HWM (Singapore) - - Test -

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 find 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.

Thor­ough clean­ing and nav­i­ga­tion. Sweep­ing brushes spin in op­po­site di­rec­tion to un­tan­gle it­self.

Nudges ob­struc­tions. Heavy. Con­fus­ing re­mote con­trol.

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