The Roomba will do a few normal rooms completely without running flat, but if you've set up lighthouses around a whole floor it may need to recharge before finishing. In theory, you can plug the power brick into a docking station, which the Roomba will automatically head back to for a charge.
Our Roomba found the dock easily enough and snuggled up to it happily, but couldn't get any nourishment once it had done so. If the dock had been working, we'd have been able to set the 560 to clean at scheduled times, perhaps at night, returning to recharge itself afterwards - potentially offering completely autonomous cleaning of one entire floor of a house, with a few "lighthouses" in play. You'd still have to empty the rather small dust tray pretty often, however.
Clean quietly... or there will be... trouble
The Roomba is cleverly programmed, and it's a treat to watch it skimming along next to a skirting board, its little side brush whirling to scoop all the crud from the edge of the room. It does a lot better than you'd think at getting into corners, too.
All in all, it's a nice piece of engineering, though in many ways the simplicity of the controls is rather a disappointment. For a gadget this expensive, you're almost expecting to be offered a Wi-Fi web interface or an icon moving around on a map of your house or something.
You'd be totally out of luck with that last one, as the Roomba doesn't know where it is. It detects walls and so on at short range, and the little IR beacons on the virtual-barrier/lighthouse units and the power dock from across a room, but otherwise it's blind.
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).