I can haz robot

I’m pretty late to the party because I know a number of people that have had these for a few years now, but after seeing a newer model in action that a friend got for Christmas, I decided to check out the iRobot Roomba 540 vacuuming robot which is apparently a model unique to Costco:

iRobot Roomba 540 from John Biehler on Vimeo.

Of course, I had to name him “R2” although he kinda looks like the Millennium Falcon.

I was a little skeptical about how well he would work but he did a pretty amazing job of cleaning up the dust bunnies in all corners of my main floor (kitchen, living and dining rooms). Considering the floor was just cleaned, we were surprised how much crud he picked up. His dirt hopper was full. He had no trouble navigating the transitions between the hardwood, rug and tile flooring.
Stop, humanoid!
I had asked a friend how good they clean and his comment was that using them is better than not cleaning at all (um, guilty) and if done regularly they do a great job of cleaning up the floor. It’s easily half as noisy as our upright vacuum and is kind of entertaining to watch it work which is better than lugging the upright around or constantly swiffering the floor.

He didn’t commit robot suicide on the stairs so he must like his new home.


  1. VancityAllie says:

    I really, really want one of these. Thanks for posting a review on this. I’ve been wondering how well they do.

  2. chris says:

    I can picture it the first time it misses an entire room: “The robot. Bring me the robot.”

    Also, the sound it makes when it docks is teh best.

  3. Nice! We’ve (or at least I’ve) been considering one of these for the main floor of our house. With two cats and a dog, you can imagine the hair that is constantly visible on the hardwood. I’m still skeptical about how well it would do with that amount of hair though…

  4. Hmmm…Costco.ca has the 565 – not the 540, wonder what the difference is (he says without actually doing any research)

    costco.ca link

  5. John says:

    Kevin: the 540 seems to only be available in stores. The 565 they have is a bit more pricey but it comes with a few more features. Primarily it has a second ‘virtual lighthouse’ which is a little device the size of a beer can that you set up to tell the robot either where a room ends (so it cleans one first then moves onto the second) or acts as a virtual fence to contain the robot in a specific room. The 565 also has a scheduling feature that lets you set up cleaning times for automated cleaning.

    Dell.ca had a deal on the 510 (no docking station) for $199…not sure if it’s still on. The extra accessories can be purchased separately from iRobot.com directly.

    I debated on getting that one but wanted to be able to return it quickly to a local store if it didn’t live up to my expectations….so far, R2 isn’t going back.

  6. Danny Danng says:

    The little tune when it docks is awesome!

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