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Roomba 630 is an affordable robotic cleaner produced by iRobot. It has fewer features compared to high-end models (such as 880, for example), but it is still a highly functional home improvement tool that would help you in your day-to-day life. Let’s take a look at it.
The robot is almost completely circular in shape. The semi-circular bumper slightly protrudes beyond the chassis circumference.
The edges are a little bit rounded and angled on the bottom. It helps the robot traverse various obstacles faster, and a little angularity reduces the chance of robot being stuck under the obstacles will small clearance.
The chassis is made of matted plastic: dark grey on top and around the edges, and black on the bottom. Upper decorative panel is made of silvery grey-ish plastic. It is separated from fragile, mirror smooth circle made of dark semi-transparent chassis by a poisonous green bezel. Finally, three mechanical buttons are located in the center of top panel. They have silvery coating with LED indicators. Bezel around the central button also features LED lighting as well. The robot is outfitted with arc-shaped handle, allowing user to carry it with relative ease and comfort. A few plastic caps are present on the upper bumper; they are needed for IR emitters.
On the upper central side of the bumper is observing upper-protruding IR sensor. It detects the location of docking bay and virtual walls and seems to be also accepting signals from the remote control. It is also the highest point of the robot; it seems to determine the minimal clearance under various furniture items. If we turn the robot upside down, we’ll find two contact areas, a bow thruster, side brush, two steering wheels on spring-loaded levers, gray main brush compartment and semi-transparent bottom of detachable dust collector. Four IR height difference sensor windows are located in the forward part of the bottom, closer to the edge.
The robot uses the same docking bay as Roomba 700 robotic cleaners. It uses an external PSU, making the docking bay very small and lightweight. (PSU cable length = 95 cm, detachable power cable length = 100 cm). Small rubber base and larger porous plastic base are glued to the bottom of the base.
Inside the box you’ll find a set of documents, brush cleaning tool, a pair of reserve filters and one virtual wall. The vacuum is packed in a quite small box with plastic handle. Polyethylene and eco-safe cardboard serve as packing materials.
Refer to the manual for detailed description of the robot’s functions. If you’re only looking to buy a robotic cleaner, download the manual from the manufacturer’s website.
The steering wheels axes are located on the same diameter of chassis circumference. Such kinematic scheme allows the robot to turn around without changing its areal borders, making Roomba 630 a very versatile robotic cleaner.
The steering wheels used in this robot are quite large in diameter (71mm) with large hinge step in wheels center point (30mm), so the robot can easily traverse most obstacles, provided they’re not too high or deep. It can potentially travel over 20mm high or deep obstacles.
The side brush pulls the trash closer to the center during cleaning. Its axis is tilted inwards, allowing for better clamping when moving forward or in sides. It’s also worth noting that the side brush’s flexible elastic leads end with relatively firm straight bristle. As a result, the brush is quite efficient and does not lose its form for a long time.
There are two main brushes. They move towards each other. First the rubber scraper brush moves large trash, then the second brush with bristle and scrapers takes large and small trash and throws it into the dust collector. Inertial trash movement is complimented with air flow that passes through the rotating brushes and filter.
The bottom part of dust collector is made of slightly matted plastic. However, it is of little use, as you’ll have to turn the robot around to look at it anyway. Luckily, the dust collector is easy to clean: you’ll just have to recline the black shade and shake out the dust.
You can remove and clean the filter in blue case if you have to. Please note that the manufacturer has glued the black foam rubber gaskets to avoid the air from passing the filtering element.
The air vent is embedded in the dust collector case, preventing you from washing it under water. You can remove the dust collector quite easily, and after a little bit of training you’ll learn to do it with one hand, without moving the docked robot. The air is blown out through the small grate on the back wall of the dust collector.
Main brush compartment is connected to the hinge. It follows the floor relief with a step of approximately 9 mm, slipping on wire guides. The scraper brush protrudes beyond the guides for 1,5 – 2 mm, while the second brush’s bristle protrudes for 2 – 3 mm. As a result, the brushes work extremely efficiently on virtually any surface. You can detach the brushes from the compartment if you need to clean them.
You can clean the brushes with the provided tool. If you need more thorough cleaning, feel free to detach the end caps with bronze bearings. However, you’ll only need to clean the ends of first scraper brush, as hair or other long fibers usually gets coiled on it.
