Back in the old days, as they say, people only had the option of physically pushing their vacuum cleaners around the floor using a handle. The concept of robotic vacuum cleaners is nothing new; Googling their history, I was surprised to find out from Wikipedia that a robotic cleaner was first visualized as long ago as 1899, and in 1969, there was an episode of an old British TV series, The Avengers, in which a character actually mentioned seeing a robot vacuum cleaner that could plug itself in and recharge itself.
Anyway, since 2002, robotic vacuum cleaners have become science fact, not fiction. iRobot, as it happens, was the very first company to produce one, the original Roomba. Other manufacturers, such as Electrolux, soon got in on the market.
Let’s have a look at one of the latest robotic vacuum cleaners to come onto the market, the iRobot Roomba i3+ EVO. This manufacturer has produced a number of different models since 2002, and their latest model has a number of interesting features.
So, what does the Roomba i3+ EVO offer?
It is the latest in the line of iRobot models that can empty its own dirt container, but it is less expensive than previous models that possessed this feature;
The charging unit activates a suction mode to empty the vacuum’s dirt container into a bag when it returns to the unit and docks;
The bags for the charging unit have four layers to seal in particles, good if the user has any allergies or conditions such as asthma. Two bags are initially supplied, but you have to purchase any further bags that you may need;
The charging unit is larger than usual, but its large bags enable it to hold up to sixty days’ worth of average vacuumed dirt;
It is able to recognize different rooms in your home and program itself to clean them in the best way;
You can voice control the vacuum with Alexa and other virtual assistant applications;
It’s a clever little cleaner, it goes back to its charger when its battery is running down, and if it needs a recharge in the middle of a job, it can find its way back to the location it had been cleaning;
You can download an app for Android or iPhone that enables you to program in start and stop times, create a map of your home, create room cleaning schedules, see a history of completed jobs, co-ordinate with smart locks or automatic door closers, and the app, according to James Brains of Insider, reminds you to empty the dust bag in the charger when it is full;
The underside of the vacuum has double rubber rollers instead of roller brushes, this prevents hair from getting entangled in the
It is able to thoroughly clean concentrated areas of dirt, using a sensor that tells it;
It can work for up to one and a half hours before needing to return to its charger.
Related Post: Shark AV2511AE vs Roomba i3+
Who should buy it
First and foremost, I would recommend this particular model to anyone who is looking for a self-emptying robotic cleaner at a reasonable price. It costs only half as much as iRobots’ previous self-emptying models;
It is an especially good buy for anyone with dust allergies, and apart from having to stoop or bend to operate the three buttons on top of the vacuum, it would be good for people with mobility issues;
Very useful for anyone who has a busy schedule, especially for people working at home, of which there have been ever growing numbers since the pandemic and the lockdowns of 2020. From one part of your house, you can communicate with your colleagues and clients in remote offices and businesses while the vacuum gets on with cleaning the floors in another part of your house;
As we all know, very small children are naturally curious, particularly about a device like this, moving around on its own, apparently by magic, and they may be tempted to turn it over, investigate it or put inquisitive fingers into the spinning rollers, resulting in harm to them or damage to the device. Well, parents of babies or very small children will be happy to know that the software controlling the vacuum includes a locking mechanism that protects inquisitive children, and inquisitive pets, from any harm.
Any social proof (what do people say on Social Media /Facebook or reddit for example)
Canadian based Erin Lawrence is almost entirely positive, the only two issues she has are that the round cleaner has more difficulty getting into tight corners than the d-shaped models, and that it is as loud as an upright vacuum when self-empting its dust container.
There are lots of adverts for the sale of this model on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, but not much in the way of comments on its actual performance. There are a couple of amusing adverts for used models, in one, a solicitor writes that she is selling it “because my daughter is terrified of it, lol”.
There are lots of comments about it on customer review sites, e.g. the majority of them positive.
James Brains, writing for Insider, describes this robot vacuum cleaner as “…the best one you can buy”.
Robert Tigchelaar of vacuumtester.com has a lot of praise for it, giving it high ratings for suction power, ease of use and maintenance.
We don’t have a robotic vacuum cleaner and have no intention of getting one in the foreseeable future; I live alone in a small flat, and prefer the old fashioned hand held vacuum cleaner.
We can see how this robotic vacuum cleaner can be very useful for a large family house, for someone working from home, for an elderly person or one with limited mobility, or for busy stay at home parents, or single parents; just program it, and it cleans your floors for you.
The iRobot Roomba i3 EVO, from what I have read and all accounts that I have found, is one of the best available models for its price.
It is hard to find any accounts on social media, Facebook, etc. about the performance of the vacuum, but there are numerous good accounts of its performance on review sites.
Time and time again, users seem to be most delighted with its self-emptying feature, one reviewer, Andy Shaw of Expert Reviews, wrote that compared to other self-emptying robot vacuums, the performance of this model was “almost faultless”.
The other positive most frequently mentioned was fact that the vacuum cleans both soft and hard floors, carpet, laminate, vinyl and wood, equally well.
Users and reviewers wrote that it is easy to set up once unboxed. It simply needed to be plugged in, charged for about three hours and then dispatched on its first job by pressing its Vacuum Everywhere button.
Amongst the few negative comments that we came across, there were concerns about the bags not being reusable, and a tendency for the vacuum to scrape skirting and the lower parts of furniture.
A final very interesting thing I have noticed in researching for this article, people humanize and personalize this robotic vacuum cleaner in a manner that I have not encountered before with any kind of technological item. I have come across several reviewers who affectionately refer to their robotic vacuums in third person as “she” or “he”.
One Amazon customer, Robert, wrote a lengthy review, dated 30th June 2021, opening his second, long paragraph with: “The first one I got is the little guy”, whom he calls “Finegan.” He then goes on to write at the beginning of his third paragraph: “The i3 is Dixie. Dixie does the downstairs. Dixie is smart. She goes in straight lines and covers the entire space…”.
I think I can understand why owners do this, I can visualize this little floor cleaning robot doing its work, making its own mind up where to go, and returning to its charger as almost seeming like a living thing, and one that you can get particularly fond of because it performs a useful, labor-saving task.