iRobot Roomba 870 & 880 Robotic Cleaners Review

After a huge success of their Roomba 700 series, iRobot has released a new line of their robotic cleaners. By its looks, Roomba 800 reminds us of classic 700 series, but under the hood is a whole plethora of improvements. Garbage collection bin has been significantly improved, and blade brush and pile brush had been swapped in favor of two lint-less brushes.

Today we’ll take a look at the Roomba 870 and 880 cleaning robots. Let’s see what has changed and whether the new robots are an optimal purchase.

Editor’s Note: The information in this review covers both Roomba 880 and 870 robotic cleaners. For changes specific only to Roomba 870, please refer to “Roomba 870 vs 880” section of this article. Thank you!

Appearance

As before, the robotic cleaner is made in circular shape.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

Bevel from the edge to the bottom of the cleaner helps Roomba 800 better traverse the obstacles, while the small angularity on the top lowers the possibility of the robot being stuck under the obstacles with small gaps.

Roomba 800 has a mainly black matte plastic coating-less chassis. The upper panel perimeter, upper bumper and part of dust collector are embellished with plastic with silver dark gray coating. Circular overlay on the upper panel is made of laminated plastic with barely noticeable concentric texture. Its surface is quite resistant to damage, unlike the central part of upper panel. It is made of dark toned semi-transparent plastic. It covers the LED indicators (touch button labels, charging sign, segmented clock indicator, etc).

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

On the very center of the upper panel is the circular button with silver coating and concentric grooves imitating chiselled metal. Bezel and labels have green LED indicators; they shine when the robot is online. All buttons are mechanical. To ease the transportation, iRobot engineers have placed a reclining handle on the top.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

It has a slight ergonomic oversight – you have to take the handle on the front side, but the groove for fingers is very small. Under the hood is the servicing slot (mainly used for firmware update). Lower part of the bumper is covered with rubber “skirt”, protecting the furniture from scratches.

Upper part is covered with transparent black plastic for IR radiation. Right on the center of upper bumper is the sighting IR sensor. It detects the minimal gap height of fitments. Now let’s get the vacuum upside down and take a look at what’s underneath it.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

We have two contact areas, a thruster roller, side brush, battery compartment cap, two steering wheels on spring levers, main brush compartment and the bottom of detachable dust collector.

Six height difference IR sensors are placed by the bottom perimeter, near the edges.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

The charging base has the same size as the one used in previous Roomba 500/600/700 series. However, the power supply unit is now attached to the base itself.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

This is a very welcome decision. External PSU and extra wires were very uncomfortable. In addition, the base is now more resilient, thanks to the added weight. One more change is the removed external power slot on the robot chassis. It allowed charging the robot without docking it to the base, but it created some extra troubles. The standard power cable is pretty short – only 93 cm long – but you could easily find a replacement cable as the base uses standard “8” slot. A small rubber substrate and a compound platform of foam rubber and unidentified porous material is glued to the bottom of the station.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

Thanks to this, the base glues clings well to any surface. Anyway, you can use adhesive tape if you need more. By the way, the base is interchangeable with bases and PSUs from previous models of Roomba.

The vacuum is completed with a IR remote control, two virtual walls and a set of alkaline batteries. In addition, one more filtering element comes straight out of the box.

Now to the documents. We found warranty documents, express manual, a few of supplemental lists and a full user guide written in several languages. The robot itself is packed in a relatively large box with a plastic handle.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

The box design is pretty strict but livid, featuring photos, pictures, schemes, kit listing and description of device’s main functions. Ecologically safe corrugated cardboard elements are used as separators. For delivery purposes, the robot is packed in another corrugated cardboard box. This is another welcome solution, as the robot package looks like it’s about to open and everything is about to fall off.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

Functioning

Read the manual to get a better grip at what the robotic cleaner can do. Those who haven’t bought any robotic cleaners before but are interested in purchasing one should download manual from the manufacturer’s website.

