Robot vacuums...............thinking of buying one...

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by kgruber, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Do you have one? Are they any good?

    Which one?

    TIA
     
  2. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    My wife bought a roomba (not sure about specific model) and doesn’t like it. She says it doesn’t work well.

    Not sure if it makes a difference but the top 2 floors are hard wood/tile. The basement is carpet.

    Probably not much help but maybe a little data for the collection.
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Neato. We abuse the hell out of ours. Massive dog shedding. Their older models survived a couple of years, the new ones they got lithium batteries and worked out some mechanical kinks I was always repairing on the old ones.
     
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  4. patrick wentworth

    patrick wentworth Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Neato works well for us. gave an earlier one to my son. It has been several years now.. Love the mapping and ability to schedule. Vacuums stuff, hard floor, carpet and mix.
     
  5. Tspin

    Tspin Pre-Flight

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    Shark. We have two Sharks and one Roomba. Like the Sharks better.. they are quieter, both get the job done though.
     
  6. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    "Hazel" (as we named our Roomba) did well on the hardwood floors in our condo. I was always surprised at the amount of crud she gathered in her filter.
     
  7. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    We have a couple Roombas (Tony Danza, Rosey) They do great on carpet. Tile and wood are just okay.
     
  8. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude

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    I have a few friends family that have them. Basically those with pets that shed a lot like them. Everyone else eventually says they are more hassle than they are worth.

    Tim
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Ours are “HAL” and “Wall-E” by the way. LOL.

    Hal is the one who exhibits the most reluctance to work / errors out occasionally. :)


     
  10. EugeneR

    EugeneR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Neato works great for us. We’ve had one of the first models since 2010 or so, and recently replaced with the newest one. I like intelligent mapping, and no problem covering the entire floor in our house on one charge. Works well on a mix of carpet and hard floor.

    In this new model they really fixed all the flaws of our older one. The battery lives much longer, it remembers the map, has virtual no-go lines, and extremely easy to clean. Highly recommended.
     
  11. Kevin Holbrook

    Kevin Holbrook Pre-Flight

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    Having had a couple Roombas I wouldn't buy another; they didn't clean all that well and batteries didn't last very long. We currently have two Samsung PowerBots, one on each story. Very pleased with their cleaning and longevity. Both have been in daily use for over 2 years and still going strong. We have a two story house, all hardwood, and two dogs that shed fine hair (Dobermans), and are thrilled with the convenience. Our newest one even "climbs" up the baseboards a bit and leaves nothing around the edges.

    Each cost $450-550, but broken down on a cost per hour over the years it's peanuts.
     
  12. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    That's pretty much it. They don't clean nearly as well or as quickly as a regular vacuum, but the advantage is having it run when we leave the house to run errands, walk the dog, or whatever. Having hardwood floors with a pet that sheds is a constant battle to keep the place looking clean, and our Roomba allows us to keep the majority of the shedding under control autonomously during the week. Then we'll do a more thorough vacuum job once a week to get all the little areas and corners that a Roomba will miss.
     
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  13. MuseChaser

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    I'm surprised by all the positive reviews. Don't have any personal experience with them, but always kind of figured they were big on "cool factor" and small on actual effectiveness. Thought I had read similar thoughts in various "consumer" magazines. Sorry to hear I may have prejudged the devices incorrectly..now I might have to get one. Sigh...
     
  14. Cap'n Jack

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    I've a Roomba that has been running fine for a couple of years. It seems to pick up as much dust (visually) as a regular vacuum. You do have to watch for things that the robot would pick up that we would work around, or move out of the way such as strings from blinds.

    I'm suspicious of the apps. They know when and how long you vacuum. I know this when I had a battery issue from an app update, and the customer service person know the vacuum history. In theory, they can eventually map your house (direction and distance moved) if they store that information (@Sac Arrow - a plot device for a book?). I don't trust any of the app developers with respect for storing information.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  15. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude

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    Functionality not security wins in these types of companies. So yeah, I would not have much trust in the security.

