Thread Number: 43707  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
iRobot Roomba 960 curbside find
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Post# 456250   8/27/2022 at 20:24 (544 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

On my routine weekend-morning e-bike ride today, I had found a few boxes set out early for bulk trash pickup in a wealthy neighborhood. As a scavenger, I had to see what was there.
There were some very nice crystal bowls (still wrapped and with tags) and vases, so I planned to get them on the way home to take to my friend's thrift store.
After grabbing the glassware, I rummaged through the box more and found a robot vacuum. It was the first robot vacuum I had found in the trash and I had always wanted to take one 'to bits' to see how they were built. So, I took it also.

When I got it home I found it to be hardly used and in very good shape. Best yet it is only 5 years old or so - perhaps too nice to destroy...
During initial inspection, I found a paper towel jammed in it, which is probably the reason for it being tossed. Common thing I see. If a vac gets clogged and 'won't pick up', it gets trashed. Stupidity of people nowadays has no bounds...

I simply pulled the towel out - it was not wrapped up or anything. It was a clean one, too, thank goodness.
It had no ill smells, no evidence of pets, and very low hours. It is in A+ cosmetic shape. It looked like it was stored in the garage - more dust on the exterior than the interior...
So after a quick cleanup, I charged it for 30 minutes. I then decided to see what it would do, so I hit the GO button.
It cleaned the patio surprisingly well. It got the small leaves, avoiding obstacles, cords, and some large stones. I was laughing it up watching this thing go.

I took it inside and gave it a very good cleaning and some routine maintenance per the manual. I wanted to see what it would do in the kitchen so I gave it a go.

The good...
It seemed to have a back-and-forth pattern planned out from the start, rather than just a random wander. This thing has a mapping camera, so I bet it would improve once it learns the house layout.
It did NOT - repeat did NOT - require the internet or a stupid app to run it! You can get one to play with it from your phone, but I was impressed it worked without. There are a few small features that the app can add, but none crucial to operation.
It was well designed for ease of use and cleaning. Removable battery was a big plus.
Seemed to have decent build quality.
Getting around was very good with its multitude of sensors. It even slowed down before bumping into something.
Battery charged fast; it is a 14.4V 1800mAH lithium.
Finding home base was always easy, even when I moved it when it was out cleaning.
It did a good job at shredding up some lost junk mail it found. Despite it sounding like a machine gun and reversing a few times, it came through. I did need to unwrap it from the rollers though. Almost jam-proof!

The bad...
Pickup was not great. Some debris was simply moved around. One small section of the room was avoided, but it might have got it next time.
The fan is actually in the removable tiny dust bin, and it is only 3/4" in diameter. My hair dryer motor is huge compared to the motor in this thing.
There are no brushes other than the side spinner, so only loose dust will be picked up.
It took about 15 minutes to do my kitchen, where I could have done it better in 5 with the Kirby.
Noise is objectionable also, especially when it takes so long to clean.

In conclusion, I see these as fun novelties. I did enjoy watching it, and laughed a lot when it get lost and nearly choked on the junk mail.
It would not save me any time, as I would prefer to watch it (and criticize it as well).
It would probably do okay at just keeping a small and clutter-free place tidy day-for-day. You would still need a real vacuum to deep clean as needed.
I did not try it on carpet so not sure how well it would do on that. Only light surface debris would get picked up though.

Anyway, this was my weekend's entertainment. I cannot use it as my house has too much stuff for it to work properly.
For a quick deep clean, I will get out the Kirby.
Perhaps this could be a basis for a new battle-bot, lol...

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Post# 456254 , Reply# 1   8/28/2022 at 00:09 (544 days old) by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Nice find! I would never use this to keep my house clean because it simply can not. They work on placebo effect more than battery power lol .

But I always messed around with R/C cars and other stuff so for me these are fascinating in that aspect in how they maneuver around and mess about.

I have not seen this model with no brushes, I'm wondering if it's a wet pickup or hard floor model. I think it is actually fairly recent.

The newer models I admit I was impressed at how well they got themselves unstuck out of a corner, and some of them are pretty fast as well.

There's also a risk of a tripping hazard with this too unless your house is so huge.

Post# 456257 , Reply# 2   8/28/2022 at 01:03 (544 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Nice find-the price was right! The fan in that "vacuum" is like on an upright.So surprized it was thrown out.

Post# 456305 , Reply# 3   8/29/2022 at 11:11 (543 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

This thing does 'okay' of keeping the worst of the light stuff cleaned up on hard floors.
However, the prep work of removing obstacles and setting up barriers, as well as the noise does not make this anything I would have a use for. For play, maybe. For real cleaning, no.
I just have too much stuff. For a minimalist in a small hard-floored apartment, it may do well (if the noise is tolerable).

This is not rated for wet pickup, but if it did get into such stuff, cleaning it would not be too nasty to clean up. The idea of the rubber nubs instead of brushes was supposed to reduce the amount of wrapped up hair. And after cleaning this thing up, I did not see much wound up hair. My last girlfriend shed enough to give my Kirby a hairball. She would have stalled this robot the first day if it had real brushes...

I was quite impressed on how well it got around and made its way out of difficult areas. Slowly but surely...
Case in point, it went under a console stereo (half surrounded with boxes for donation) and the breakfast table and chairs. There were cords, boxes, shoes, and forgotten debris and stuff (this is were it found the junk mail). I was not about to go move stuff around in attempt to rescue it so it was on its own. It eventually made its way out, narrowly escaping a large forgotten insect glue trap (which could have had it back out at the curb).

Sure the price was right, but just enough to play with it a bit. I will likely sell it off if my sister does not want it.
The fan was as big around as my thumb, so not much cleaning power. Most of the power it uses is for self-propulsion and on-board processing.

I still cannot believe it was tossed, given the price these cost and the fact the 'fix' was too easy and it looks hardly used. Even now they are still selling for around 300 bucks (yikes!)

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