Roomba iRobot review. The future is here and it’s shit.

But we can’t help loving it

The wife, Mrs Gin (and please don’t write in saying that’s sexist, it isn’t), hates it. She thinks the Roomba has a foot fetish and goes straight for her toes every time it ‘senses’ them.

As an aside, the foot fetish is an odd fetish, isn’t it? We’ve never really ‘got’ it. Mrs Gin has lovely feet, as far as they go, but that’s the point, isn’t it? They don’t really go far, they’re not joined on to anything interesting. Perhaps the Victorians got themselves into a tizzy via a glimpse of shocking ankle, but it doesn’t really do it for us.

Anyway, enough of that. (As Mrs Gin is wont of saying). Where were we? Ah yes, the Roomba,

We love it. It’s shit though. It is. It’s like the computational equivalent of a red setter. Noisy, keen, but just not that bright.

For a start, it never docks. The docking station is USELESS. Unless it is lined up as precisely as a thread passing through a needle without touching the sides, it does not charge. It sits there, sure, but it’s doing sweet F all. There’s no light to tell you it’s charging so the only way you know it’s charging or not is whether it takes off flying the next day or just sits there, flat and useless 1 nanometer out of alignment on its charging station.

Often it runs out of battery (or as we say, takes a nap) in the middle of the floor. It’s quite the thing to come home of an evening to play ‘Find the Roomba’. We have to search high and low, well, only low really, to find where it’s gone to sleep, then carry it’s dozing form back to its charging station. Only make sure you put it back EXACTLY right otherwise it’ll stay there for the end of time

On the other hand, the cats, the bastards, HATE it. They can’t sleep when it’s working. That’s a huge plus point right there. Those cats are bone idle. What do they bring to the party? Exactly.


Also, it feels very futuristic having a robot do your cleaning. We’re sorry, it just does. Doubtless in 100 years, this will be looked upon as either folly or slavery but for now it’s great. Also, AI, artificial intelligence? Isn’ that cool.

The biggest plus, though, is how much Mrs Gin hates it. It pleases us enormously to see it chase her around the kitchen of a morning as she scatters tea bags on draining boards, sugar on the floor and leaves the milk out. Out damned Spot, out!

Good boy Roomba!