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IRobot Roomba 880 review? intelligent vacuum cleaner, additionally with the ability to control from the iPhone?

IRobot Roomba 880 review? intelligent vacuum cleaner, additionally with the ability to control from the iPhone?

We live in the time of the Internet of Things. More and more devices used at home are permanently connected to the Internet, they can start up on their own, report and relieve us of the activities that we had to do ourselves so far. An iRobot vacuum cleaner will do the cleaning.

It’s been almost three months since I became the tester of the new iRobot vacuum cleaner model – Roomba 880. During this time, I was able to discover the advantages of an autonomously working vacuum cleaner, but also its disadvantages. The most famous because of the internet is the bloodthirsty nature of the vacuum cleaner, which can attack its owner when he sleeps on the floor and swallow it almost completely, starting with the hair, as a 52-year-old Korean woman from Changwon recently found out.

But let’s be serious and focus on the facts.

What’s in the set?

This is the first iRobot smart vacuum cleaner I’ve tested, but not the first I’ve ever used. Not so long ago, I also had the opportunity to use a Samsung device – Navibot S. I mention it at this point because one of the features that I liked about it was a functional base station with a large waste container. When the vacuum cleaner fills the built-in small container during cleaning, it went to the base station, emptied its container on its own and returned to work.

In the case of Roomba 880 there is no such solution. And this is the first major disadvantage compared to that product. Although apparently Samsung also gave up this practical solution in its last vacuum cleaner (I received this information from iRobot when I mentioned this solution), I admit that it was in the iRobot 880; and sometimes I missed it.

In the set with it you will find a small docking station for charging the battery built into the vacuum cleaner, a remote control for manual control of the vacuum cleaner and two lanterns, thanks to which we can block the device’s way to the child’s room, where blocks are often lying on the ground. Another way to use the lantern is to warn the robot that there are stairs behind the line of its operation and it will hurt a lot as soon as it crosses it. In addition, the lantern can also extend the range of the robot’s work, as it may happen that it will not be able to find a room that is also to be cleaned. Then we start the appropriate mode on the lighthouse and the robot knows where else to enter. Inventive and practical. The set includes two such lanterns.

How Roomba works every day

A fairly small dirt container, which, as I mentioned, the robot cannot deposit anywhere on its own, can fill up in a few days. For some it is a problem, for others it is not. In the case of a traditional vacuum cleaner, nobody looks into the bag once a week to check whether it is full. Here you have to.

The upside is that Roomba doesn’t have any removable bags. The only element that can be used is the HEPA filter. So you can say that spending almost 3,000 zlotys on this equipment is fortunately the only cost that you will incur.

Roomba 880 has several language versions, including Polish. The vacuum cleaner can communicate in Polish in case of problems. It is very good that the manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner takes the Polish customer seriously. Plus for him.

The vacuum cleaner allows you to run three cleaning modes – spiral, along the walls and cross. The first is perfect when we get dirty in one place, for example the child has spilled chips or some other shortbread sweets on the carpet. By starting the spiral motion, the vacuum cleaner will move in one place collecting all the dirt from that place.

To clean the whole apartment, we use the mode along the walls or cross. The first one will explore the whole apartment first, moving along the walls and cleaning the whole house. However, in the case of cross movement, the device moves along crossing straight lines to clean the entire surface of the room.

In addition, while cleaning the Roomba, a lamp appears from time to time to inform you that a particularly large amount of dirt has been detected (the so-called Dirt Detect indicator). Then the vacuum cleaner will clean more intensively in this place, moving back and forth, as if we were doing it ourselves by vacuuming with a traditional vacuum cleaner.

How Roomba collects waste?

The vacuum cleaner can collect small and heavy dirt. Regardless of whether there is dust on the floor, dust cats, food particles, animal hair or lost hair of our other half, iRobot handles it perfectly. Litter is picked up in three ways – a triple brush that “digs” in. larger dirt from the nooks and crannies of the moving robot directly under it, rubber rollers that work great especially when we often have long hair or hair on the floor.

Even if they get caught in the roll, the vacuum cleaner can still work without any problems.