    Tim
     
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  16. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Deebot. Works great on hard floors. It also works great on carpet but carpet kills the battery very quickly.
     
  17. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Have had our Roomba (named Puck) for a number of years, combination of hardwood, tile, and many fringed oriental rugs. Works a treat. We have two Labs that are constant shedders. On occasion Puck gets stuck under furniture and if we get lazy and don’t retrieve him we notice a huge difference in amount of dog hair on the floors within a couple of days....makes us really appreciate his contributions. Still running on original battery without problems.
    If Puck ever does die we will replace him with another Roomba.
     
  18. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I don't either, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm essentially waiving any expectation to privacy when utilizing current technology. There's too much money in the data harvesting, and the stack has gotten too convoluted and complicated to expect any entity to be able to properly secure it. But like a lot of others that complain about it, I love the convenience of my smartphone, Roomba, Nest, the tech in my car, etc etc to actually do anything about it. ;)
     
  19. Unkljohn

    Unkljohn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We like our Roomba, Cortez, it keeps the dog hair at an acceptable level. Hardwood floors with rugs.
     
  20. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    We have the Roomba i7 with the clean base, so there’s a vacuum that vacuums the vacuum. Until that capability was fielded, I bypassed these toys altogether. Having wood, tile, carpet, and a yellow lab, it allows us to vacuum every single day to keep the shed under control.

    It’s two years old now and still going strong, but it’s started to turn a little stupid, getting lost near its base and expanding some of the areas to include adjacent rooms as part of the smart map. Need to scratch the current map and start over, probably.

    When it dies, I’ll probably replace it because I hate vacuuming.
     
  21. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

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  22. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm surprised by this as well. Also surprised by the very high percentage of people who have named their robot vacuums.
     
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  23. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    this is the kind we want to buy. Only hangup is trying to get past the reviews that I can’t trust. We liked the i7, until we saw the i7+, until we saw the S9......
     
  24. TCABM

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    @TrueCourse, the 7 and the 9 are just the vacs. The + is the same vac with clean base, so we technically have the i7+.

    The 7 is a round, the 9 has squared off the front supposedly for better performance in corners. Don’t know if that’s true or not. Both use the same Vslam navigation and imprint mapping.

    People name the vacuums because the apps add that bit during setup. We can tell Alexa to have Naomi clean the living room if we so desire. Usually, we just have it programmed to clean certain rooms/areas daily while others only get touched once a week.
     
  25. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I agree with you 100%, though I just run the vacuum through it's start/stop button now. I don't use Nest, Alexa, Siri, or the rest of them. I don't trust that Siri is actually turned off on my phone, either. As you stated, there's too much money in the data harvesting for them to be straight with us.
     
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  26. JEB

    JEB Pre-Flight

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    Neato is much better than Roomba in our experience. Cheaper too. If you have a Bed Bath and Beyond near you, look online for their 20% off coupon. You can use it on a Neato, but not on a Roomba.
     
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  27. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have most of the Siri features turned off. Once in awhile I see the “spinning wheel” (in the upper left corner of the screen near the WiFi / cellular status part of the screen) doing its thing, for no good reason. It’s at that moment I believe Siri is probably active. Hold down the home button again and release, then it disappears. Too many coincidences on what shows up after conversations near my phone make me wonder.
     
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  28. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, this is true. My point was that when we thought we were ready to pull the trigger on some features (i7) I start reading what the i7+ can do. I like the base station. Makes complete sense. Then, I read that the S9 has those corners and some sucking improvements over the i7/i7+ capabilities. It just never seems to end when it comes to the upgrading!
     
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  29. MuseChaser

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    The subject of this thread sucks .....

    <rimshot>....
     
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  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Quick notes.

    I like that Neato isn’t random. It maps the room and then does the outside edge and then back and forth which ends up looking nicer to me.

