roomba AI

hi there,

was considering to get a roomba but from this clip (flash link below) on their site it appears that the robots movement is similar to a bump n go battery powered toy car,totally random movements.

it says it covers a given area in a room on *average* 4 times.thats like a car which drives forward then backward and covers the distance to work 4 times just to get you to the offic in the morning.mileage x


Why wouldnt they choose to make it clean the room in a systematic fashion? thx

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Cleans whole floor

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So you would be willing to spend 5-10 thousand for the cleaner including a system that would give it fraction of an inch knowledge of where it is in your house and require you to update an equivalently accurate drawing of your house every time you move a chair?

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B Fuhrmann

It is not completely random. Roomba makes a crude map of the room as it is cleaning, but does not cover the room in what would appear to be an organized manner, however there is a method in the madness. If you are questioning the effectiveness, I can attest, Irobot knows what they are doing. Roombas work great. We have three and they clean better than most uprights (Dyson included), without the work. However if you do want a robot vacuum that cleans in a systematic manner, maintains a mental map of the home and location of its charger, cleans as much as it can and then recharges and goes back to where it left off and then continues to clean until the entire house has been vacuumed, then check in to the Electrolux robot vacuum. However be prepared for some serious sticker shock (about 10X) if compared to a Roomba.

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The old rule applies: Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two.

The roomba manages to do a pretty good job for a reasonable price.

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Bill Kearney

Apples and oranges. You want to get to work as fast as possible. You want the floor as clean as possible. Two very different goals. iRobot's choice to cover an area more than once accounts for people saying "it finds loads of dirt when cleaning areas that have just been cleaned by traditional vacuuming." The movements are not random. There are several algorithms used depending on the model, but most do a "perimeter run" to assess the total size of the area to be cleaned and when completed, they begin to clean a room section by section. They spend more time in areas where dirt is detected by the onboard dirt sensor.

To be thorough and to account for the fact that a robot, unlike a human, can't "see" which areas need more attention than others. Covering the same spot more than once (especially from different directions) makes the Roombas clean far more completely than a human with a vacuum can. There's also the issue of the sidebrush, a rotating "whisker" the propels stuff from corners that the Roomba's circular design makes hard to reach. To be sure the Roomba catches the newly relocated "corner dirt" it has to pass over an area multiple times.

-- Bobby G.

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