I can give you a pretty good rundown on them already based on folks I
know who already have them, that have dogs and dogs and birds. What
they liked and didn't like about them.
The two my aunt owns are the 3100R (known also as the Pro Elite) and
Discovery (not Discovery SE).
She loves the older 3100R much better than the newer Discovery as for
as how quickly it cleans a room.
Both of these are the upper end priced Roomba's.
The 3100R's dirt bin is small, the Discovery's is twice the size.
3100R The brushes need a screwdriver to remove. Discovery they pop
out for easier cleaning.
The reason she likes the 3100R better, despite it's more work for her,
is that the Discovery model seems, as she put it, simple minded,
compared to 3100R. It also gets lost and only finds its way back to
the charging stand maybe every other time if she's lucky.
The remote is basically to play with it like a toy. She only used the
remote the first day and it has sat in a drawer ever since.
She recommended to me that I should clean the bin after each use,
clean the brushes (she uses a seam ripper to get the hair out) at
least once every 5 uses or it gets too hard to clean the brushes after
Keep telephone and extension cords away from it, pick up shoes with
The ones with buttons to select spot clean and max clean only cause it
to stay in a tighter circle. Both just run in circles until they hit
something, then they go off a few feet and start going in circles
again. So it's best to keep them in one room at a time.
Here is list of the Roomba's made, can't gurantee this list is real
Original Roomba (probably model 2001R) Silver - Loud when running,
runs 1 Hr, cost $199.95.
Roomba (model 3000R) Silver - Loud when running, runs 1-1/2 Hrs, cost
Roomba Pro (model unknown) Slate Blue, Loud when running, new feature
'spot cleaning mode', known defect 'problem with charger', runs 1-1/2
Hrs, cost $229.99.
Roomba Pre Elite (model 3100R) Merlin Red (Maroon), Only 3/4 as Loud
when running, new features 'Max cleaning mode', 'Remote control', runs
1-1/2 Hrs, known defect 'problem with charger', cost $249.99.
Roomba Discovery (model unknown) Silver, 1/2 as Loud when running, new
feature 'docking station', Twice as powerful as Original Roomba,
Remote control, larger dust bin, runs 2 Hrs., known defect 'gets lost'
and/or 'runs in circles', cost $249.95.
Roomba Discovery SE, (model unkown) Black, all features of Discovery
above, new feature upgraded CPU, $269.95.
Roomba Red (model unknown) Red, all features of Discovery SE above
EXCEPT Remote and Docking station, new features 'active dirt response
system,' (automatic replaces Spot and Max buttons), larger dirt
catcher, upgraded CPU, runs 2 HRS, cost only $149.95
Note, both the Roomba Pro and Pro Elite have had major charging
problems, the FIX for this problem did not work.
Although my original plan was to buy the Discovery SE model, their
most expensive, after speaking with other owners of this and other
models and finding out it's shortfalls I decided on the purchasing the
newest edition, the Roomba Red for a hundred bucks less.
About the Roomba Red: Like all previous models, you place it at it's
starting point, then return it to the charger when it's finished.
You don't have to guess at room sizes or select Spot or Max modes.
Why? Because it has a new sensor that senses extra dirt and/or areas
of heavy debris and switches to Spot mode automatically, else it's
always in Max clean mode.
It has the new CPU and the larger dirt catcher.
For all intensive purposes, it's the Descovery SE without a Remote
Control that no one uses anyhow, nor a charging base it only finds
every other try.
Problems with all Roomba's is the insides get coated with dust, which
covers the optical sensors after awhile. Cleaning the inside is best
done with a crevace tool on a regular vacuum.
Although the Roomba handles pet hair with ease, some of this hair will
wrap around the brush ends. My aunt says a seam ripper is the best
thing to get it out before it becomes too much and you have to remove
Someone asked about the height of the Roomba?
The 3100R is about 2-1/2 inches, all the newer ones are only 2 inches.
If there is a spot on that china hutch it can get under, it will find
it. After cleaning underneath, if it cannot find it's way out right
away, it will shut off the brushes to save energy and keep looking.
A new feature of the Roomba Red, that I don't know if it is in older
models is that, if it does get stuck somewhere. Wheels turning, but
the machine itself not moving, it will turn itself off. The early
models would just sit there spinning it's wheels until the batteries
went dead, often leaving a nice black spot from the tires on the floor
Since Roomba Red is the newest and cheapest, but has all the new
internal features of their highest price models, I went for it!
I only played with it for a few minutes after charging it up before
wrapping it in gift wrap. I must say, I was quite impressed with all
it did in the short time it was 'doing it's thing'!
I didn't know about the problem with extension cords at the time, but
it didn't get tangled in the two it had to deal with behind the couch.
I'll know more of personal experience after it runs around here a
couple of weeks, hi hi.....