Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Rockin' with our Roomba iRobot!

We have a new pet in our home. Well, pet is perhaps not quite high enough of an honour - should I say third child? We sure do loooove him in our family and geez, he could very well now be my favourite!! What we actually have is a ROBOT living with us! Yes, we got a Roomba iRobot 530 - a robot vacuum cleaner. Oh, how we adore him!

So yeah, I thought I would do a bit of a 'Product Review' on the old blogaroo! Just for something different for fun and cos I am happy to shout this product's glories into the blogosphere. I just love to share when I find a product I loooooove! Share it round, I say. I should point out of course that I am in no way affiliated or compensated by Roomba (HA!! I wish!!). Just thought it would be fun to share a review cos I love reading such things myself.

Finding treasure (dust) under the couch!

Background.... Mark and I have been dreaming of purchasing one for quite a few years. We finally decided to bite the bullet and get one (with thanks to my Dad for chipping in for our Christmas gift!). I don't know about you, but vaccuming is without doubt my least preferred household chore. Firstly because since birthing two little cherubs, I've had quite a lot of lower back pain so hauling around a big vacuum cleaner and the bending position kills my back. It's hard to do with littlies as they are either sleeping or in the way. It takes ages especially in our big ol' house. Plus, oh yeah, I just kind of don't like to do it! However children, even those only allowed to eat food at the table, still make all kinds of mess. Especially when you are home all day every day. And with most of the floor being non-carpeted, I've been horrified at the dust bunnies and crumbs everywhere. Ugh!

Playing Hide&Seek with Bumble Jack. Really.

Then along came our little Roomba. We consider him our butler and wanted to name him something hip like Jeeves, but Lily for some reason started calling him Bumble Jack! I mean seriously - coolest.name.ever!! So Bumble Jack he is, the perfect name for our little guy who bumbles around the house and cleans like an absolute dream.

Here are just a sample of the things we are loving -

  • He really cleans! I thought initially it was a bit of a gimmick and it would just do a pretty light vacuum but no - the Roomba both sweeps and vacuums (very deeply) and I've been shocked to empty it out (very quick and easy to do) and see not only MASSES of dust, but also pretty big crumbs, rubbish and even toast crusts. It picks up oodles of dust and dirt every time it runs. Amazing! What squalor we have been living in, clearly ;)
  • It can do a special 'spot clean' where it focuses on an metre-squared area that you set, such as the den of iniquity that resides under the dining table.
  • It automatically adjusts between carpeted and non-carpet floors and it's little wheels even go all '4-wheel-drive' to clamber over ridges and dips in the floor (it can even go up and down a one inch drop in our floor from the kitchen reno). It also has a 'cliff sensor' so it wont go down stairs or balconies...or even cliffs!
  • It trundles on back to it's dock when it's finished, full, or running low on battery.
  • It has an anti-tangle thing to extricate itself from carpet tassells and cords, but if it does get totally stuck on something like a little teddy bear dropped by a certain preschooler, it turns itself off and waits patiently for rescue.   

Although I mostly turn it on when I go out (yes, I love knowing the floor is being vacuumed while I'm taking the kids to the library!), the kids also love watching it go at home and Eli especially begs for us to turn it on and loves to follow it around (they know they are not allowed to touch it). They even like to play Hide&Seek and Chasey with their new sibling, haha!

Last night, we ate dinner while Bumble Jack cleaned the bedrooms. Luxury!! Most evenings, we shut it into the living/dining/kitchen area after the kids are in bed. Nothing quite enjoying our nightly Tea and TV ritual whilst knowing the dinner crumbs are being taken care of... mmmm, bliss!

I am soooo grateful for this handy gadget which has truly reduced my anxiety about the state of the house significantly. It feels so good to have clean floors (really clean, like even under couches and beds!) every day, and to know it is taking care of one BIG chore so I can focus on other areas like, you know, the bathrooms.

We just love it!!

Lily and Bumble Jack have serious encounter

Cons? Well, the only things I can think of is that you have to clear the path of debris for it, though is that really a con? You would have to do that when vacuuming anyway, and it does encourage you to keep the floor tidy of toys and such - which is a good thing really and more motivating knowing you don't have to vacuum too!! It is good at going around bigger things plus it come with a 'virtual wall' you can set up to get it stay away from an area if you choose (or just close a door). Also it does a pretty great job (due to the brushes) of getting into corners and along baseboards but you still need to manually do the tops of the baseboards for dust (at some point!!). I'd say you would still want to keep your regular vacuum cleaner for tasks like that but really, though I thought initially Roomba would do a pretty basic job, it cleans so deeply I am happy with using it all the time! The other con is I have not yet worked out how to program him to unstack the dishwasher... but hey, you can't have it all!!

As for the dreaded question - price. Perhaps not as much as you would think. RRP is $799 but Harvey Norman has them on special for $550. Then my savvy husband found an online price of $388, printed it out, waltzed in and got Harvey Norman to price match it. BOOYA!!!! We gotz us a Robot, people!!!!

All in all? I love Bumble Jack and thank him for being my partner in crime. Though he surely gets the rough end of the deal - all he gets to do is vacuum while I play more with my kids, cook, clean other stuff, chill with my hubby or just do nothing. However, don't feel too bad for him. After all... he is just a robot, he doesn't have any feelings...... (does he??).


  1. You're killlllliiinnnnggg me! I have wanted one forEVER and I want one even more now.
    I am inside out and torn apart with jealousy!

    1. ah Sarah, you make me laugh!!! if you lived near by I would give you a loan!!! hmmmm perhaps work out a savings plan?? pressie for mothers day?? sell one of the kids?? SO many options :)

  2. Wow! I think Roomba should totally employ you in their sales department. Or give you commission for you blog. (Great blog by the way!). My husband has wanted one forever also. He's a gadget kinda man. Me, not so much. I didn't want a microwave or a dustbuster, but am pretty happy that we now have one of each. However, I think you've just talked me in to getting one of these nifty robots. I honestly didn't think they would work very well, but it sounds like it may just be what I'm missing in my life (someone that cleans the floor and listens to my problems). Hmmm...but I'm definitely not falling for a leaf blower.

    1. heehee, if Roomba really love me, they could just give me the Scooba!!! (its the one that mops... yes really!). Lol... yes im a bit of a convert, i admit, its been such a blessing and stress reducer to not have to worry about the floors! Um wow, if your hubby is keen i say GO FOR IT!!! i think you would be hard pressed to regret it, saves so much time and work better used for other things like taking lovely photos! as for listening to your problems - well i can do that ;) just blog them and im here!! :)

  3. OMG, I want me a BumbleJack!!! Seriously! We live in squalor too at the moment and vaccuuming goies way down the list of must dos, especially now bub two has arrived! Think I'll get hubby to read this blog.... ;)

    1. oh yes, a roomba would be a huge blessing w the new baby here too. I would definitely campaign to Hubby - save so much time! hope you get it!! Hmmm - mothers day??! So nice to have one massive task crossed of the list - every day!!

  4. OMG soooo jealous of your Bumble Jack.... Wonders if it would be effective with pet hair....

    1. apparently awesome w pet hair, many ppl we read about in our research got it for that reason! it does good w my copious amounts of hair, anyway ;)

  5. That is way cool - would definitely love one of those in our house!

  6. This is a fantastic review Kate. Made me laugh, several times over :)
    Citing "I just don't like it" is a perfectly good reason when referring to any household cleaning task :P


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