Axles of drive wheels are located on the same diameter of chassis circumference. This kinematic scheme allows the robot to turn around itself without changing edges of area, so the robotic vacuum is quite maneuverable. The steering wheels are quite large (71mm in diameter), and the hinge stroke reaches 30mm, so the robot can easily traverse small obstacles. Maximum potential height of obstacle is around 18 mm.

The frontal brush rakes the trash to the center. Its axis is tilted inwards, allowing for better pressure during side-to-front movement phase. The side brush is also well-constructed, with flexible elastic leashes ending with firm straight bristle.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

The brush works quite effectively without losing its shape. The self-tapping screw that fixates the brush now also has a wide straight groove, so you no longer need a crosshead screwdriver to install or remove the brush. The model is still compatible with side brushes from previous models.

Read also:  LG Hom-Bot 3.0 Square Review

Two main brushes move towards each other. In 800 Series, they have been replaced with extractors, but just for convenience’s sake, we’ll continue calling them brushes. They are not interchangeable but they have similar construction: external elastic cylinder with ribs (rather silicon-like than rubber) is fixed on firm plastic axis.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

The axis is continued with stainless steel pin with yellow plastic sleeve on it. The sleeve is outfitted with bronze sliding bearing. On the other side, the axis ends with a square or hexagon that corresponds to the responding part in brush rotation mechanism.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

Foam rubber filler that is located inside the cylinders gives additional elasticity to the external shell. The rotating brushes take the trash from the floor and transfer them to dust collector with airflow.

This construction does not exclude the possibility of heavy particles getting pulled into dust collector, but the probability of such kind of event is now very small, thanks to the new brush construction. Node and detail junctions across the airways now have elastic compactions, while the brush junction is connected to the chassis with sealed elastic air sleeve. It decreases the parasite air suction. The producer also promises higher ventilator power; however, we still have some doubts about real efficiency of such kind of garbage collection system. Let’s see what the tests tell us.

The bottom of the dust collector is made of transparent red toned plastic, but the only transparent part is the narrow stripe. The other surface is covered in matte, so it will be hard to see whether the dust collector is filled just by looking at robot. The dust collector cleaning procedure is quite simple: recline the curtain and shake out the dust. Then disconnect the HEPA filter and clean it as well.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

A little note here: this filter uses large-cell grid that does not let large dust reach folded small-pore filter. It makes cleaning the filtering elements easier, improving its durability. Disconnecting the dust collector is quite comfortable, but sometimes you can’t do it with one hand without moving the robot from the base.

Main brush compartment is fixed on levers. With 9 mm stroke, it follows the floor relief, increasing the effectiveness of cleaning. Wired guiding limiters are no more, and we feared that it might cause the vacuum to pull the corners of the carpets on itself.

Dirt Detect 2 is powered by acoustic (purple) and optical (green) sensors. The first sensor detects the dirt level by the noise of dirt particles hitting the microphone. The second sensor consists of IR radiation source and a photodetector. It shines through dust collector on the way to take out trash. Change in IR absorption rate allows the device to track the dust in air and shows whether the dust collector is full.

Everything that requires frequent user care is denoted with yellow. The guide to proper care is printed in the manual, so we are not going to repeat everything. We’ll just underline that the manual has a scheme explaining which elements can be replaced manually – including battery, brush compartment, wheel drives, side brush drive and upper circular panel.

The battery has remained unchanged both internally and externally (maybe except the color) compared to older models. It is fully compatible with Roomba 870, but the manufacturer now promises up to 2x longer service time. This is a very welcome news, as the previous battery lost a big part of its charge after two years of operation. Luckily, there’s no troubles with replacement parts, and with proper care all brushes, filters and mechanic parts will serve you for very long time.

The robot cannot be used in humid areas or to clean surfaces with spilled liquids on them. Vacuum can break down after contact with liquids. No part of the vacuum can be cleaned with water, neither brushes nor filter or dust collector itself. You can only wipe it off with slightly humid mop.

iRobot Roomba 880 has three main cleaning modes:

  1. Automatically clean all available area and return to base;
  2. Spot: Intensive cleaning of user-selected area. Robot must be guided with the remote control or carried by user;
  3. Manual control mode.

