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iRobot Roomba 581 robot cleaner

Dust devil?

One area in particular where Roomba seems to score over the Samsung is in getting caught up with cables. It proved much better and avoiding entanglements - Imperial or otherwise - and generally less prone to capturing objects and then just stopping.

iRobot Roomba 581

Your plastic pal who's fun to clean with

It took a piece of rope to completely call a halt to proceedings, otherwise the Roomba was able to carry on moving around with a piece of cement underneath it, or dragging bubble wrap behind it, presumably in an attempt to imitate a Wirrn larva. It also managed to negotiate bedroom obstacles like the barbers’ chair - now a standard Reg Hardware benchmark obstacle - without getting stuck.

Considering you get three beacons to help guide it around the flat, as well as spare brushes, and it’s less likely to get stuck during your scheduled cleaning, the Roomba 581 does a pretty good job, for less money than Samsung’s equivalent.

But like all robot vacuums, you’ll probably still need to do a manual clean from time to time, especially if you’re particularly messy.

Verdict

It may lack the hi-tech camera-based mapping of the competition, but the iRobot Roomba 581 cleans well, comes with a good set of accessories, and makes a good job of avoiding cables and other traps. Great for grubby gadget fans, but still a bit expensive for most of us. ®

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iRobot Roomba 581

iRobot Roomba 581 robot cleaner

An easy-to-use robot cleaner that comes with plenty of accessories and spares - and an ability to sort out your carpets.
Price: £400 RRP