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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 1:57pm | IP Logged | 1  

A few months ago, I had to change my housekeeper (for reasons that need not be explored here), which created a problem. It had taken me a long time to train the former gal and her team of cleaners. Get them to understand which rooms required extra care, because of all the breakable toys and whatnot. (Several quite valuable collectibles had not survived the training process.) I was not looking forward to going thru this again -- especially after the first session, when the guy vacuuming my studio with a back-pack vacuum cleaner was clearly paying no attention at all to where the various hoses were swinging behind him. (Oddly, it did not occur to him to sweep toward the toy laden shelves!) Finally, I resolved this by simply saying "Don't clean in the Studio and the TV room! I'll do those rooms!"

Well, for a few weeks I did. But that gets old really fast. And lately, when the long rays of the afternoon sun slant into my Studio (as, say, right now) the basically gray rug turns absolutely golden with Sam hair. Just dragging a foot across the pile produces mountains of fur. It doesn't take long!

What to do, what do do? Would it really be worth risking catastrophe to let the cleaners back in with their vacuums?

Well, yesterday I decided to enter the 21st Century. I ordered myself, thru Amazon, one of those "Roomba" robot vacuum cleaners. Supposedly, you just put it on the floor, turn it on, and leave it alone. It putters around, turning automatically when it encounters an obstacle, and eventually covering the whole floor.

Amazon just notified me, via email, that it has shipped, so within a few days, I guess, we should find out if I have wasted my money! (And, honestly, if is does only a half-assed job, I will consider that money well spent!)

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Philippe Negrin
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Joined: 01 August 2007
Location: France
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 2  

Wow, this is so sci-fi ! Please post photos of it when you get it. I know it's been available for a few years but you're the first person I "know" (of) who gets one.
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Marcio Ferreira
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Joined: 20 September 2008
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 3  

Well I am blessed for having a very diligent wife that does the cleaning (she is an angel!!!).
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Kevin Moorhead
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Joined: 12 August 2008
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:11pm | IP Logged | 4  

Did she turn out to be a Skrull spy?
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Bill Mimbu
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Joined: 14 April 2008
Location: United States
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 5  

JB, are you planning on naming it "Rosie"?

Robotics:  Making life easier on the Twelve Colonies everyday... ;)

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Tom French
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:28pm | IP Logged | 6  

John, if the floor is fairly open and uncluttered, it'll do a fantastic job!  We have one and we love it!  Of course, we have mostly wood floors with area rugs -- I know, I know... so gay!
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Matthew Hansel
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 7  

I'll be interested in seeing how this works, JB.

My housekeepers are under STRICT orders not to touch the studio for the fears that you elude to above.

Please, keep us posted.

MPH
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 8  

Great! We've gone through a few cleaning ladies lately and the most recent took five hours to do two bedrooms and one bath, leaving 85% of the house untouched. All wood floors we have, except the bathrooms, so this Roomba experiment is exciting!

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 2:47pm | IP Logged | 9  

I've had two friends with roombas and their experience is similar.  If the rugs are low and the rooms not full of obstacles, the roomba can be nice!  The coolest thing is that there is a model that apparently will return to its charger automatically after the task is completed. 

The catch according to my friends is that the roomba isn't very durable and repairs are about as much as buying another.  The average lifespan in their experience is about 6 months to a year and a half.  I'm not one for extended warranties, but if you can get one, it might be worth it in this case.
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Josť Emilio Amo
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 3:02pm | IP Logged | 10  

Wow, cool!!! I will buy it when Lucas sells it with Star
Wars characters.

Two in one: An Accurate cleaner and a girlfriend for
your Rog-2000 LOL
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Jodi Moisan
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Joined: 19 February 2008
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 3:02pm | IP Logged | 11  

Mr Byrne I thought, that your Saturdays would be full of meeting exciting people and traveling far away places, kind of a James Bond life, now I know you just putter around the house thinking about vacuums. Some how that makes you far cooler in my eyes.



Edited by Jodi Moisan on 04 October 2008 at 3:04pm
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Sam Karns
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 12  

I hope this robot is a success.  TO think a robot can clean rooms?  Amazing.  Have we finally reached the world of The Jetsons?
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Brian Talley
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 3:58pm | IP Logged | 13  

 

Well..at least it can't reach the thermostat.

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Brian Talley
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 3:59pm | IP Logged | 14  

I know, I know... so gay!

But that's why we love ya, Tom.......

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Peter Svensson
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Joined: 30 January 2005
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:01pm | IP Logged | 15  

Did you get the Pet Series model? Because those are specially made to handle pet hair, which the regular models don't so as well with.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:02pm | IP Logged | 16  

A catchy song about a robot vacuum cleaner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C2zGwwraEA

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Brian Talley
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:04pm | IP Logged | 17  

I can see how they would work well on hardwood or vinyl, but carpet....?

Edited by Brian Talley on 04 October 2008 at 4:13pm
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Peter Svensson
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:08pm | IP Logged | 18  

Brian, this is the FUTURE! If we can't have jetpacks or force fields, we can at least have robot vacuum cleaners.
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Derek Muthart
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:09pm | IP Logged | 19  

We sell a lot of Roombas and overall they do a great job.  I just hope you got the one that is trained to return to base when its battery gets low.
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Christos Seros
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:31pm | IP Logged | 20  

Isn't this how The Terminator first started? Robots always turn on their masters.
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Tom French
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:37pm | IP Logged | 21  

Robots always turn on their masters.

Sometimes when we wake up in the middle of the night, it's sitting on the end of the bed WATCHING US!  Oh sure, it acts all innocent, but I know something's up...

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Brian Talley
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 22  

Yeah Tom, but unlike a dog, it wont stick it's cold wet nose on your foot and scare the beejesus out of you.
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Michael Huber
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 4:52pm | IP Logged | 23  

Yeah Tom, but unlike a dog, it wont stick it's cold wet nose on your foot and scare the beejesus out of you.

I wish it was my foot, there are far worse places for a cold wet nose!

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Kevin Moorhead
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 5:09pm | IP Logged | 24  

I've thought of trying of of these before but I couldn't help think that in the end it'll end up scaring my cat to death of that he'll challenge the thing to some kind of gladiator-like combat.  Come home and find the Roomba in pieces and that "What?  Me?" look on this face.
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Jesus Garcia
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 5:33pm | IP Logged | 25  

I've seen something that might be similar to what you might be getting, John. A sort of flatened, circle-shaped robot on wheels which follows a seemingly random path.

If I remember correctly, the gadget I saw cleaned very well but had to take frequent stops for unloading.

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