28 Feb - 6 Mar 2014 #696

Roomba solid

Yantrick

Remember Rosie, the robot maid, from The Jetsons? Oh, what wouldn’t the sloths among us do to have a Rosie of our own. Cooking isn’t much of a problem because we can always order in. But nothing makes our hearts cry in despair as much as the weekly apartment cleansing.

Now thanks to the US-based company, iRobot, our futuristic dream could finally come true with the state-of-the-art Roomba 790 robot vacuum cleaner. Gone are the days of loud, strenuous, and tedious vacuum cleaning and breaking our backs plugging and unplugging the cord. There is a (small) catch though: Rs 70,000.

Yes, we know, vacuum robot cleaners are not exactly rocket science and have been around for more than a decade. But the older models left plenty to be desired. Roomba 790 is the culmination of years of refinement and fine tuning to achieve the pinnacle of home automation and how.

Measuring a mere 14 inches in diameter and standing just under four inches tall, the Roomba 790 is compact enough to voyage under your bed or furniture and is one of the most aesthetically pleasing bots in the market. The metallic-blue top panel with gray accents and black side panels make this one a looker. Turn the device over to reveal the various detachable brushes/filters that do all the work, along with a dirt collection bin, while on-board optical sensors help navigate the Roomba.

The 790 comes with a neat collection of replacement accessories and a carrying case to keep things organised. The unit also ships with three of iRobot’s Virtual Wall Lighthouse modules, small IR beam transmitters that function to keep the Roomba out of a particular room/area, or to force the Roomba to stay in a certain room/area until it is spotless.

iRobot’s vacuum boasts an advanced cleaning head that picks up pet hair and embedded dirt on all surfaces, with more power than other robotic cleaners. Its ability to polish off dirt and debris exceeds that of rivals, in part because of its cleaning pattern, making several passes over the same spot, absorbing everything in its path. An operating time of four hours equates to longer vacuuming than any other gadget in the market and once out of juice, the Roomba automatically returns to its base station, where it should be fully charged in three hours.

The 790’s Wireless Command Centre (read remote) allows users to initiate cleaning from any room in the house, to schedule cleaning, send the robot back to his dock, or choose a specific area to spot clean. Best of all, directional keys surrounding the ‘clean’ button means you get to steer the Roomba the way you would a toy car.

Yantrick’s verdict: Cleanliness never comes cheap. But the convenience, unsurpassed cleaning capabilities, and loads of replacement accessories, make the Roomba 790 a worthwhile splurge

iRobot Roomba 790 Review:

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