You can launch these modes by pressing corresponding keys on the remote or on the chassis. Clean launches standard cleaning, Spot launches local cleaning. Pressing Dock button (three dots on the remote) will force the robot to return to base. You can schedule automatic cleaning for every day of the week with custom time for every day. If you’ve created a schedule, the robot will undock from the base, clean the area and return to base at the time specified. Remote control allows for manual movement and cleaning controls.

There are only five movement commands: move forward, turn left and right, move forward while turning left or right. There is no reverse movement command. The robot will only move when the RC button is pressed. It will automatically engage avoidance maneuver when near an obstacle and turn on docking mode when near a base.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

You can limit the area the robot should clean with special devices included in the box (and sold separately if you need more).

These devices work with two LR14 (C, A343 and saline work as well) power elements. They work in two modes: Virtual Wall or Lighthouse. Virtual Wall emits an IR beam that would prevent the robot from traversing any further. This mode is suitable for places that should not be cleaned. Lighthouse sets the cleaning sequence: if the robot gets into the area with a Lighthouse in it, it will not go to other areas until this exact area is spotless. Virtual barrier mode and length are regulated with switches on the device chassis. They will turn on automatically when the robot activates in Clean mode (special RF signal is used) and turn off when it’s complete. This mode is better than activating each virtual wall separately (used in cheaper models) and it significantly improves power draw. As an option, you can buy more “standard” virtual walls and a Virtual Halo – it creates a circular barrier inaccessible for robot.

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

iRobot Roomba 880 // ixbt.com

The robot informs the user about its status with LED indicators. In addition, it plays a short melody when changing states. Should any error happen, it will let the user know by vocalizing the error code. You cannot disable any of these notifications.

Read also:  Neato Botvac 85 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Review

Testing

The robot spends 15 to 23 minutes to clean the testing area, and then returns to base. More than 90% of the garbage is removed during the first run. Consecutive runs increase the number to 99%.

Only the smallest areas in very hard to reach places and the very edges of the room remained uncleaned. The robot also seems to ignore the space around the base station.

Roomba 880 never moved the base after the cleaning has begun and always docked back with it on first try. We can assume that the robot somehow measures the cleaning area by, for example, average distance from obstacle to obstacle, and identifies how much time is required according to this data. Its calculations are quite optimal, as further increase of cleaning time (more than 20-30 minutes) does not yield significant increase of cleaned trash percentage. The robot is not outfitted with far navigation equipment, but it can decide where to go next, how to get out of complex areas and how to untangle itself from wires. IR proximity sensors, mechanic bumper, wheel and brush turn tracking with optical sensor seem to do the trick.

Judging by how the robot moves during the cleaning, it has several movement options chosen according to its current status, some kind of prehistory and random factor. We found four variants:

  • #1 – The robot moves from obstacle to obstacle with subsequent direction change. Used to move in room and to get from one room to another. Possibly used to measure available area;
  • #2 – Fan-shaped moves with a return to starting position. Used to clean very dirty areas. The robot actively uses data from ultrasound sensors in the brush compartment and optical sensor in dust collector:
  • #3 – Move across the obstacle with right side (where the side brush is located) turned towards it on a small (15-20 mm) distance until IR proximity sensor activates. Used for quick cleaning around walls, small furniture (such as chairs), etc.;
  • #4 – Same as 3, but until the mechanical bumper. It lets the robot clean close to any obstacle. Sometimes robot used left side to move across the obstacle.

Regardless of movement option, the robot always cleans. It moves its side and main brushes and turns on the ventilator. If the main or side brush movement is obstructed, the robot activates the release algorithm. It disables the brush drives and continues moving forward. Whatever is stuck on the brushes gets released. Small area (only 5 cm wider than the robot’s chassis) was not a problem, as the robot easily got there during the first cleaning cycle and quickly got out of there.

