Roomba iRobot 780 – one bad-ass vacuum!
by Troy Saxton-Getty
The dropSKIP team recently got its hands on Roomba 780 autonomous vacuum.
This is one of the coolest gadgets we have ever tested…
We have to admit we had our doubts about this little guy… But after a few months of regular testing and actual in the real world use, this is one we have to highly recommend.
We have no previous experience with Roomba products, we can’t speak to the lower end models but the model 780 is over the top amazing! We did go out of our way to get the latest and best model and we are very glad we finally got our hands on it.
Testing the Roomba iRobot 780 is really quite fun, you find yourself following it around for hours, first trying to figure out the logic and patterns it runs, how it works and it’s so different that you almost think this little guy is alive.
A genuine work horse vacuum, very thorough, and darn near flawless in it’s execution, regardless of the size of the house or apt.
In our testing we used the unit for nearly two months in a 3 bedroom apt with a combination of hardwood, plush rugs and tile bathrooms as well as a 3500 sq ft house with a multitude of floor types- tile, hardwood, distressed wood, deep shag, and throw rugs.
The Roomba works as advertised, it picks up very effectively, it is built well, the design is everything you would expect from a company such as Apple or BMW. Simple concepts that work well – button placement, dirt tray removal for example is just a simple squeeze of the front of the unit, it comes out, opens and empties into the trash very easily and is a snap to replace.
It has two replaceable filters in the dirt tray, quick release dual brushes, making it simple to remove long hair, thread or other material wrapped around them.
A built-in clock makes scheduling a snap, you can program a regular cleaning schedule, one touch instant cleaning, and a spot cleaning mode where you can drop it on a spot or specific area and it will intensely work the location.
We only found a few challenges for the Roomba, exposed wires or window shade cords laying on the floor will tangle it up, it will give an audible alert and stop and wait for human intervention so you don’t have to worry about it burning itself out or damaging the motor. The Roomba will spend a few minutes trying different things to free itself and if it can’t it will announce in a woman’s digital voice, “Error” and also give some specifics about the problem. (it’s a girl?)
Outside of these types of obvious Roomba traps, the unit glides around the many surface types, cleans and effectively covers large or small areas.
In the general clean mode, or when the battery discharge reaches a certain point, the Roomba will switch into DOCK mode and attempt to find it’s way back to the charging base station. It will then back itself up onto the charging pad and start recharging. In the box we noticed some additional beacon units which we are assuming are for larger homes to improve the Roomba’s ability to get back to the charging station more quickly.
It is interesting watching Roomba’s search and mapping progress, it really is pretty impressive. For example, around complex situations, like a dining room table and chairs it will methodically work to clean under each chair but also it tries not to cover the same area twice. It does have some overlap here and there but it is very efficient on its path choices.
As a long time Dyson fan, I am every bit as impressed with the Roomba 780, We highly recommend it as a worry free robot and vacuum, it really works well.