Helping our future AI Overlords - experiences with Robot Vacuums?

One of my sweeties is debating getting a robot vacuum cleaner for the house. (No, sadly, not a Roomba, even though I’ve pointed out that we have friends that could make a dueling harness for it.) It’s been a while since I’ve read much about these things, but I figured surely someone on BB would have stories to tell about the time one ate their cat or something similar.

Good? Bad? Indifferent? Any recommendations on things we should watch for in purchasing one of these things?

The specific one she’s considering is this:

She’s also told me that she’s rather I not glue a knife to the top, despite how much I think it would liven up the cleaning cycle.


You should listen to her.

If you glue it on, you’ll never be able to sharpen it.


I wish I had more to offer, but this is the only thing I have to contribute to this conversation, I’m afraid…


Among the many nicknames of my household is “the museum of overpriced vacuum cleaner technology”.

I’ve got a Kirby, two roombas, and a pair of Dysons. And a shop vac, and a keyboard vac, and so on and so on.

Roombas are not a substitute for other vacuum cleaners. The dustbin is too small (although I have an extrasized one, still too small) the corner brushes are fragile (although I have upgraded ones, still too fragile) they are slow and tend to leave small drifts of lightweight debris when encountering things like raised thresholds and heat vents, the bristles are annoying to clean if you have shorthair cats (there’s a plastic cleaner gadget that makes it easier, though) and they don’t really do corners or pick up dried fig leaves.

Roombas are great for this situation - you are frantically trying to clean up before your spouse arrives with her boss and parents, and nothing is ready and the pets and kids have tracked garbage through every room… while you’re deep-frying the chicken cordon bleu, you release roombas throughout the house, and then while the german chocolate cake is baking, you run around with a dyson hitting all the places the roombas didn’t quite get to.

I recommend the Hoover Satellite as the best all-round vacuum cleaner.

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This is why you have a mounting bracket instead.


We had one several years ago that I am absolutely convinced would have ridden a Roomba into glory, but alas, she’s no longer with us. Our current crop of felines are probably going to be horrified if we actually get one, but I suspect they’ll get used to it.

Thanks for the information, I’ll pass it along to her.

We have tile floors, so most of our floor cleaning is brooms and spot cleaning with the mop. I think we have a vacuum, but it’s stashed away in the garage somewhere. (I think it’s behind that pile of boxes near my workbench that I keep threatening to set out by the curb one bulk pickup day.)

Two DSH cats and a new one arriving this weekend with somewhat longer hair. Do you have a link to this gadget? I think we’ll need that.


Sure… but they’ll never forgive you. You know how cats are! :pouting_cat:

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I’d like something that would just go through once a day. I feel like once a day would just get all the stuff I hate dealing with, would this be a decent use for one, doing lightweight lifting daily on wood floors so my Saturdays aren’t so bad?

My friend James has a Scooba, which he likes, and although I was a little perturbed by the idea of a robot that leaves a glistening slug-like trail, it’s not all that disturbing in real life.

Still an annoyance, but less so with the tools. Note I don’t know if these would work on a non-Roomba branded robot, but at least you get the idea. And a letter opener of the type with a shrouded blade helps clean most any vacuum beater, cuts those venetian blind cords and garter snakes that get wound up in knots.

I don’t have the programmable models which are intended for that. The bins need so much monitoring and emptying in my house that it’s not really practical. (It’s a big old converted 18th or 19th century factory full of cats, orchids, small trees, curing lumber, children of dubious cleanliness, etc.)

If you live in a clean modern apartment, though, or at least a less cluttered and raucous environment than I do, the high end roombas are made for just what you are talking about. You’d want to empty the bins every day when you came home, though.


Velcro might do the job.

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