Technophile

Roomba i7+: This robot can clean your floors like you do

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on January 23, 2020 Published on January 23, 2020

The Roomba works with virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa

Fully automatic and cloud-enabled, the vacuum machine can be controlled via a smartphone

Remember Wall-E? The Disney movie character’s original name happens to be Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class. Yes, the iconic animated robot’s primary job was to clean up all the mess humanity had left the Earth with. Roomba, the cleaning robot from the US-based iRobot, does pretty much the same, only that her job is restricted to a room or an apartment.

The Roomba i7+ is an updated edition of the e5 and boasts of several new features and functions, even though it looks much the same as its recent predecessors. The box comes with the vacuum robot, charging cables and a dock where the machines charges itself and unloads the waste into.

The new edition has maintained the simple front interface, but the charging and discharging (of waste) dock is bigger and better now. The machine comes in black colour.

Easy to set up and run

It is not a hassle to set the machine up. The user guide has fairly clear instructions meant for commoners and it took us just 15 mins to set it all up. You have to connect the machine to a smartphone via the iRobot app to make it fully functional. The Roomba i7+ uses Wi-Fi to connect itself to your phone, and once the pairing is done, the machine can be controlled from anywhere.

 

If you are in office or out shopping, all you have to do is log into the app and press the command Clean to get the cleaning robot into action.

The Roomba i7+ is conveniently round, which helps it move easily and in all directions, but the flipside is that it is not able to negotiate deep corners of a room efficiently. That said, the suitably long mopping bristles (you can’t call it a brush given its size and look) are able to reach corners while cleaning and make sure dust and debris from the corner are sucked in without much hassle.

The machine uses a smart mapping facility to make the cleaning process easier and more enhanced. It tries to understand the geographies it covers and creates an internal map of sorts, each time it goes there, and refers to the map while cleaning the area the next time and thereafter. This is a very convenient feature because you can identify and mark rooms and halls and set separate cleaning tasks for each. Since the machine knows the map and the contours, it will stick to the boundaries and will get the job done as soon as possible, avoiding overlaps and trespassing.

 

Another interesting feature is the power-lifting suction. The machine understands the quantum of dust and dirt while cleaning and applies the required levels of power to suck the waste in. Still, we have found that the Roomba i7+ is not meant for big chunks of dust or dirt as it struggles a lot while trying to mop them in. But for everything else, the machine is a blessing. It works with meticulous precision and leaves no traces of dirt after cleaning. It is fully automatic; understands hindrances, slopes, jerky terrains and jumps and tunes its movements accordingly.

You can easily leave the Roomba on the dining table for cleaning and it cleverly traces the edges of the table and prevents itself from falling down. This is an amazing feature and saves you a lot of time and energy. Since the Roomba is not tall and is round in size, it can easily crawl under the sofa and elevated cupboard clusters and clean the interiors — a task that takes a lot of time if done manually.

All on cloud

The app records Roomba’s activities, and creates a log that helps you schedule further cleanings and moppings, as you deem fit; the app will send you push notifications when the job is done. This also saves you some headache. Another area where Roomba excels is while picking up hair strands. Those who own pets will find the feature extremely useful since manual cleaning of pet hair/fur from sofas or even the floor is a painstakingly cumbersome process.

 

The Roomba works with virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, which makes it much easier for senior citizens and those who are otherwise tech-challenged to use the machine efficiently. The charging and parking station is not a design marvel, but it looks neat and does the job well. The Roomba understands when it is about to run out of power and returns to the station to recharge and resumes the job once it’s ready.

The machine empties on its own with an automatic dirt-disposal mechanism. This basically means, once the robot reaches back to its station, the waste compartment opens up automatically and the collected waste is thrown into a bag attached inside the dock. This process is fully automatic. The bin is washable.

That said, we feel Roomba has to work a lot towards making it an essential accessory for a typical Indian home given that our rooms tend to be littered with utensils, toys, books, papers, gadgets, footwear and similar stuff. Such hindrances clearly affect the performance of the machine and it will take a long time to clean a littered area.

If you have kids and toys at home, Roomba will have a tough time negotiating the particles or you will have to do a partial cleaning first and let the robot take over. But if you have a suitably clutter-free apartment or house, the Roomba i7+ is an ideal companion for you as it can save you precious time, money and energy.

Published on January 23, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor