The Roomba needs charging..." whines the 13.9 inch-diametred with a 3.6 inch height robot as we switch it on. The next half hour is spent searching the manual for instructions on charging.
Turns out, the answer is much simpler. The dock unit that’s been provided with the package needs to be connected to a plug point (note to self: pay attention to product demo). This done, we decide to hit the bed. The Roomba needs a good night’s charging, as do we.
The Roomba needs a good night’s charging, as do we. At 3 am, perhaps once it’s charged, the Roomba starts. It whirs around the room and startles us awake. It’s switched off.
The test begins in the morning. A green light indicates the Roomba no longer needs charging and is ready to suck up the dirt on your floor (it doesn’t, mind you, like water. So, keep it away from wet surfaces — this can be easily done by placing a ‘lighthouse’ which acts as a sensor letting the Roomba know where its boundaries lie).
But, once you get past the initial hiccups, the Roomba proves to be our aid in detestable household work. The R49,900 vaccum cleaner goes under the bed, in the corners under the cupboard that you can’t reach without risking a slip-disc and sucks in so much hair that you wonder if you should set up an appointment with a trichologist. And, all this while you are enjoying your morning cuppa over the country’s latest political disasters.
While we were promised that one could even schedule a clean-up at any time convenient, we tried doing that but it remained lifeless. Maybe something else in the demo we missed?
Its sensors ensure that it doesn’t run over your feet, or topple over that nice little candle-stand you bought at the flea market. And its whirring sound makes the pet both curious and scared. Shoot a video while you’re at it. If your pet is a cat it could help you win a video contest that’s listed on this page.