It seems like Roomba 630 uses the same brush block as in Roomba 700 Series while retaining Roomba 500 Series AeroVac dust collector. It is thought that this dust collector is better suited for small garbage, such as pets’ fur compared to Roomba 500 Series standard dust collector. Roomba 630 also uses softer bristle, and the ends are better protected against long fibers coiling around them.
Roomba 630 uses a very durable air filter that could last very long without being replaced. When the time comes to replace it, along with other replaceable parts, you’ll easily find them in most stores or on manufacturer’s website. You can even find an additional battery.
You can easily replace the battery on your own. You will only need a medium-sized crosshead screwdriver. If you need additional optional accessories, you can buy more virtual walls and remote controls. Full list of available accessories and replaceable parts is available on the manufacturer’s website.
Please do not use the robot in humid areas or on wet surfaces! It will result in dust clinging to the robot and may even lead to severe bot malfunction!
iRobot Roomba 630 has two main cleaning modes:
- Standard: The robot will clean the available area;
- Spot Mode: Intensive cleaning of designated area. User must manually carry the robot to the area that requires cleaning;
You can launch cleaning with the corresponding buttons. CLEAN will launch standard automatic cleaning, SPOT will launch local cleaning mode. The robot will inform you about its status with LED indicators; it will also play a short melody when switching between different modes and play a voice notification if an error occurs. You cannot disable those notifications.
The virtual wall will help you spatially organize the cleaning. It emits an invisible IR ray that would prevent the robot from going beyond it. The wall needs two LR14 / C / A343 / saline batteries to function. One virtual wall is included in the box; you can buy additional walls if required. When the wall is active, its LED indicator will blink every 6 seconds.
The robot takes 10 to 30 minutes to clean an average room. We assume that it somehow assesses the area by measuring the average distance between obstacles and uses the data to assess the average cleaning time. Looks like it considers some random factors as well, as the average cleaning time can fluctuate. Roomba 630 doesn’t clean a lot of trash in the first 10 minutes, but its efficiency rises in the following thirty minutes.
The robot seems to be unable to solve any long-range navigational tasks. It can decide which direction to take next, how to get out of complex areas and evade wires, all thanks to IR proximity sensors, mechanical bumper, steering wheels turn tracking and optical sensor-aided movement tracking. The latter registers the movement of bow thruster.
Judging by how the robot moves while cleaning the room, it seems to employ different movement patterns. Seems like it considers various factors, including its status, some kind of prehistory and a fair bit of randomness while selecting the movement pattern. We identified four patterns:
- #1: The robot moves from obstacle to obstacle and then changes its direction. This pattern is used to move from room to room and, possible, to assess the available area;
- #2: Clockwise / counterclockwise rotation. The robot uses this pattern in Spot mode. It uses information from ultrasonic dirt sensor placed in the brush compartment;
- #3: The robot dodges the obstacle by moving around it clockwise (until proximity sensor triggers an alarm). This mode is used when to clean areas around small obstacles, such as chair legs, etc.
- #4: Move along the obstacle until mechanical bumper trigger activates. This mode is used to clean around walls.
A special mode helps the robot get out of complex areas. If it is stuck, Roomba will start rotating around, trying to get out of area.
Regardless of chosen movement pattern, the robot always rotates its side and main brushes and vents the air. It successfully cleaned a small paddock (only 5 cm wider than the robot itself) without any troubles. Roomba 630 never failed to return to docking bay. The only areas that remained uncleaned were the internal angles where it was impossible to clean with side brush and a small area around the base. If the Spot mode is activated, the robot moves in spiral shape and cleans a slightly incorrect circular area.
Virtual wall barrier’s length equals to ~2 – 2,5 meters. The robot stops at the distance of 15 to 20 cm before approaching the wall. It cannot accidentally move the wall.
Roomba 630 is quite noisy. It generates around 64 decibels of noise, making it uncomfortable to remain in the same room with working robot. You can set it to work at night, but be sure it works in an adjacent, soundproof room.
Roomba 630 needs around two hours to fully recharge. It drains around 26 – 27 W when charging, 2,9 W when fully charged and connected to docking bay, and 0,8 W when the docking bay is idle.
Pros and Cons
- High quality of cleaning around walls, near obstacles and on open areas;
- Two reserve filters and a virtual wall in a box;
- Voice notifications.
- Very noisy;
- No “work until full discharge” mode.