Our family has owned a lot of different vacuum cleaners over the years – everything from your standard stand-up vacuum cleaner to a full home central vac system and of course the shop vac for outdoors. These have all served us well, but the one thing they all have in common is that you are still required to do all of the work. In recent years there’s been a revolution in vacuum cleaner technology with the introduction of robot vacuums. With these little babies you can simply program them for your rooms and let them do their thing while you sit back and watch TV. One of the biggest names in this product category is iRobot and they have a great introductory model called the iRobot Roomba 650.

This robo vacuum is not cheap by any means, but at a price well under $400 it’s affordable for most households. I think most of us expect to spend at least a couple hundred dollars on a decent vacuum cleaner so this is definitely not a surprising price tag. It’s even more enticing when you consider how much easier it can make your life.

How Does It Know Where to Go?

The great thing about robot vacuum cleaners is that they do all the work for you and they do it effortlessly. I wanted to buy one of these for my parents, but they’ve been a little resistant as they just can’t wrap their heads around the fact that this little piece of technology knows how to navigate its way around the room.

That’s not an issue with the Roomba 650 as it has multiple sensors which guide it around your furniture and unexpected obstacles in its way. Not only does it see your furniture, but it has the ability to learn and adapt to its changing environment so even if you’re spouse suddenly decides they want to change the arrangement of the living room furniture this vacuum will keep on working without missing a beat.

3 Different Cleaning Modes

If you have pets or small children in your home your carpets and hardwood floors can become a mess in no time. Little dirt particles gather everywhere and, especially in the case of pets, it doesn’t take long for the hair to build up, creating an unsightly appearance in your home. This vacuum by iRobot uses 3 different cleaning modes to tackle all of these problems and many more. The system starts off with an agitation process, follows it up with the use of its brush system, and then finishes the process by suctioning your floor. By the time it’s finished, what you end up with is a much cleaner floor without ever having to lift a finger.

Clean Seven Days a Week

Another great feature of this robot vacuum is that it’s fully programmable. You can set the time and date for when you want it to fire up and start the cleaning process by programming it up to seven days in advance – you can even set to vacuum every day if you want. With this device cleaning your home really does become an automated process which will free up your time to do other things. Or if you prefer to set things in motion yourself each time you can simply press clean at any time to start the vacuum cleaner.

It Puts Itself Away

Not only does the iRobot Roomba 650 do the vacuuming automatically for you, it will also put itself away. Once the vacuuming is done this device is programmed to return to its base and begin charging in the automatic charging dock. I’ll be honest, the more I’ve looked into these devices the more I’ve begun to question why I’ve never took the plunge before. As far as my parents are concerned I think I’m just going to go ahead and bite the bullet, buy one for them, take it over there and let them see it in action.

Works on All Floors

If your home’s anything like mine it probably has more than one type of floor. On our main level we have areas that are carpeted, areas that are hardwood, and a kitchen that’s tiled. All of these surfaces are unique and require a different approach to cleaning, but this vacuum cleaner is actually programmed to adjust to different floor types, whether they’re carpet, tile, hardwood, or laminate.

Great for Getting under the Couch

One of the hardest things to do with a standard stand-up vacuum cleaner is to get all the way under the couch, and if you have pets that can mean a lot of hair built up underneath that you just can’t reach. This robot vacuum cleaner is only 3.6 inches tall, which means it can easily go right underneath your couch and reach every area of your home. Once you set it in motion it will pretty much get into every nook and cranny that you can think of and will actually leave your home much cleaner than it’s ever been. It’s also quite lightweight at 11.8 pounds, so if it does become stuck for any reason you can easily pick it up and point it in the right direction.

It’s Not Perfect

While this is a great product there are a couple of issues that some consumers have had with it. Some complain that it has difficulty with dark carpet, viewing it as a potential hazard and simply stopping rather than proceeding because it assumes it’s at the edge of a stair. Some have also complained that it doesn’t always recognize the edge of rooms and you have to set up temporary barriers to keep it contained, although there are quite a few others that dispute this.

Effortless Cleaning Sounds like a Great Idea

While the iRobot Roomba 650 may not be absolutely perfect, on the whole it does seem to make your life a lot easier and that sounds like a very interesting proposition. It’s great that you can program this vacuum for up to seven days in advance and that it will automatically return to the charging station when it’s done cleaning. It seems like great value for the money at a price under $400.