Reid Carlberg

Connected Devices, salesforce.com & Other Adventures

Three Roomba Performance Tips and Two Trouble Spots

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As a cohabitant of two good sized dogs and a couple of kids, I am both thrilled and disgusted each and every time I empty my Roomba.  The initial, “Wow! Look at everything it picked up!” is inevitably followed by, “How could there be so much dirt?!”

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I have the Roomba 595 model they sell at Costco for $299 which my kid named “Bob.”  Totally worth it.  I’ve had to make a couple of small modifications to ensure everything works as I would like, so I thought I would share them.

First, make sure your cleaning area is Roomba friendly. Tuck cords and power strips away, ensure the things it might run into are stable enough to stay standing when hit and be sure there are Roomba-width access paths to the areas you want cleaned.  Bob has pulled down and broken my wife’s alarm clock and knocked down wooden gates that were leaning peacefully against a wall.  Not the end of the world.

Second, if you have black flooring, know ahead of time that the Roomba’s excellent and self-preserving edge detection will mistake these for edges and NOT clean them. If you tape small white pieces of paper over the edge detectors, you can mark danger zones with virtual walls. This way you don’t send your Roomba tumbling down the stairs and it cleans your black carpet.  Bob is much happier cleaning our black-edged dining room rug with these in place.

Third, schedule it to run every day. Yes, you could run it once a week or every couple of days, but a daily schedule is the best way to ensure it’s doing its job. I have noticed that Bob will occasionally lose its schedule. I don’t yet know why, but I assume it somehow used up too much of its battery.

Trouble Spots

Here are a couple of areas where Bob gets stuck.  I haven’t figured out a way to fix these. Also, the black flooring fix I mention above doesn’t play well with these troublespots.  The Roomba goes into a cycle of saying “please move the Roomba to a new location” that can only be fixed by removing the edge detector covers, which you’ll then need to reapply in order to get it to start cleaning your black flooring again.

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Those are my three tips. Hope they help you.

Questions, comments welcome. @ReidCarlberg

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