press the button.

Roomba trundles around merrily cleaning away, and when finished returns to the charging unit and docks itself.

I gave it a supervised trial run in each area I planned to use it - lounge, hall, top of the stairs etc to make sure it didn't get stuck anywhere or tumble down the stairs, but so far it's coped with carpets, hardwood floors, quarry-tiled floors all without complaint.

The soft-approach system is excellent, though doesn't pickup small vertical things like table legs too well, so it tends to charge full-tilt into them at times, but when it does the front bumpers compress, and the Roomba simply stops, turns and goes off in another direction.

In some areas, particularly narrow gaps between furniture I was convinced it would be confused - but it coped with everything in its stride, only once getting stuck on a footstool with a circular slightly raised base - but lifting it off and pressing the clean button had it back in motion again.

The small spinning brush is surprisingly effective at getting into corners, and the Roomba does a very good job of picking up general dust, crumbs, sawdust, wood shavings, pet hairs, Parrot feathers and anything of a similar ilk. It also happily trundles over electrical cables without getting stuck, and unlike the Dyson, doesn't get jammed up on doormats or rugs.

It won't replace a conventional vacuum, but does mean that the Dyson is now relegated to all but the areas that need an extension tool to get to, like the stairs or behind tall cupboards.

In fact, will almost certainly buy a second soon, so that one can clean upstairs and one downstairs - then I can simply set the schedule and forget having to vacuum the main areas of the house again.
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on 11 May 2008
Every previous reviewer had given this 5 stars, and I wondered why? But this is just the best purchase I've ever made ...
When you're both out at work all day, and work weekends too, vacuuming is the last thing you want to be doing. This new member of our family is pulling his/her weight ten times over. Does exactly what it's supposed to, with no fuss.
You may wish to order a couple of extra satellites - the units you can set as walls or beacons, to shepherd little Roomba round the house - depending on how many rooms you want it to clean. We found it's a curious little creature - it can push doors open and explore on its own - so virtual walls [satellites] are useful. The bin capacity is fine for a single cycle of cleaning. It seems to do hard floors just as well as carpets. A word of caution for long-haired people and dog owners - the brushes will tangle within about 60 minutes of cleaning, but probably only with the first few uses, and then no more often than with our manual vacuum.
I can't imagine any of the more costly robot vacuums would be any better than this. At best it's made cleaning fun: at worst, I've turned into a compulsive robot programmer, and will shortly be checking into rehab.
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on 28 September 2008
If you've owned a dog, then owning a roomba is a similar experience.Without precautions it can get into rooms you don't want it to venture into, and eat things you'd rather it didn't! Before letting it loose in a room, you have to pick up everything off the floor, and you often have to retrieve things from its mouth!If there is a trailing mobile phone cable around-roomba'll have it and you'll eventually hear a mournful tune as he confesses he's caught up! For all us lazy people out there, roomba will do a perfectly good job. If you're obsessive, then it doesn't get into every corner. If you're obsessive about hoovering, the chance are you'll be doing it yourself anyway on a daily basis. We owned ours a month before it broke and had it fixed through the warranty. This is a common problem which is discussed on many roomba websites. The brushes get tangled up and stop turning. Also the plastic arms on the rotating brush have a nasty habit of garotting themselves and coming off. Replacements can be easily bought, but it is still a bit annoying.We programmed ours to start up every morning. When it broke we boxed it all up again, taped it all up, only to find it continued to come on! We couldn't work out how to over-ride the programme, so tend to just switch it on manually now. Despite the breakdown 4 weeks exactly after buying it, we love our roomba- and nothing is better than sitting reading the paper, drinking coffee and saying "leave me in peace, I'm doing the vacuuming!"
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on 30 June 2008
Firstly I would like to say that i dont normally submit reviews, however I was so totaly amazed with this product I just had to let others know.
I recently purchased the 560 model and was impressed immediately upon opening the box, the robot looks and feels vey well built. The instructions supplied are simply and easy to understand mainly because there is very little to do with the Roomba, just charge it and its away to go.
I have a bigger than average house but Roomba easily coped with cleaning the whole down stairs, supplying about 2 hrs of constant hoovering on one battery charge, it docked itself and after about two hours of charging was ready to go again.

I have a mixture of flooring types, Tiles, wood flooring and rugs, roomba done them all, upon emptying the bin you can see that the Roomba is not a toy it is a very effective hoover.

Roomba easily navigates around the home giving total coverage, and spending far more time in each room than any person would.

The light houses supplied are easy to set up, just put battries in, decide where you want them and roomba does the rest. ( lighthouses act as sort of homing beacons for roomba, confining it to one room before guiding it directly to the next, they also assist in getting roomba back to the charging station.)

When i want to hoover upsatirs i simply pick roomba up carry it upstairs and set it off, obviously it canrt get back to it charging dock (downstairs) so we leave it hoovering away until it runs out of steam, pick it up stick it back on the dock.

I know Roomba is a little more expensive, than normal hoovers but it is so worth the extra money, the dread of being asked by the wife to "run the hoover over" has dissappeared !!!! I now actuall enjoy watching Roomba do the job (sad i know!!!).

