Mr. Trillwing gave me a Roomba (pet hair edition!) for Christmas. It was a total surprise, and I must admit that although I liked the gift, at first I was skeptical. This little machine is going to pick up ALL THAT doghair? The Liability, he is a shepherd mix, so he sheds mightily year-round.
But tonight I charged up the little robot and let it play its vacuumy version of Pong across my carpets. Wow! It works, and it's kind of fun to watch. I learned the hard way, though, that Roomba moves faster than does Lucas. Luke now prefers to keep a distance from his robot friend. We plopped ourselves safely behind one of the infrared "virtual walls" and watched the action from there.
The one downside is the cleaning of it. Dumping the bin is easy, but there was a lot of Liability hair tangled around the main brush. Roomba comes with a handy-dandy tube through which you pass the brush to remove the hair, but you have to take apart the vaccuum a bit to get to this step. This meant about five or so minutes of cleaning, but I guess that's how much time I'd usually spend walking out to the garbage to dump out the canister and clean the filter screen on my upright vacuum.
Otherwise, Roomba is terrific. Highly recommended!
(And I think there is a fabulous American studies essay waiting to be written on the Roomba phenomenon--something with a title that begins "From Housewives to Hackers.")