When the Spot mode is activated, the robot moves in a trajectory of unfolding and then folding spiral. It cleans in an almost circular area with a diameter of 1,2 – 1,3 meters. We have additionally tested a Virtual Wall and a Lighthouse. We placed both devices in the center of testing area, activated one as Virtual Wall and turned on the second as Lighthouse. As a result, the robot has cleaned for 29 minutes in the main part of the room before getting to the “walled” area and cleaning there for 14 minutes. All as planned.

Conclusions

We won’t tell that the additions in Roomba 800 Series seriously increase the quality of cleaning. Roomba 880 is almost indistinguishable from Roomba 780 when it comes to cleaning quality. But the newer models are much more easier to service, as the brushes no longer get any hair, fur and cloth on them. Even if something gets stuck, it can be easily removed. Pet owners will be very happy about it. In addition, new HEPA filter with increased area and a protective grid should prolong its effectiveness both during the cleaning and during the whole term of use. And, of course, improved battery with much longer service time is a blessing.

Roomba 870 vs 880

You could have noticed that, although the article should review both Roomba 870 and 880, we’ve only reviewed the latter. Why, you might ask?

Well, that’s because Roomba 870 and 880 are virtually the same. They both use the same model, same technologies and even share the same appearance. But then, what’s the difference?

The only difference between Roomba 870 and 880 is their package. Roomba 870 comes without a complimentary remote control. In addition, the virtual walls included in the box cannot be switched to Lighthouse mode. That’s basically it. There are no more differences between these two robots. You might save an extra buck by purchasing Roomba 870, especially if you don’t use Spot mode and you have little need in Lighthouse virtual walls. It’s only up to you to decide whether these features are worth extra $50 or so.

iRobot Roomba 870/880 Video Review

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Comments

  • commercial cleaners melbourne 27.11.2015 at 02:36

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    This put up truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Praline 03.04.2015 at 07:33

    What is our Roomba up against?
    2 huge Golden retrievers (one being 70lbs and the other so tall he is slim at 90lbs)
    4 rescued/adopted indoor cats (we rescue and foster so often have extra kittens we are fostering)
    1 13 year old teenage girl (and her friends)
    1 17 year old boy (and his friends)
    1 20 year old college student who splits his time between dorm and home (and his friends)
    1 husband ~ messier then all the above
    1 frazzled housewife
    Level of cleanliness: before roomba vacuumed 2 times a day. 3 times if company was coming
    Floors: no carpet, only wood and tile

    I was excited to see the “for pets” Roomba for obvious reasons =)
    This machine is not going to spring clean your home for you, lets just get that out of the way right now. It misses stuff. Its not perfect. However it does a better job then my kids AND my husband when I ask them to sweep the floors. I don’t like a lazy Roomba. If I see its fully charged I am pushing that “clean button”! On average I think I am pushing the button 4-5 times a day? I don’t keep track as the other family members push the button as well. Over time it does pick up everything. It gets the walls and corners which seem to always get missed when the above are sweeping. It does pick up the hair that is on the floors and keeps it to a minimum. I went from sweeping 2-3x a day to once every other day or so. That is a huge time saver right there! I don’t find it as loud as many on here. I have a Dyson and the Dyson is tons louder. The Roomba makes noise. Its going to make noise. ITS A VACUUM. I don’t find it overly loud but I don’t turn on Roomba while watching a movie either.

    The bad or room for improvement:
    The bin is still too small. Two goldens shed a lot of hair. In our large family room I have to empty the bin once (and sometimes twice) a session. That is getting better as I am using the Roomba more and more but still wish that bin was a bit bigger!!

    I don’t think it would do as good of a job on carpet. I have area rugs and it always misses stuff on the area rugs. It does a decent job on them but not great. However on my wood floors and tile it gets everything.

    I hope this review helps. Roomba is not a miracle worker. Your not Cinderella with little magical birds and mice flying out of it and cleaning your entire room for you. Feel free to whistle while you work though.
    For my family its a great tool to keep pet hair under control.

