My floors are being cleaned as I write this post. No, not by a housekeeper. By a robot.
How did this Jetsons-like scenario come to be? Well, iRobot offered me the opportunity to try their new iRobot Braava floor mopping robot, and I jumped at the chance! See, there are few things I dislike more than doing household chores. Scrubbing toilets is the worst of them, but cleaning the floors is a close second.
Sure, pushing around a vacuum or a dry mop is easy enough, but the work quickly becomes tedious when you have to do it daily. You’d be surprised how quickly our hardwood floors get dirty with a toddler and dog at home — especially in the winter. The dog is the worst offender; he brings in dust and dirt from the backyard every time he goes outside to do his business. And when there’s snow on the ground, the floor in front of our backdoor quickly becomes a muddy mess.
The whole family was excited when the Braava arrived. Levi wanted to help JB put “the robot” together, and JB was curious to see if it would do a thorough job. After all, the Braava is a dry and damp mopping system, not a vacuum cleaner or floor washer (although iRobot makes those products, too.) It’s designed for quick cleaning hard surfaces.
We tested the automatic floor cleaner in Sweep mode, and it did a surprisingly good job of picking up dust, dirt, and hair, especially around the baseboard and at the bottom of the stairs. It did miss one dust bunny underneath the media cabinet, but I’ll let that one slide (just this once!).
As expected, the dog wasn’t too thrilled with the Braava. He attempted to approach it while it was moving, barked once or twice, and then (in typical Briscoe fashion), ignored it while it swept.
Levi, on the other hand, was unexpectedly afraid of the “monster vacuum” (his words) when it was in motion. He begged me to turn it off, so I hit the pause button (a very cool feature) and let the Braava finish its job during Levi’s nap. Unlike a vacuum, the Braava quietly hums along as it works, so it’s not at all disruptive.
* It uses either disposable cleaning cloths, including Swiffer brand, or Braava’s specially designed reusable microfiber cloths.
* When Braava is done cleaning, it returns to the place where it started and powers down automatically.
* Braava works on all hard surface floors including tile, vinyl, hardwood and laminate.
* The robot retains a map of its cleaning space so that you can replace the cleaning cloth mid-cycle and it won’t miss a spot.
* The NorthStar Navigation System works like an indoor GPS that helps Braava keep track of where it has been and where it needs to go.
* Smarts sensors, including cliff-detection sensors, help Braava avoid stairs, area rugs and raised transitions to carpets.
If you hate cleaning as much as I do, you may want to put a Braava on your holiday wishlist. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start running the robot every night after Levi goes to sleep. Clean floors every day? What a novelty!
Learn more about the iRobot Braava here.