How Good Are Roombas For Fine Dust and Bugs?

Hi,
We get a nice layer of fine dust and bugs on our floors daily. How good are Roombas (or equivalents) at picking that up?
Thanks, Gary
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Snowy wrote:

They get dust really well.
I've never tried mine on bugs larger than about two inches.
It's fun to watch the cat ride around on one.
There's another manufacturer - I forge who - that makes a competitive machine which uses GPS to navigate the room rather than a random walk.
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On 1/19/2012 6:12 PM, Bob F wrote:

I didn't quite understand that "beat the dust out" statement either. We actually have five Roomba's of various ages and although they work great for picking up lint, hair, etc, they simply do not have the suction to pull a lot of dust out of carpet. We have two of ours programmed to run twice a week and we still have to run the normal upright vac about once a month to really get the dirt and dust out of the carpet.
Don
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atcion on

The shop units aka "Dirtdogs" have a two large, very powerful rotating brushes. They are more sweeper than vacuum. There'a a large bristle brush and a small bristle brush instead of the rubber flappers found in the vacuum type Roombas. They really pound the carpet. When I vacuum the house with a non-beating carpet head of my central vac (Hayden, 10A motor), the Roombas will almost always have an impressive amount of "extra" dirt in their bins after an hour run.
When I was running battery tests, the amount of dust on each subsequent run (from the carpeted area) was as impressive at it was disgusting. Eventually no more dust or dirt came up, but it took many times the normal run cycles. A motorized head (which I have but never installed because it's too damn heavy) on the central vac might do as well, but using it is like working with a jackhammer.
I would be the first to admit it's probably a function of the type of carpet - mine's long enough to trap dirt and short enough not to tangle up the bristle brushes. The Dirtdog was designed to be strong enough to sweep up nuts and bolts, but it was useless in my shop where woodchips were the problem. Twenty seconds and it would be full. However, used where they tell you NOT to use it (carpet), it beats an amazing amount of tiny, greasy (waterproof terrier) dog hairs and dust out that a power central vac misses. Even without a vacuum assist, the DirtDog (how ironic) knits the stuff together into a greasy little pancake. On the positive side, even house paint just slides off this dog's coat.
-- Bobby G.
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Bob F wrote:

They have rotating brushes which obviously do SOME beating...
Still, you have a good point. It's not been a problem for me inasmuch as I don't have any carpeting - some throw rugs, but no carpeting.
Everything is either ceramic tile (kitchen, baths, breakfast area), laminate, or wood.
It was a great day when we dispatched the last of the carpet.
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The obviousness is in the dustbin, which manages to fill up even after a manual vacuuming. The DirtDog has a bristle brush very much larger and more powerful than the brushes in my red vacuuming Roomba.

I found throw rugs to be hard for the Roombas to handle. They would bunch them up, push them around and in some cases suck enough rug edge into the Roomba to shut it down.

That's like the old saw: "What are the two greatest days in the life of a boatowner?" "The day he buys a boat and the day he sells it."
-- Bobby G.
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Using GPS inside should be interesting. None of my GPS devices can pick up a satellite.
Jimmie
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wrote:

<stuff snipped>

<<Using GPS inside should be interesting. None of my GPS devices can pick up a satellite.>>
My GPS is very marginal in the house. Probably less so at ground level. For the Roombas to do a really good job, they have to pass over the same area more than once. I don't see a GPS unit as adding much to the process except a little more expense. The most important sensor, IMHO, on the IRobot devices is the one that keeps it from throwing itself down the kitchen stairs. One interesting thing I've noted is that with four units rolling around at once, they have a hard time generating an internal map of the area being cleaned. That's because when they collide with each other, they "think" they have hit a solid wall and adjust their maps accordingly. I usually start one in each room and that reduces the problem somewhat.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

My cell phone works inside (signal is on the weak side, though). It's certainly not accurate enough to tell one room from another, though.
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Should I have mentioned these are tile and hardwood floors? FWIW We are in Costa Rica. This is the windy season (not mentioned in the tourist brochures). The house's exterior walls are a sequence of doors that open to keep the house comfortable (no A/C needed). That combination lets in a lot of dust and bugs.
Gary
"Snowy" wrote in message
Hi,
We get a nice layer of fine dust and bugs on our floors daily. How good are Roombas (or equivalents) at picking that up?
Thanks, Gary
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