Robot vacuum cleaner revew: iRobot Roomba 880

Robot vacuum cleaner revew: iRobot Roomba 880
The Roomba 880 does a good job of navigating around the house and despite having a sweeping brush, we found that it seldom got stuck in light rungs or wires.

iRobot is one of the pioneers of robotic vacuum cleaners and their latest Roomba 880 is their most advanced one yet, featuring their new AeroForce cleaning system and the latest iteration of their iAdapt Responsive Navigation technology.

The new AeroForce cleaning system uses specially designed rubber extractors that create a vacuum and amplifies the suction power of the device. That aside, unlike traditional brush and bristle cleaning heads, these extractors are also designed to reduce tangling, especially with fur from pets.

Strong suction aside, navigation is equally important and iRobot's latest iAdapt Response Navigation technology uses a combination of sensors, navigation and cleaning algorithms to ensure the house is clean. 

According to iRobot, this new navigation technology is able to constantly learn its surroundings and calculate up to 60 times per second to fi nd the most efficient way to clean the house.

Unfortunately, the Roomba 880 is down on cleaning modes when compared to its competitors as it only offers "Clean" and "Spot" modes. "Spot" forces the Roomba 880 to focus on a single spot, whereas "Clean" sets the device off on its own to clean the area using its iAdapt Response Navigation technology as best as it sees fit.

Thankfully, the Roomba 880 does a good job of navigating around the house and despite having a sweeping brush, we found that it seldom got stuck in light rungs or wires.

This is because the device is clever enough to rotate its sweeping brush in the opposite direction should it detect that it is getting tangled. It was also clever enough to avoid getting stuck under tables and on low-lying obstacles.

However, the Roomba 880 does not completely avoid contact with obstructions, but instead slows down upon approaching them and gently bumps into them to clean as close as possible and to see if they are an impassable barrier or a soft barrier like curtains or sofa skirts for example.

iRobot provides two virtual wall lighthouses, which can be used in two ways. It can be used to generate a virtual barrier so that the Roomba 880 will not pass and it can also be used as a lighthouse.

In this mode, the Roomba 880 will be contained in a room until it is completely vacuumed before proceeding to the next. The device will then act as a beacon to guide the Roomba 880 back to its charging station when it is either done or low on battery.

Cleaning performance is respectable and the Roomba 880 does a good job of picking up dust and debris. It can even tell where an area is especially dirty using acoustic sensors within the device and then makes multiple passes to ensure the area is thoroughly cleaned.

Maintenance is also kept to a minimum thanks to its tangle-free extractors, which reduces the chance of dust, hair and pet fur tangling.

AT A GLANCE

Navigation: Sensors
Size: 35 x 9.1cm
Weight: 3.8kg
Price: $1,298

Reviews

Read our reviews of the following robotic vacuum cleaners here:

» Aztech VC2000
» Iclebo Arte
» iRobot Roomba 880
» LG Hom-Bot Square
» Neato XV Signature Pro
» Samsung Navibot Corner Clean VR10F71


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