Living with a Roomba
The remarkable developments in consumer technology that we have seen in recent years have generally been inspired by attempts to make our everyday lives easier. Some of the most successful and popular inventions have been those that help to facilitate, or even remove completely, the sort of chores that for generations people have assumed were simply unavoidable.
The Roomba is one example of such an invention. Like something out a science fiction film, it suggests that the time when housework will be done with virtually no human effort could be even closer than we think.
What is a Roomba?
In simplest terms, a Roomba is a small and unassuming robot that automatically cleans your floors, theoretically removing the need for you to ever need to pick up a broom or a Hoover ever again. It can even be programmed to carry out its duties while you are not there, meaning that you can come home every day, or wake up each morning, to perfectly cleaned floors.
What do I need to do?
There are no large, unsightly or complicated pieces of equipment to deal with when setting up a Roomba. Significantly smaller than normal vacuum cleaners, they are easy to store and can be left charging at their docking stations, which are similarly small and unobtrusive. The only human interaction required is to programme the machine. Simply set the date and time when you would like it to carry out its cleaning, and use the slim infrared sticks it comes with to cordon off any areas that you do not want cleaned.
How does it work?
Once you have programmed it to clean your floors at a time to suit you, perhaps while you are out at work, you can simply step back and let it do its thing. The Roomba will go from room to room, cleaning as it goes, and its clever technology will ensure that it does so thoroughly, covering every inch of floor space before returning to the docking station to charge up.
What are the downsides?
Perhaps surprisingly, the market has not responded as quickly as manufacturers might have hoped but sales figures and reviews suggest this is changing. There have been complaints about the noise and some people still point to the length of time it takes, but because you do not need to be there this seems like a minor complaint.
What are the benefits?
Other than the obvious advantage of your cleaning being done with minimal effort from yourself, the Roomba has a number of other plus points. It is easy to programme, and the technology is continually improving to become increasingly effective. The rotors do not have bristles and so never clog up with hair and dust, and it will even focus on particularly dirty areas.
Given these advantages it is likely that these clever devices will continue to grow in popularity and become an increasingly common feature in many modern homes. Unfortunately the machine cannot climb stairs.