    Reply
  • JC 02.04.2015 at 20:02

    Simply amazing. Buying the Roomba has been one of the best purchases I have made in years. We have two dogs, one of which sheds constantly. This meant that unless we vacuumed a few times a week we would have dust and hairballs throughout the house. The Roomba runs nightly and we essentially have no more dog fur issues. In particular I think the fact that it can get underneath furniture that we miss with an upright has made a huge difference. On our first floor we have hardwood and persian rugs only which the Roomba does very well with. The second floor is carpeted which admittedly the Roomba has a much harder time with.

    Contrary to what I had read, the Roomba seems to be able to handle a pretty large amount of space. Our first floor is ~1250 sq ft. With the virtual lighthouses we can focus the vacuum on the main room that we spend our time in and it does a good job with the less trafficked rooms.

    I spent a great deal of time agonizing over wether to drop so much money on a vacuum. It really has replaced my upright which we only need to use now once a month. So long as you do not have carpet I highly recommend

    Reply
  • Jane 01.04.2015 at 05:38

    We have a lot of hardwood flooring, tend to have the windows open, and therefore tended to have a lot of dust (pollen, who knows what?) on the floors, especially evident in afternoon light. No more! When the afternoon sun hits, all we have is shiny floors.

    My take was that this is a gadget that might be useful, but was really pricy. Some reviews of earlier models raised concerns about falling down stairs, eating cords and rug fringe, etc. However, tired of vacuuming three or more times a week, (even with a Miele), and fighting seasonal allergies it seemed worth a try.

    Wombot’s first outing was in the living room cleared of all cords and other possible indigestibles. It spent 45 minutes (and I think I heard tsk tsk from a neglected corner) and left the room spotless, including baseboards, chair and table legs, and everything it could navigate under or around. Small area rugs were no problem. Now it takes about 20 minutes to clean the same space and this week had no trouble spitting out a cord that I forgot to move off of the floor. It always pulls back from the stairs on its own, so I can leave it alone to do the hallways. The gizmos that let you “block” off areas work really well.

    We have a three story house and it is no trouble to move it from floor to floor and return it to the level with its docking station. It sails under beds, desks, etc., although you want to be sure bedclothes and curtains are not trailing on the ground. The bin is easy to empty, and it reminds you when it is full.

    It docks near the kitchen, and what a wonderful convenience to easily turn it loose in there when a few coffee grounds have gone astray, or we have been baking and some flour has inevitably drifted on to the floor. It is really good at working along the baseboards and the base of the appliances, as well as the middle of the floor.

    In terms of noise, I run it in my office when I am working and am only distracted when it tries to clean my feet and I have to lift them off the floor briefly. It is certainly quieter than a regular vac.

    Reply
  • Mark Denmarsh 31.03.2015 at 20:38

    I would not recommend this to wool carpet owners. The robot 880 has shredded 2 different hand woven wool rugs. The ‘dust sensor’ registers the carpet as dirty and it keeps going over the same spot again and again. Furthermore the ‘brushless’ nature of the rollers are rubber and it just yanks up the fibers. The reason I’m giving it a three and not a one is that hand woven wool rugs aon top of hardwoods is probably not the norm for people. I does a fair job on the hardwoods picking up the majority of the dust and does a good job on standard residential synthetic carpet. this is not a replacement for regularly cleaning but keeps the dust bunnies down. The external room sensors to exclude or include rooms are challenging to set up as well is the vacuum. Doesn’t seem to me like it would be a big stretch to include wi fi and a more friend app. I would not recommended this purchase.

    Reply
  • Miz 30.03.2015 at 07:36

    OK returning this because

    1) It doesn’t stop when it’s full, and actually starts dumping debri everywhere once it’s full. I would come home and find piles of dirt all over the house. Nice that it has a cannister full light, but this light is only useful if you keep checking on it. Why doesn’t the machine stop once the light comes on??? Talked to tech support and they confirmed there is no way for it to auto stop once it’s full of dirt. DEAL BREAKER for us.

