Aunty Mimi got a Roomba from Costco. Pal Cookie also got a Roomba from Costco around Christmas time with a $50 off coupon special.
Big deal – how good can it be, right?
Well, according to them, it is wonderful. Their floors are always clean. The little feeler whisker spinners clean around table legs and furniture. It is cute and goes back to its “dock” when it needs to recharge. It just keeps on working and it transitions over rugs, hard floors, and can sense and avoid stairway drops. Blah blah blah blah, Aunty kept hearing it over and over in her head and then decided to get one from Costco.com ($359 + $17.32 tax + $17.52 shipping) because it was not available at the Hawaii Kai Costco last week.
Aunty was able to redeem several Costco cash cards while ordering online, so the final cost was quite low.
It arrived today via UPS, and Aunty read the easy startup instructions, plugged in the docking station and the Roomba beeped and rocked into its charging/resting place. Instructions said to charge overnight but as soon as the battery light on the Roomba was green, Aunty pressed “CLEAN” and the Roomba took off.
It is almost like having your own R2D2 or that other robot in Star Wars, except that the Roomba is really short, works non-stop, and looks like a flat sided flying saucer. It was fascinating to watch as it would gently bump into stuff (Aunty has a lot of stuff) and then try again from a different angle, then take off in a seemingly random pattern. When it would get stuck, a woman’s voice would say, “error 5, clean side wheels” or something like that.
Turning it upside down like a big turtle exposed the dust bin, which got full quite quickly. It took a while to figure out how to remove, open, and clear the bin, but after the 2nd time, Aunty was a pro. Right side up and bin back in place, Roomba was ready to rock and roll again.
Aunty became it’s assistant, moving chairs, boxes, rubbish cans, bags, etc. out of its way so that it could go where no vacuum went before. Because it was so short (about 4″) it could go under shelves, couches and beds, Oh My! and Aunty would follow it around on arms and knees to watch joyfully as it sucked up old dust and debris in hard to reach and see places.
Aunty’s bed became the depository that held a lot of the piles of stuff on the bedroom floor – making it a must-do-something crisis later this evening. Not to worry, Aunty can handle or will just pile the stuff back on the floor again before sleep time, the same for all the stuff that was piled on couches and chairs in the parlor.
Cleaning became like a tag team and even though it was a bit of a physical workout moving things around so that Roomba could pass and clean, it was fun and so worth doing. As Roomba began to deplete battery power, “Dock” would flash. Aunty gently carried it to the room where the docking station was plugged in (under the couch), did a final cleaning of the dust bin, filter, and brushes, and then pressed “Dock” as Roomba slowly sashayed and rocked into place for recharging, with a little tone beeping melody.
According to the manual, Roomba would have gone back to the charging station automatically when it needed to, but Aunty wanted to help it home.
Aunty is usually not demonstrative in showing affection, but after the initial cleaning session with Roomba, Aunty had to say, “I love you, Roomba!” I really do.