Dumb, dirty and dangerous – no we are not speaking of anyone's spouse in particular or in general. In fact it is the 3 criteria that catapulted the success story of iRobot products. The iRobot Corporation deals in pocket sized devices that help in cleaning homes and industrial areas. These robots are automated vacuum cleaners that will do your maid's job without the complaining or the added expense to your monthly budget.
iRobot Corporation has introduced many models of fully automatic vacuum cleaners that resemble Lp records.
Roomba the vacuum cleaner
The Roomba vacuum cleans three rooms in a single charge. Sounds good, there's more to where that came from. Roomba has a timer to wake it up to start cleaning. Unlike your maid, Roomba does not need any guidance. It will just hover around the entire house noiselessly and clean it up for you. The best feature is its return to the charging dock to charge. It is as if it feeds itself and goes to work again. Once the charging has been finished, Roomba quietly returns to the cleaning and mind you unlike humans it does not forget where it left off. Roomba has a virtual lighthouse for every room which helps it set a barrier for the room. The device will move to the next room only after the dusting for the entire room is over. The Roomba is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that powers its guidance mechanism ensuring that the device slows down when it reaches and obstacle and still is able to clean below cabinets, sofas and tables. Another notable feature is the rotating brushes which facilitate edge cleaning. The device is a trifle expensive but the technology, the design and the effectiveness of the product justifies the expense.
Scooba the floor washer
The Scooba is another fantastic product of iRobot Corporation which helps wash the floor in any household. So forget all the bending, the mopping and the back pains. The Scooba is loaded with Scooba juice, a non-bleach cleaning agent manufactured by the Clorox Company. The Scooba first prepares the floor by vacuum cleaning it and picking up any loose debris, dirt and sand in the process. It then squirts the cleaning solution, cloth strips located at the bottom then scrub the floor and the dirty solution is then sucked away, leaving the floor nearly dry and sparkling clean. Scooba works well on most hard surface floors like hardwood and ceramic but is not suitable for rugs and carpets and the stairs. A single tank of the cleaning agent cleans a 200 square foot area.
Dirt Dog Bagless Robotic Vacuum
No unfortunately you cannot use this to clean your dogs! But you sure can have spotlessly clean workshops, garages and homes. The Dirt Dog picks up nails, sawdust and other such debris generally found in workshop floors, garages and work zones. You can use this to clean the porches, basements and decks which other vacuum cleaners may not be effective on. Although it is pocket sized like Roomba and Scooba, Dirt Dog has an oversized bagless debris bin that is nearly 40% bigger than Roomba's. The 2 counter rotating bristle brushes the robot is equipped with rotate at a speed of 1000 rpm picking up even the heaviest of debris like wood chips and scraps with great ease. This robot can be used on hard floors, industrial surfaces and shop carpets.
This is probably the longest of all iRobot products but then the service it is meant for requires the length. Looj is used to clean debris stuck inside gutters like dried leaves, pine needles and twigs. The Looj is equipped with long treads on the sides which help it move through the gutter tube. There is also an auger fixed in the front which spins at 500 rpm dislodging debris from the gutter as it moves along. The debris from the gutter is sent flinging into the air cleaning up the block. The device comes with a detachable remote handle with which the user can stand at one place and guide the Looj through the entire length of the gutter without even climbing down the ladder. Looj moves in both forward as well as backward directions. Being waterproof, the Looj can be conveniently washed after its job is done and stored away in the garage. Feed the Looj with a 7.2V Nickel Cadmium rechargeable battery and work for 30 to 45 minutes in a single stretch. However unlike its brothers the Roomba and Scooba, Looj needs to be remote controlled and will not work on its own.
Incidentally Looj was designed and produced by the company's senior electrical engineer Jim Lynch. What first started as a prototype with an electric screwdriver and a spaghetti ladle for the company's “idea bake-off” event which allows employees to put forth ideas of new products, the company bosses Okayed the design in the first instance and put it through for designing and production almost immediately.
The success of iRobot products lie not only on the innovativeness of the products but also the encouragement they provide to new innovations both inside and outside the company.