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Olson’s Observations

Technology. Innovation. Science. VC. Media. :: by Eric Olson

Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category

I Love Robots: iRobot Roomba Sage

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iRobotI had been looking at iRobot Roombas for a long time since I hate vacuuming (I say that like I ever do vacuum). I was hesitant to pick one up because I was unsure of how well they worked and what kind of replacement parts I would need to buy. After doing a lot of research and talking to some friends who own them I decided to pick one up.

I chose the Roomba Sage v2.1 because I needed something that wasn’t basic but I also didn’t need the top of the line model. The sage came with enough accessories to make sense for me. The only thing I would have liked that I didn’t get in the package was the homebase charging station but I can live without that for now.

I received my Roomba Sage this past week and put it into action today. I was very impressed with the results. The Roomba covered my entire apartment and even went under the couch, chairs, bed, and table. Simply amazing. Even if I did get up and vacuum I never would be able to be that thorough without moving all the furniture.

Roomba SageOne of my favorite features of the Roomba Sage is the Dirt Detect mode. When the Roomba detects more dirt than normal it circles that particular spot on the floor for a couple seconds to make sure it is fully clean. Now that’s a great feature. I noticed Dirt Detect come into effect in the places you would assume it would like near the doorways and other high traffic areas.

The Roomba, thus far, is worth every cent and I would highly recommend purchasing one if you have the means. The only thing I would like to see improvement on is the level of noise. It isn’t any louder than a regular vacuum and is actually quieter if anything but it would be great if iRobot could make the Roomba almost silent so you wouldn’t even know it was cleaning.

I grew up reading sci-fi classics by writers like Asimov and even writing some short stories myself so the idea of robots doing my cleaning is incredible. It’s a childhood fantasy fulfilled. I just hope the Roomba doesn’t revolt against me and try to vacuum me up in the middle of the night. We’re probably a long way off from that though. It’s not that smart, or is it?

Side note: For you robot guys and hackers out there iRobot now offers a “developers kit” of sorts. You get a basic robot and can program it to do whatever you’d like. It’s pretty slick. These developer kits would also be great for the classroom.

Written by Eric Olson

January 28th, 2007 at 8:52 pm