I’ve owned a Roomba 980 (which I named “DJ Roomba”) for a year now and it’s worked well. I don’t think it has worked too hard, though. My wife and I keep it down in our carpeted basement. It keeps this little-used space clean without any effort on our part (other than emptying the bin when it’s full). We don’t have much furniture so there isn’t much to trouble the little robotic vacuum (even the cat stays away).
When Roomba decided to send me their new Roomba i7 (now named Will Robinson), I decided the basement wasn’t enough of a challenge — so it graduated to the main floor. The main floor has lots of furniture to get around, a combination of thick area rugs and hardwood, plus a set of stairs to avoid. This seemed like the perfect terrain to test our new Roomba’s skills.
So, how did it do?
As I write this, it’s cleaning the living room again and so far, so good. The low profile fits well under my couch which is a breeding ground for countless dust bunnies. One negative is that it seems to bump into things with more force than older models. The faceplate certainly isn’t as pretty as it was when I pulled it out of the box.
A major difference between the Roomba i7 and the 980 is a handy feature called Smart Maps. Basically, after Will Robinson took a few passes on my main floor, it generated a map of the space. This can be done either through training (it just runs around without vacuuming) or standard use. Upon completion, I am able to look at an interactive map and create “rooms” (real or imagined) for targeted cleaning. Right now, my kitchen is set to be vacuumed daily while the rest of the main floor gets cleaned every other day.
Another nice feature about the Roomba i7 is its compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Yonomi. To be honest, I set up my original Roomba with Alexa and have yet to use it. The Roomba app is convenient to use for the rare occasions I want to clean off-schedule; honestly, it’s a bigger effort looking up the voice cue (“Alexa, ask Roomba…”) than it is to press “clean” in the app. I don’t think I’ll use the voice activation feature on my new i7 either.
Overall, I like the i7 for the same reason I like the 980. It handles general cleaning I don’t want to think about while preoccupied with work, reading a book, or vacuuming the stairs (Roomba, get on that feature). You have to remember to empty the bin every few cycles — a small amount of effort compared with all this device is saving you.
If this is still too much to handle, you can upgrade from the i7 to the i7+ Bundle. This kit has a modified docking station which cleans and bags the contents of your Roomba’s bin automatically. It claims to be maintenance-free for 60 days.
In the end, Will Robinson has been a wonderful addition to the family — though my cat is still afraid of him.