    2) LOUD! You pretty much have to run this when you’re not home. It’s annoyingly loud

    3) Gets stuck under tables, beds, etc

    4) cleans randomly, doesn’t seem to have any set pattern or to go over spots it hasn’t covered

    Reply
  • Jane Bibliophile 28.03.2015 at 11:01

    We have a lot of hardwood flooring, tend to have the windows open, and therefore tended to have a lot of dust (pollen, who knows what?) on the floors, especially evident in afternoon light. No more! When the afternoon sun hits, all we have is shiny floors.

    My take was that this is a gadget that might be useful, but was really pricy. Some reviews of earlier models raised concerns about falling down stairs, eating cords and rug fringe, etc. However, tired of vacuuming three or more times a week, (even with a Miele), and fighting seasonal allergies it seemed worth a try.

    Wombot’s first outing was in the living room cleared of all cords and other possible indigestibles. It spent 45 minutes (and I think I heard tsk tsk from a neglected corner) and left the room spotless, including baseboards, chair and table legs, and everything it could navigate under or around. Small area rugs were no problem. Now it takes about 20 minutes to clean the same space and this week had no trouble spitting out a cord that I forgot to move off of the floor. It always pulls back from the stairs on its own, so I can leave it alone to do the hallways. The gizmos that let you “block” off areas work really well.

    We have a three story house and it is no trouble to move it from floor to floor and return it to the level with its docking station. It sails under beds, desks, etc., although you want to be sure bedclothes and curtains are not trailing on the ground. The bin is easy to empty, and it reminds you when it is full.

    It docks near the kitchen, and what a wonderful convenience to easily turn it loose in there when a few coffee grounds have gone astray, or we have been baking and some flour has inevitably drifted on to the floor. It is really good at working along the baseboards and the base of the appliances, as well as the middle of the floor.

    In terms of noise, I run it in my office when I am working and am only distracted when it tries to clean my feet and I have to lift them off the floor briefly. It is certainly quieter than a regular vac.

    Reply
  • Travelling Man 25.03.2015 at 20:13

    I had 770 for a year and upgraded to 880 a month ago in May 2014. Let me do a comparison review, about performance and cost.

    1. Cost: The 880 model costs $200 more that 770. It is no small money. But if you are ready to invest $400 or more on a vacuum cleaner, then like me you are probably ready to spare the extra 200 provided there are significant incremental benefits. But $700 was still high. So I went to Bed Bath and Beyond with their 20% off coupon for new email customers and got this baby for $560. Now that cost is a little bit reasonable, lets talk performance.

    2. Battery: On the initial days the 880 battery sucked. It barely lasted an hour. But by 2nd week, the battery started lasting much longer. I have seen it doing 2-3 hour long cleaning sessions. The 770 by comparison lasted about a couple of hours on the best days.

    3. Cleaning power/ suction: I am reasonably impressed with the 880. This one has a wider mouth to suck objects big enough as caps of water bottles, facial tissue, whole candies, and alphabets that kids play with. Its limit was tested when it sucked in an A4 size paper folded in 4. It didn’t stop or issue warning, but continued with a weird sound. The 770 model is significantly behind in this respect. I have seen 770 suck in paper clips , but bigger or longer things like facial tissue stops it. However the bigger mouth and bigger ego of 880 cause it to suck the area rugs in and get in trouble. 770 seemed to ignore a lot of things mightier than paper clips, including area rugs, which was good and bad.

    4. Navigation: After running clueless in the initial days, 880 seem to have figured things out. A handful of times, it got stuck behind doors, pushed the door to close and got stuck in the room. Other times it came out of rooms just fine.It seem to work around other objects just fine. The 770 used to always lock itself in the restrooms. The 770 also used to climb on to other objects like bags, or some thing else and stop. The 880 seem to tackle the same hurdles better. However the 880 seem to have some issue finding its base at the end of the cleaning. No big deal since the cleaning is already done.

