"Great cleaning product! Performs as advertised!"4.5 starson by kfilly
Pros: Can schedule it to run when I am gone or sleeping, it is effective at cleaning medium pile carpet and tile, not very loud for a vacuum, picks up long hairs my dogs shed, floors get vacuumed every day, can do multiple rooms without help
Cons: It takes the vacuum a long time to finish a room, sometimes it is not able to find its homebase, cleaning pet hair from rollers/roller bearings can be difficult as my dogs shed a lot, does not contain a HEPA filter
Summary: I have been using this product for about a week now, and I feel it is doing a good enough job for me to recommend it. Before I begin my review, I feel it best to descibe the area and circumstances which I use my roomba to clean. I set my roomba to clean three rooms and a small hallway each day. My great room is 15 x 30. My hallway is 3 x 12. My extra bedroom is 12 x 15. My kitchen is 7 x 15. The entire area my 560 cleans is plush medium pile carpet with the exception of my kitchen which is ceramic tile. The roomba will clean most of that area on a single charge. I also have two miniature Austarlian shepherds. They are a long haired breed of dog that sheds quite a bit. I programmed my roomba to run every day so it is better able to keep with the hair and dirt my dogs leave behind. It cleans under, around, and behind furniture which is great! Needless to say, my carpets and tile have never been as clean as they are now! This little vacuum does a great job at picking up pet hair, and it picks up a lot of other dirt/dust as well!I have owned my two Roomba 560's for about six months now. They are still cleaning strong, and they have not been stuck recently. I have a few comments that I wanted to add. First, I just did a six month service to both of my robots. I removed the side brush, and I proceeded to remove the bottom plate which is held on by four phillips head screws. I also removed the removed the twin brush assembly which is also held on by four smaller phillips head screw. Removing the brush assembly allowed me to get good access to the rest of the robot so that I could quickly clean it with a standard vacuum attachment. I my vacuum attachment to clean the dust and dirt out my Roombas. Mine were pretty dirty due to the fact they encounter a lot of dog hair, carpet fibers, and get used a lot. The worst area was around the motor of the brush assembly. The reason I did this is because dust and electronic controls and small electric motors do not get along well. Process took about ten minutes.
I apologize for this part of my review as I just received this product about a week or so ago, and I am still experimenting with some of the product set up to get optimal results. Using the roomba itself is incredibly easy. The device is very simple to program, and it can also start cleaning at the touch of a button for those who do not want to program it. However, I am experimenting with the placement of the virtual walls/lighthouses. For those who do not know, the vitrtual walls/lighthouses are an accessory device (cost $40 a piece) that communicate with the roomba and have it completely clean a room before it starts to work on the next or be switched to keep the roomba out of a particular area all together. They also allow the roomba to "track" where it is in my house, and help guide it back to its charging station when it needs to recharge or finished cleaning. I have noticed that the location of these virtual walls/lighthouse can be very fickle. The manual never mentioned this little piece of advise, and it is something I just noticed about the operation of the lighthouses. The manual states that the lighthouses will work if you just put them in a doorframe or wall opening just as long as their company logo is facing the area you want to partition/occlude. The fact I noticed is somewhat important as it might be what is causing others to be having the same problem I experienced with the robot not being able to find its way back to the charging station. When I originally placed my lighthouses, I had iissues with tthe roomba not being able to find its way back home. I have since switched a few of lighthouses to the opposite side of the doorframe/wall opening I am blocking. I now try to have my lighthouses so that their company logo now faces the largest portion of the room being cleaned. I think the robot still receives a signal from the lighthouse while it is in that room. If the lighthouse is facing the wrong way, it might be impossible for the robot to find that signal in order to be able to find its way back to the homebase. I moved one of those lighthouses in my kitchen (simply from one wall sside of my door frame to the other side of the door frame), and it had a great effect as the robot was able to find its way home. For those who were having docking problems, I would try that simple approach.
The roomba as a few other quirks. It takes a long time to completely vacuum a room. It is relatively quiet while it runs (at least for a vacuum). It sounds more akin to a loud remote controlled car or something of the like. Cleaning the brush rollers on my roomba can be a pain. I always have a lot of dog hair that ends up on the bearings of the main roller brushes, and I found the best way to remove it is to carefully pry and cut it off with a knife. I have the Pet Series as well, and I still have the hair problem. Aside from the hair wrapping around the brushes, other maintenance is simple. I also removed cords out of its way so I do not know how well its anti-tangle technology works. I would have to say it is well worth the money!
Updated on Mar 4, 2009
Updated on Mar 4, 2009Sorry, I ran out of characters in first update. I do not believe you have to be super handy to clean the Roomba, and iRobot has guides how to do some maintenance items online. Second, I use a lot of lighthouses in my house. I bought rechargeable batteries for those devices so that I could do my little part for the environment. I highly recommend anyone who has one of these devices to do something similar. It costs a lot more up front, but saves a lot of money over time.