The new Roomba 980 robot vacuum from iRobot is a vast improvement over its predecessors and is incredibly easy to use.
The new Roomba is even simpler to use than previous versions and goes about cleaning in a more efficient way. Despite the technology involved in the robot, it is ready to use straight out of the box bar a short charge and will soon be cleaning your house following cleaning schedules set using an accompanying app.
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Easy to use, effective robot vacuum
For technophobes, the main interface is reassuringly simple and features a big “Clean” button. Once you’ve released the robot vacuum, its new VSLAM (Visual Simultaneous, Localization and Mapping) technology means that it maps the room, making for a more efficient cleaning route.
The robot then goes about its business, and was found to successfully navigate the vast majority of obstacles during testing. When the dust bin is full, an alert will be sent to your phone, and that is one of the few times you should have to interact with the Roomba after you set a cleaning schedule.
If you want to stop a job at any point, pause the Roomba using the app. The robot will return to its charging station, provided that it is situated in an area of good signal. Don’t hide the dock in any cubby holes or the Roomba gets confused.
iRobot Roomba 980: expensive but worth it
This ease of use and strong performance comes at a price. At $899 the Roomba is up there among the most expensive vacuums, and a Dyson DC39 costs just over half as much at $479.
However the price should not put you off a device which takes the stress out of keeping your home dust free. The connectivity of the Roomba means you can schedule cleaning jobs and just leave it to do its work with a minimum of fuss.
Apart from occasionally emptying the dust bin or helping it around strange obstacles, the Roomba doesn’t require any human input, and that is surely a luxury. And one worth paying for, says Ulanoff.