    5. Routine Maintenance: I find it easy to clean 880. The trash bin is big enough. The whole suction canal is also big enough to clean.
    The HEPA filter is bigger than 770. The cleaning brushes are not made of rubbery material and does not get hairs entangled in them.Some hairs get circled at the either ends of the brushes but they come out with a pull. All in all it takes a minute or two to clean the 880 trash can, brushes, HEPA filter and canal. The 770 is also easy but takes a little longer because the brushes spins hair in its bristles and one needs to cut the hair out. The trash can also seemed small and dirtier compared to 880.

    6. Overall cleaning effectiveness: For electronics, some times the whole is lesser than the sum of the parts. But 880 seem to add up well. It seem to clean all the places, hardwood and carpet, well enough. Unlike 770 which some times push or blow away some trash and dust, 880 seems to pull them all and suck em in.

    7. Other usable features: Both 880 and 770 has hifi features like automatic timed cleaning etc. I don’t use those features. I find it fairly easy to just press its button. But if some one is interested to know more, let me know and I will test it and tell you.

    8. Sound: 880 is pretty quiet. A hum. 770 was a little louder but not like handheld vacuums. I may not sleep with a 770 running, but with a 880, I probably may, as long as it does not hit a lot of objects.

    9. Overall build quality: Both seem well built and sturdy. I have used 880 only for a month, so I cannot speak for the long term durability. I will update after a year. But it looks as sturdy as 770. 770 was sturdy enough to survive the million times it hit the walls and other objects. it also survived the torture of my 2 year old who used to step on it, throw his shoes on it, push his big toy truck against it. At the end of the year the small round sensor came off the head of the 770. It still hanged there and helped roomba get around. But it looked like the eyes of aliens, hanging out.

    Over all, the extra benefits are of value worth $50 – $100 extra. But I spent more than that because I have allergies and 770 was not cleaning that well enough. The BedBath deal made it work for me. I have not had buyers remorse with either model, because when i get home and see the beautiful vacuum tracks left by roomba, every day, i feel good. Besides I don’t have to fight with my wife on who does the vacuum that weekend, or whether i did it properly. An investment that provides daily returns, I would buy a roomba and gladly skip a vacation to compensate.

    Reply
  • Dawn Tarin 23.03.2015 at 19:24

    We bought this Roomba 880 robot vacuum cleaner to help clean our family vacation apartment. The apartment is only about 700 sq feet and is occupied for about 3-4 months of the year, so lots of dust accumulates between visits. I have a very severe dust mite allergy, and I usually sneeze for most of the time we are in the apartment, even if we damp dust and HEPA vacuum it with our Dyson canister vacuum cleaner soon after we arrive. I was very curious (and skeptical) to see whether Minnie (our Roomba) could alleviate these symptoms and reduce our cleaning workload while on vacation.

    Reply
  • Rick Mac Gillis 22.03.2015 at 05:35

    It’s funny to watch Rosie (My Romba 880 named after the Jetson’s cleaning bot) go all over the floor in what appears to be an erratic fashion, but in the end, the floor is spotless! At first I was wondering how she could possibly be tracking where she cleaned at, but I was pleasantly surprised in the end.

    The Roomba 880 comes with two lighthouse/virtual walls, a remote control, an extra HEPA filter, manuals (Including troubleshooting data) and other papers, batteries for all the accessories and the Roomba, and the docking station. The remote works on two AA batteries and each of the lighthouse/virtual wall units work on two C size batteries. The Roomba works on a proprietary rechargeable battery that should last quite a while. Roomba says, “iRobot XLife™ Battery: XLife Battery delivers twice as many cleaning cycles as previous Roomba batteries, doubling the time before you may need to replace your Roomba battery. Roomba runtime remains the same between recharges. Battery lifetime varies with home environment and usage. Use Roomba as directed for longest battery life.”

    If you activate your warranty on the iRobot website, you get a free gift. (I haven’t gotten mine in the mail just yet, so I don’t know what it is and as they don’t tell you what it is, I don’t think they want ou to know until you get it. It’s a gift!) Some robots come with free coupons when you register them and the Roomba 880 might start being one of those robots at some point. In short, register your bot and see what comes of it. It activates your warranty as well.

