I'll have a go at this one. I'd like a Roomba that integrates with a
whole-house vac system so that when it docks, it also empties its bin
in addition to recharging. Add to that a timer option where I could
have it make its rounds at a certain time daily.
Yes, it takes some getting used to. If you have trained your mind to
like nice neat patterns on the carpet, and that means "clean" to you,
then crop circles will probably drive you batty. I had the same initial
reaction until I got used to it.
I also found that I couldn't stand to watch the Roomba work. I'd want
to redirect it because it *looked* so inefficient in its patterns. Took
awhile to learn to trust that it will eventually, in its own haphazard
way, get to every area (and many that I usually skip when using a
regular vacuum - like under the bed, under the sofa, under the dining
I did find that turning it on before I left the house works best for
me. That way, I don't have to stand there watching it. The whole
purpose is to save time anyway. Standing over it fretting might've
saved sweat work of pushing a vacuum, but it wasn't saving any time.
I also have a question regarding the Roomba...
How do these do in an area where this is both carpet and hardwood or
linoleum flooring? Can it go from one to the other and back?
It would seem that going over that "hump" into the carpeted area might be
The Trilobyte is much smarter than a Roomba, but this doesn't turn out to
matter much in performance. Hit enough areas and you get them all.
The Discovery series is much more reliable than the Red series and has some
other features in it such as faster charging, remote-capable, etc. Also a
much bigger bin.
We have a Discovery. It works quite well; it cleans hard floors (wood,
textured vinyl) wonderfully even of cat litter, and gets closer in than our
vacuums can. It does a nice job of sweeping the plush carpets, but for
real cleaning of them, the central vac with the electric powerhead is
really unbeatable. So we view the Roomba as a way to keep the house
barefoot-clean, with a good vacuuming of stairs and carpets done every
other week with real equipment.
Both Trilobyte and Roomba do, though they call them "filters" and they last
a long time. And so, of course, does our central vacuum, but again you
don't replace it often. And our various other vacuums, except for a Eureka
for which Sears sells bags.
Roomba and Trilobyte aren't that way. But if you buy such a beast, I do
suggest you get it as a place with a good return policy (in case you don't
like it) and that you buy the extended warranty. Sharper Image, for
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