I remember that the Navibot cleaned very well until the hair got tangled in its role. They effectively eliminated the Samsung robot from further work. Here, one of the rollers has managed to collect a whole lock of hair, and the vacuum cleaner is still working. The third way is, of course, the most traditional one – inhalation.

From the contents of the waste bin, you can see that Roomba is very good at cleaning what accumulates on the surface of our floors, carpets and rugs. All right. Unfortunately, especially in the case of the latter, it is not always able to run on the carpet and vacuum it. If it is a compact, short-pile rug, no problem.

Unfortunately, if we have a Shagy carpet in a room? iRobot capitulates on the first try. The bristles are too thick and too long for him.

The vacuum cleaner not only has a problem with driving onto such a carpet, but also if we put it on it and start the spiral mode, it will also refuse to obey after a while.

Will Roomba 880 send a traditional vacuum cleaner to a well-deserved retirement?

Of course not. Automatic vacuum cleaners like the tested iRobot Roomba 880 are undeniably a great device that can support the perfect housewife, lazy student living alone or just an ordinary family who likes to have a clean. Unfortunately, it will not replace a traditional vacuum cleaner. When I read texts on the web in which bloggers write that they have completely given up the traditional vacuum cleaner, they write nonsense. It’s not possible. Roomba cannot drive into every nook and cranny, it will not remove cobwebs in the corners, it will not vacuum hard-to-reach places and of course, as I mentioned, it is laid out on long-haired carpets.

iRobot is the perfect device to keep your home clean every day. It will work in homes with small children (to maintain a high level of cleanliness) and pets. It will collect everyday, accumulating dust, hair and other dirt that appears on our floors. Unfortunately, it won’t retire traditional handheld vacuum cleaners.

Manually, from the remote control and from a smartphone

We can start cleaning in three ways. First, by manually pressing a large, massive button on the robot’s casing. Depending on how and what we press, the robot will select the appropriate cleaning mode. For details, please see the instruction manual.

We can also run the vacuum cleaner in the “lazy” mode, so without getting up from the couch. The remote control, which can be found in the set, is used for this. We can start cleaning with a remote control, configure cleaning plans, but we can also manually control its work. Something like a remote-controlled car. Useful when you need to clean up something after the automatic operation of the vacuum cleaner.

There is also a third option to start the vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, it is available as an option and is not officially offered by the manufacturer of this device. It is an additional module, plugged into Roomba’s diagnostic connector, located on the main panel of the housing, just below the plug. We connect the so-called RooWiFi to it. It is a tiny plate that adds wireless connection as part of the local WiFi network at home.

Thanks to this, we can control the operation of the vacuum cleaner from a smartphone and tablet with iOS, Android and even Windows Phone. This gives us the ability to run the device not only at home and seeing what is happening on the surface of our floors and carpets, but for example while sitting at work, when we get a phone call from our mother-in-law that she will pay us an unannounced visit. Thanks to this solution, at least the floors will be clean before it comes to us.

In addition to the ability to control from the position of the tablet and phone, RooWiFi allows you to integrate the vacuum cleaner with many alarm systems from a smart home. Among them is the Polish smart home system Fibaro, Crestron, HomeSeer and indigo. Such integration makes it possible to use the vacuum cleaner in home automation processes. It allows, for example, to make the cleaning calendar independent of the programmed days and hours, in favor of moments when there are no household members in the apartment or appropriate sensors detect an increased amount of dust. There are many possibilities of using RooWiFi in Roomba vacuum cleaner. The price is under $ 70 on http://roowifi.com and over $ 120 on ebay.com.

Is it worth buying the iRobot Roomba 880?

This question seems to be a rhetorical one, provided we have free resources to finance this purchase. Yes, the device is not the cheapest. However, if we do not care about the remote control or lanterns, because we have a small apartment and we prefer to control it using a smartphone and the mentioned RooWiFi module, you can choose the cheaper Roomba 870 model or one of the older models. Undoubtedly, the 880 is a device that is the result of experience gained by the iRobot company. Rubber rollers, instead of rollers, an increasingly better system of dirt detection and orientation in the apartment, are something worth paying for. We will save ourselves a lot of nerves and time for vacuuming and maintaining the vacuum cleaner. I really like this test Roomba and I am already wondering what to do here so that it can stay with me 😉