Feeds
30%

iRobot Roomba 560 robot vacuum cleaner

Clean quietly... or there will be... trouble

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

But how does it do at actually cleaning the floor? That mundane task is what it's supposedly for, after all.

In short: not very well. Roomba certainly didn't pass the wife acceptance test, and in this case we can see where she's coming from. The machine takes its time, going over every bit of floor repeatedly before it's satisfied, but the results after it eventually gives up are frankly unimpressive.

iRobot Roomba 560 robot vacuum cleaner

Inspired by The Fifth Element?

We saw best performance on a smooth tile floor, but even here an ordinary broom seriously outclassed the pricey robot - and you'll still have to mop tiles occasionally, if the 560 is your only robot. In some rooms, the time taken to get rugs etc out of the machine's way and put them back afterwards meant that an ordinary vacuum actually demanded less user time as well as doing a much better job. The only area where the Roomba really scored was in cleaning under beds, sofas etc.

As a plastic pal that's fun to be with, the 560 is great - as a way of cleaning floors, not so much.

Verdict

There are plenty of reasons to buy a Roomba. Buy it because you want to bring the day of the proper robot butler a bit closer; buy it because you like neat gadgets; buy it because you'd like to own a nice piece of animatronic artwork, which is elegant and fun to watch. Even if you live in a single-level house with smooth floors and no obstacles, though, £250 is a lot to pay for a distinctly lackadaisical cleaning robot which will still need frequent help from you.

All that said, if your current domestic situation is such that any cleaning at all would be an improvement (bachelor flat, perhaps?) the Roomba 560 could help. At least until the dirt tray fills up - or it gets trapped under all the pizza boxes.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

30%

iRobot Roomba 560 robot vacuum cleaner

As shiny and cunning as you could ask for - it just doesn't clean floors terribly well...
Price: £250 / $500 RRP

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.