- Excellent navigation system
- Good cleaning across all surfaces
- Simple scheduling system
- Doesn't damage objects it passes over
- Quieter than rivals
- You will still need to vacuum occasionally
- Can bump doors, locking itself in rooms
- Expensive solution to a simple task
- Review Price: £449.99
- iAdapt navigation system
- Compatible with all floor types
- Under 10cm tall
- Cliff detect
- Auto docking
- HEPA filter
- Soft touch bumpers
How busy are you, really? If you are considering spending the best part of £500 on a device to assist with the vacuuming then the obvious riposte would be to suggest you take a long, hard look in the mirror. The surprising news, however, is in this case you may come away from it smiling.
iRobot has been in the robot vacuuming business since 2000 and the ‘Roomba 780’ is the company’s latest and greatest. After selling 7.5m units worldwide over the last 12 years the circular form factor is well known, but much of what is inside the 780 is brand new.
The 780 is the flagship of iRobot’s new top of the line 700 series and core to this is the upgraded iAdapt navigation system. This monitors the surrounding area making 64 checks per second to both track its way around objects and to gradually learn the complete layout of its cleaning environment. The result is the 780 can then apply the most relevant cleaning motion to each space, be it long sweeps, circular motions when detecting dirt heavy spots (iRobot calls this ‘Persistent Pass Cleaning’) or free form movement around cluttered or small spaces.
Of these iRobot is keen to stress the ‘Dirt Detect Series 2’ technology inside the 780. To improve pick up it uses an acoustic sensor to detect excessive amounts of small and hard debris (such as sand) and an optical sensor to detect larger and soft debris (such as popcorn). Also new is an ‘AeroVac Series 2’ bag-less bin with easy release (dirt is simply tipped out once removed) and the addition of a common sense full bin indicator. You will likely need to empty this more regularly since the 780 has new power management software which iRobot claims will provide up to 50 per cent longer battery life than previous generations. As such a single cleaning session lasts approximately 90 minutes.
This is just the start of the technology designed to keep your lazy backside on the sofa. Scheduling is now done on the top of the Roomba with simple touch sensitive buttons allowing you to select each day and whether you would like the 780 to clean at a specific time or not. Day, hour, minute, confirm and clear buttons make this a doddle and the Roomba’s internal clock keeps it in check. Meanwhile dual HEPA filters capture dirt, dust and pollen from the air.