Casey Bralla on 21 Jun 2009 13:15:55 -0700

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[PLUG] OT: Roomba Gotten Any More Reliable?

...because they couldn't get any LESS reliable than they were a couple of 
years ago.

I bought a Roomba (for my wife for Christmas...  Oddly enough, she wasn't 
thrilled.  go figure!) a couple of years ago.   Within a week it had failed 
with a "wheel stall" message.   They sent me a brand new unit (next design 
revision level too).

The replacement works for about a total of 3 running hours, then fails with a 
wheel stall error again.   I've figured out how to open the thing up and blow 
out the wheel sensors which gets it working again for another hour or two.

BTW, I'm using it on a smooth concrete basement floor where it is very well 
suited as a "sweeper".  Also, no carpet lint or other stringy stuff to muck up 
the drive train.

I see they sell these things at all the "big box" stores and figure they can't 
still be as unreliable as they were for me because the mass retailers really 
stick it to manufacturers when customers return things that don't work.  On 
the other hand, maybe everybody buys these things on impulse because they are 
so cool, then sticks them in a closet because they are so ^$#*&)^& unreliable.

Anybody have any experience with a recent model?  They really are a great 
idea, and a marvel of low-cost home automation.   I'd even consider buying a 
new one if the bloody thing worked.

Any suggestions?

Casey Bralla
Chief Nerd in Residence
The NerdWorld Organisation
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