It doesn't laugh at much else, unfortunately. Contrary to the iRobot blurb, ordinary rug edges tend to cause snags and fringed ones are a total no-no. Untidy floors with toys, beer cans or similar debris scattered about lead to trouble - either the machine shunts the stuff about or it gets stuck trying to run things over.
Electrical cables or lamp stands can ruin the Roomba's day, and over-fluffy floor surfaces are bad too. A lot of fairly ordinary rooms will need significant reorganising and/or tidying up before the Roomba can cope with them.
This isn't the droid we're looking for
Provided the room is suitable for the Roomba, however, you can close the door and leave the thing to its own devices. It scans the floor beneath it for dirt as it goes, and decides when it can't usefully clean any more.
With regard to stairs and entrances, some nifty options exist other than just shutting the door. The 560 comes with a pair of virtual-barrier/lighthouse devices. These can operate, as their name implies, as barriers - telling the machine not to cross a given line. Alternatively, in "lighthouse" mode, they serve instead to break up a work area.
Say you have two rooms with a doorway between. If you set up a lighthouse in the doorway, the Roomba does one room completely before moving into the other. Because of the way the machine's routing software works, this saves a lot of time and battery power.
I for one welcome our mediocre dust busting overlords?
That can't be right.
Roomba works wonderfully for me </aol>
I've had a Roomba 560 for about 6 months and it's very possibly the best 250ukp I've ever spent. It works superbly and has left the carpets cleaner than our old vacuum cleaner did.
I don't know where you got yours from, but I purchased mine from the UK, in Sterling, with a UK plug and working dock (maybe the over-voltage let the smoke out of the dock as well as the psu).
The Roomba does need hair cleaning from the brushes every 3 or 4 weeks (mostly from a very hairy cat), and obviously needs it's dustbin emptying, but otherwise works wonderfully.
The only real problem I have found is that the stairs get very dirty now before I get round to cleaning them by hand...
I have a Roomba too...
...and I'm quite happy with the way it cleans. It's pretty good on my parquet floor, very good on short pile carpet/rugs but struggles with more luxurious carpetry. Roombas are a valuable ADDITION to your domestic chore machine repertoire, but are not a replacement for a real vacuum cleaner - for one thing, the best way to clean Roomba is with a real vac (I use a Miele).