In short brilliant, vey clever and worth every penney, buy one now !!!!!
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on 6 August 2008
I purchased this robotic cleaner not entirely convinced it would do the job. The technology is amazing with obstacle avoidance, stairs etc. I don't think the vacuum capability is much good and it does get stuck on carpet edges and fringes on occasion. It also seems to shed quite a lot of fluff and dirt from its rollers when it changes surface from floor to rug. Overall it is a good product but does not replace a conventional vacuum cleaner.
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on 24 June 2008
I was very skeptical this little robot would get around all the sofas, armchairs, lamps, spindly dining chair legs, footstools and other furniture (and the odd bit of clutter), but it has surpassed my expectations!!!

Only took a few hours for its first charge, then I set it going with a single press of the clean button and it systematically went about its way cleaning the whole room. Very impressed with the way it really tries to get into every bit of floor space, as I expected it to just do the large easy-to-reach areas instead. But it's really quite thorough, going all the way around all the furniture legs with the small spinning brush, and attempting to get as close as it can along the edges of walls and furniture.

Agree with all other reviews - Best thing I've ever bought (apart from my GHD straightener!), well worth the money considering you can buy normal vacuum cleaners like the new baby dyson for the same price or more, and it is thorough and gets the job done, on its own!

Similar to another reviewer's instance - it only got stuck once on the first time I ran it (I was 'supervising' it) on the base of a chair that has a raised circular metal frame. If it gets properly stuck it stops and makes a little noise to alert you. Lifting the Roomba off and pressing the clean button sorted it out quickly though and 2 minutes worth of re-arranging prevented it from happening again. approx 40 mins later it docks itself in its cradle/charger and makes a cute little noise to say its done!

It really is a fantastic little thing, and my boyfriend and I had the geekiest of fun watching the Roomba find its way around and figure how it knows to get out of the tight places it gets it self into. Never fails to amaze!

We live in a groundfloor flat, so we've no stairs to vacuum and not very much that requires vacuuming that the roomba cant reach by going under or around or over. I intend to get a little handheld mains-powered vacuum to do things like curtains, sofa cushions, etc and to get into the few remaining places Roomba cant reach like very narrow channels between book cases/walls etc.
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VINE VOICEon 29 June 2008
This is for those who don't want to vacuum but want a vacuumed floor. It is amazing; you can leave it to get on with the floor and it picks up dirt really well.

It does hard floors 100%, but about 95% for carpets, as some fluff from socks was not picked up, but for the most part after it had vacuumed the floor was immaculate. It is not maintenance free - each of its two dust compartments will need emptying and brushes cleaning regularly, so that should be planned by future owners/ buyers of it. This took me less than five minutes and is something I quickly learnt how to do. I suspect that now that I am looking after my floors - or rather it is - it will not fill up or clog up as quick as that! If you had an ordinary vacuum cleaner that would be the same though and you would also have to do the vacuuming!

It has a docking station which you connect to the mains for where it can 'live' and charge itself, so you need to make about a 2 foot square space for that and it when it comes 'home'. It comes with two accessories which you set either as virtual walls to stop it entering areas/rooms or you set as virtual lighthouses which act as points of reference for it so it will clean the first room first before moving past the lighthouse and doing the next room. This enables it to focus its random cleaning movements on one room at a time so any possible disruption is confined to one room. I find it quiet, particularly when I am not in the same room as it or when its vacuuming under the sofa or bed! This was something I rarely bothered to do as it meant moving furniture. The Roomba 560 was able to go under and around most of my furniture. It has a 7 day programmable timer so you can ask it to do a clean each day if you want at a certain time when you are out at work for example.

I thoroughly recommend this vacuum cleaner, not just to people who hate to vacuum / have not much time, but for people who have back problems or are disabled provided there is someone who can do the required maintenance.
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on 15 June 2008
this device certainly won't mean you never have to clean again but what it does do is keep the general level of dust down so you have to clean a lot less frequently, and often only in corners it cannot get to.

it helps to follow it around when you first get it to make very minor adjustments to furniture where it struggles to access an area, but don't do what my mum did and try and drag a heavy cupboard out of the way as it approached and then apologise to it when she failed!

my own flat is all hard floors which it has no problems with at all. it sometimes drops dirt when it bumps up onto a thick rug but usually picks this up again on its return journeys. the rooms all come off one square hallway so I dont use the lighthouses to guide it, but its usually found its way back to the docking station when i get back from work.

how good is it at cleaning - walking around in bare feet and not getting anything stuck on your feet is a pretty good test!
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on 22 April 2008
Top class cleaning - especially food e.g. crumbs, sugar, salt etc. Cleans thick carpets or hard floors; jumps up and down if it becomes tangled; fully automatic e.g. finds the charger and plugs itself in. Obeys the signals from its lighthouses to navigate around the house. Cleans all the edges and around table legs much more thoroughly than I ever do. If you hate cleaning, or don't have time, this machine solves the problem.
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