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Roomba Watching

I got my Roomba yesterday and put it on the charger right away. Mine is the basic red model but I bought a homebase for it. It's the kind that the Roomba returns to of its own accord when it needs to recharge. The Roomba came with an infrared wall that takes 2 D batteries. Those batteries are expensive so I don't see myself using the wall unless I really have to.

This afternoon I set the Roomba to work for the first time. But before I could do that, I had to declutter the floor. The Roomba has a problem with cables and will bump into and possibly damage stuff that's lying around. Shoes, to take one example. I put mine in the tub.

The studio I'm in right now is small and crowded with furniture and stuff. I decided to at least take the two chairs and put on top of the bed, so they'd be out of the way. That turned out to be a smart move, as the Roomba had enough problems navigating without them.

It's fun to watch the little red Roomba whirr around the floor. It turns out that some spaces were too narrow for it. When I get a place of my own, I'll make sure I have Roomba-wide spaces around everything. In this flat there's a space next to the TV stand that's not wide enough for the Roomba to get into. I'm thinking of moving it a few inches before I run the Roomba again.

There were a couple of places where the Roomba couldn't cope. There are floor-mounted door stops about an inch from the wall in two places here. There's obviously no way the Roomba can get in between the door stop and the wall. It also turns out that the ground clearance of the arm chair isn't high enough. So the whole corner under and behind the arm chair didn't get cleaned.

It had problems with the threshold between the carpet and the plastic floor. It's about an inch high. The Roomba almost got stuck there several times. But somehow it always seemed to be able to give itself a push and get up on the carpet.

I was worried about the noise but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. On carpet it's fine. It's mostly on the plastic floor and when it bumps into resonant things that it gets unpleasant. The thing with the bumps is that it's completely unpredictable so that's a bit unnerving. I'll probably turn it on when I leave the room, going forward. Although I'm concerned that my downstairs neighbour may begin to hate me. When the Roomba is vacuuming the plastic floor, I can feel the vibrations. That's gotta be unpleasant to live under. Then again, as loud as the heating and refrigerator is, they might not notice.

The Roomba is very cute when it's spot cleaning. A blue light comes on when it detects a place that's extra dirty. Then it turns in a little circle until it feels it's got the dirt out. Even cuter is when it homes in on its base and sings a little melody before going to sleep.

I've just emptied the bin and discovered that it was more than full. The brushes had tangles of long, dark hair in them. So my assessment of just how much the cleaning is worth in this place seems accurate. Normally you shouldn't need to empty the bin more than every 2-3 times you run the Roomba.

The Roomba is charging now. I'll move stuff around tomorrow so that it can cover ground that was obstructed today. Then I'll turn it on when I leave for Berkeley. I may leave the bathroom door fully open so that it stays in the carpeted part of the room.
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Aww - how cute!
Cute! :^)