Drunk Roomba

Ever since DW and I renovated our kitchen and family room, we've tried hard to keep this most-used living space clean and clear of clutter. With our old vinyl flooring and carpet, maintaining a dirt-free floor with two young kids—now teens—was an uphill battle.

But with hardwood floor throughout the main floor, keeping crumbs and dust to a minimum isn't a daunting task, especially since we bought a little helper to do the work for us.

Enter the iRobot Roomba.



This little machine has been programmed to activate and suck up particles once a week in this area: on the weekends, we move it to the other half of the main floor to do the other side. Our only job is to ensure that all furniture and belongings are lifted off the floor so as not to impede the Roomba's journey.

There have been times where we've forgotten to do this, only to find the device stranded on the base of the Poang chair.

This is the only vacuum that the cat isn't afraid of. It's quieter, smaller, and less intimidating than our upright Hoover or Kenmore canister. He will sit at the edge of the room, watching it move around, moving out of its way should it head toward him.

I don't get the logic of this machine. Why does it move in such random patterns? I thought it learned the layout of a room over time. Surely, six months is enough time?

Why does it go over the same place, again and again, while neglecting other spots? Mind you, it doesn't completely neglect those spots: I've never watched the Roomba complete its task, and I've always seen the end results, where the floor has no obvious dust left behind.

Still, it wanders, seemingly aimless, like a drunken soul, lost in a dark room. And if you're there, with it, you can't help but be mesmerized as it explores the room, wondering where it will go next.

If only it hummed a tune, like R2-D2, as it moved around on its chore.

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