Friday, December 29, 2006

All is Not Happy in Roomba-land

You're supposed to clean your Roomba every three days.

(They do not mention this in the promotional materials.)

But after every three uses, you're supposed to dump the bin, remove the brushes, clean the brushes, take the ends off the brushes, remove whatever has wrapped itself around the ends of the brushes, give the whole thing a once-over, and slap it all back together.

The advantage of the "Easy Clean Brush" that comes in the Roomba For Pets model is becoming more and more apparent.

ANYWAY, I have two kinds of carpet in my place.  The "good stuff" -- which is the green carpet in my bedroom (which I bought a number of years ago) and the, er, "less good stuff" -- which is the beige carpet everywhere else (which I bought a couple of months ago, with the intent of selling the place).  Now, the good stuff is what I really have to clean each morning, because Jasmine's litter box is inside the master bathroom and she trails litter all over the green carpet.  (And if any of it happens to get out to the beige carpet, well, it's beige.)

Two days ago, I figure I might as well Roomba the second bedroom/office.  It's been a while since it has been vacuumed, so I thought I'd let Roomba at it.

This was the first time Roomba malfunctioned.  He made an "uh-oh" beep and then made five more beeps.  I checked this against the manual -- it meant something was blocking his "cliff sensors."  It appears that the cheaper carpet sheds fuzz and (continuing with the whole anthropomorphizing of the Roomba) it appears that Roomba got some of it up his nose.  So, I cleaned the sensor and sent Roomba back on his merry way.

A few minutes later, I caught him, um... there's no way to put this delicately.  You know the track the closet door slides on?  He was humping it.  I kid you not.  He'd apparently gotten one of his wheels caught in there, but rather than beep out for assistance, he just sat there rocking back and forth, with his little disc-shaped body rising and falling against the track.  He finally got himself out of there, and I couldn't help asking, "Was it good for you?"

That was two days ago.  I've been running him just in the bedroom since.  This morning was day three of the three-day cleaning cycle, so I figured I'd clean him out after work tonight.  As per usual, I set him to cleaning the bedroom while I showered and got ready for work.

When I got out of the shower, I found him sitting in the middle of the carpeted section of my bathroom.  Not cleaning, just sitting.  And all around him -- maybe a dozen pieces of carpet fuzz from the beige carpet.  I don't know if he farted them out or what -- but he clearly must have noticed he was making the carpet dirtier rather than cleaner, seeing as he stopped on his own and just sat there waiting for instruction.

So I hauled him into the kitchen (near the trash), flipped him over, and did a superficial cleaning.  His brushes were COATED with beige carpet fuzz.  And when I took one of the brushes out the clean it, the little end cap piece fell off.  Into the trash.

So, here's me -- upside-down Roomba balanced on my kitchen counter (dropping litter all over it), shirt covered in carpet fuzz, going digging through my trash to find a tiny little yellow cap so I can put my Roomba back together.

And this is supposed to be a great big time-saver.


lanurseprn said...

LOL I would just run the vacuum!!  I almost bought one of those....

hewasolddog299 said...

I can forgive you the old jeans and holey shorts, but you owe me a new desk chair ... I "platzed" when I read about your Roomba humping the closet door!

Ah, the joys of being an early adopter!

Happy New Year -- may 2007 be all you hope and more.