    [​IMG]

    The new Neatos and their “cloud” stuff the one thing you get that the old ones didn’t have was after it maps a room (somewhat problematic because it’ll try to go places it shouldn’t) the first time (block it from getting to bad places physically) you can add “no-go lines” to the resulting map. However the Neato MUST be started by the App/Web/Cloud Schedule to honor them. Kinda wonky but the old ones needed magnetic strips laid down that the robot wouldn’t cross. I THINK those still work on newer devices so I could have left them in place and done that first map that way.

    In addition Neato has an API and I found that integrating it with my Home Assistant home automation server was a piece of cake. Eventually it’ll allow me to do nifty stuff like “iPhones left the house, alarm is set... might as well kick off a loud and annoying vaccum run, even off schedule” but since I’m WFH right now there’s no point in coding that one up at the moment.

    Neato’s “warranty” after the devices fall out of it is a flat-rate repair through a third party. Even if the component is $3. I’ve avoided that and busted the warranty seal on the old ones that had a weak Chinese made motor for the LIDAR head that would fail. $3 and a bunch of screws and soldering two wires or something like $200 and they just cross ship you a refurb unit. Yeah. I’ll fix it. The new ones show no signs of this motor quality flaw yet.

    I’m running D4 models. One per floor of the house. One can decide if one needs any of the higher features in the higher models. I didn’t.

    Here’s a phone screenshot of the HA app talking to my HA server showing me my Neato page. Hal is cleaning, Wally probably needs dumped (“error”) so he’s charged and sitting on his base. Any commands sent thru HA to the API are nearly instantly done by either one via the WiFi. Their native app is as fast but more clunky so I just tell my HA server to do it, but either works.

    One more oddity. I kept seeing them drop “offline” and I would fight with them to get back on WiFi. Talked to Neato tech support, everything. They’d work then quit. I found the strangest thing. Neato engineers (who are apparently utter morons) decided that if the robots can’t talk to the universal global Google (!) DNS servers at 8.8.8.8 — the robot must not be able to talk to THEIR OWN SERVERS. And must need a better internet connection.

    This took packet sniffing and watching my very locked down firewall and IoT device network to figure out WTF the absolute retards actually DID. No other way to describe it. So the Neatos are allowed to make DNS requests to Google. It’s utterly asinine. Documented it in a ticket to Neato and their tech support low level front end was, of course, baffled. I told them “just escalate this idiocy to engineering please”. Doubt it happened.

    Livable, but so far beyond stupid it’s almost unbelievable. If you have a Neato and a firewall that can block outbound traffic, block 8.8.8.8 for your Neatos and watch them say they have “no internet connection”. Stupidest crap ever.

    The screenshot. Can turn on and off the cloud schedule or trigger any command from the API, as well as it allows downloading of the latest cleaning map. They’re THAT good about opening to third parties... and then they do that Google chit. Sigh.

    [​IMG]
     
  31. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    No longer a theory- they can, and do, map your house.
     
  32. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I’ve tried a few. My experience has been there are always little spots in a room where they get hung up and eventually it just gets to be more hassle to use them vs just a normal vacuum.
     
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  33. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    You can take it a step further.
     
  34. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    We have an old Roomba 500 or 550 I bought used for $75 several years back. Dumb as a post but still working.

    I bought a new Neato XV21. I liked the way it worked much better. Much smarter and a little quieter. Unfortunately it ate batteries with alarming frequency, and finally simply refused to work with a scanner error. I spent WAY too much time replacing the main logic board, laser scanner, batteries... and it never worked again. It ended up in the landfill. I’ll buy used Roombas or something, but I’m done with Neatos. Our experience was not... neato.
     
  35. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Ours is named Puck too. I'll have to ask it if they're related......

    Can't imagine not having one at this point.
     
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  36. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    I have Samsung one, works great, been running for 2.5 years now. Sometime I make a mess just so that it can clean it
     
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  37. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    They switched to lithium ion. Should have been that from the start, agreed, but it hasn’t been a problem for years in their designs now.
     
  39. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    The batteries weren’t really the issue. I fought that thing for over a year... it refused to run. I had more money in replacement parts, I think, than it would cost to replace it.
     
  40. Cap'n Jack

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