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iRobot Roomba 581 robot cleaner

Dust devil?

All that said, it did seem to take a bit longer to find its way back to base than the Samsung took, and on one occasion almost barred me from my flat, having run out of charge just behind the front door. When there’s a problem, the Roomba tells you, saying things like "Clean brushes", which saves having to refer to a manual and is less lippy than Ro-Jaws.

As the before and after photos show – and I know you’ve been looking forward to them – the Roomba does a pretty good job, even with the messiest of homes. It had no difficulty with cigar ash, cat hair and the other detritus that I inflicted upon my flooring, though as with the competition, for a really deep clean, you’ll still need to rely on a more traditional vacuum, preferably one wielded by an old dear who comes round once and week and "does" for you.

iRobot Roomba 581

Everyone’s entitled to a Monica Lewinsky moment...

iRobot Roomba 581

...but the Roomba managed to pick up most of the wayward cigar ash

iRobot Roomba 581

Cat hair accumulates in seldom-visited corners...

iRobot Roomba 581

...but even with those obstacles in the way, Roomba sucked it all up

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