The Roomba 880
New technology tends to go one of two ways – it can maximize productivity (calendar apps and whatnot) or minimize work. And I love the technology that minimizes work. Who wants to waste time on boring repetitive tasks that a robot could conceivably do for us? Like vacuuming, for instance?
The team at iRobot has already created an expansive line of robots for various home maintenance tasks like washing floors and clearing leaves out of gutters, but the company is perhaps most noted for the Roomba, its friendly circular robot whose entire purpose on this planet is to vacuum your floors.
The Roomba 880 is the company's latest and greatest housework automaton. For the past week or so, it's dutifully and automatically vacuumed my apartment every day at noon thanks to the super-convenient scheduling feature. Compared to my experience with the earlier Roomba 790, which was already very functional and useful, the 880 stands head and shoulders above it. It's quieter and faster, and a new Roomba technology called AeroForce makes it a more effective vacuum cleaner.
The underside of the Roomba 880
AeroForce is made up of three components. First of all, there's a new high-efficiency vacuum. Then there are the brushless debris extractors (pictured left, between the wheels) spin against the floor to pick up and break down your dirt and dust. Gone are the brushes and bristles that you previously had to pick the hair out of. And finally, a narrow channel called an airflow accelerator concentrates the airflow and multiplies the vacuum's effectiveness.
iRobot has clearly gone to every length it could to make sure you never have to plug in your old-fashioned vacuum cleaner again. My only complaint about the Roomba 880 is the price. At $700, it feels pretty steep, but then again I really loved not having to vacuum. And there are other more modestly priced Roomba models out there if you don't need to ride the cutting edge.
In short, the Roomba 880 is a wonderful, wonderful addition to any household short on time or enthusiasm for chores. It's available for purchase from iRobot right here.
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