    Now for the part of pros and cons. (There are too many pros, so I’m just highlighting a few of the more important ones to me.)

    PROS:
    1.) You can schedule the Roomba to clean house once a day every day of the week or less.

    2.) The lighthouses can be configured as virtual walls. When in virtual wall mode, they block the bot just as much as any other wall would. When in lighthouse mode, they block the bot until it finishes cleaning the room it’s in in order to clean most effectively. Got a hallway? Put up a lighthouse! No door? Lighthouse it! They also have a 3 state switch that you can specify the distance you want the IR beam’s thin conical shape to cover. The lighthouses turn on when the Roomba is on and off when the Roomba is off. This saves the lighthouse batteries.

    3.) It fits under objects that regular vacuums cannot. (Ex. The refrigerator door, kitchen table chairs, etc.)

    4.) It never gets tangled in even the smallest of the wires near my desk and has even gone over top of them to clean that space!

    5.) The remote allows you to tell the bot to clean, spot clean a 3′ area, and dock. You can also control the bot to move forward, turn left, and turn right, but it doesn’t allow you to tell it to move backwards for some odd reason which could be helpful in some situations.

    6.) If you’re a programmer or roboticist, you have a 7 pin TTY serial port under the flap on top of the unit. I’ve only ever played with 4 pin TTY, so I’ll have to see what the other 3 pins are for. You can probably talk to it with PuTTY and MAYBE use the iRobot Create stuff. The manual says you can reprogram the Robot with that port as well, so if you’re looking for a programmable bot that’s possibly more up to date physically than the Create (Create is a stripped down version of the old Roomba 400) and you don’t mind paying the $700 price tag for it, you could use this Roomba 880 as a bot to experiment with.

    CONS:
    1.) It crashes into stuff fairly hard. It hasn’t broken anything yet and it does have a bumper to cushion the blow, but it makes me a bit nervous. I’m a neat freak, so having stuff bumped into a lot makes me wonder if things will get busted. It does seem to slow down before the crash, though, so there is some kind of mechanism telling it that it’s about to collide.

    2.) It gets tangled in the bed skirt sometimes as the bed skirt drapes quite heavily to the floor. It also gets tangled sometimes on floppy rugs. (The kind of rugs that don’t have a rubber backing)

    3.) It doesn’t seem to clean rugs all that well. (Floppy or not – I have both.)

    4.) It makes a whining sound everywhere it goes. It’s not the zoom sound that the upright vacuum cleaners make and isn’t terribly loud, but it just makes a whining sound. You can learn to tune it out as it’s monotonous. Personally I don’t mind it right now.

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  • Cyber 21.03.2015 at 07:49

    I bought this at Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they accept the 20% off coupons for it, otherwise I probably would have gone Amazon. A few things to keep in mind when considering a Roomba:

    1) It does not replace your upright. The tech for never vacuuming again hasn’t arrived yet.

    2) it does not pick up everything during every cleaning cycle. Be patient – it’ll grab more every time.

    3) the ghost in the machine will inevitably pop up to haunt you. Don’t set it loose in a room with valuables sitting atop frail tables, or cords for it to play with.

    If you’re one of those people who enjoys vacuuming several times a week and can’t stand the sight of an unclean carpet or floor – forget this product; It’s not for you. It will cause you more frustration than it’s worth.

    But if you’re a slacker like me who doesn’t vacuum nearly enough this little robot is a Godsend. You’ll be amazed at how much gunk it picks up, My floors are SO much cleaner than they used to be. It seems to be doing a pretty good job of clearing the air in my house as well.

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  • katie0123 19.03.2015 at 08:41

    We purchased the Roomba 880 directly from iRobot right when it came out. We were looking for a new vacuum anyway, and the reviews about how it handled pet hair sold it for us. We have 2 cats in 1,000 sq ft apartment. It’s a constant battle against cat hair and tracked litter. So far, the Roomba has done really well with both! The rubber rollers on the bottom have been the biggest difference. Our old vacuum had the bristled roller on the bottom and wouldn’t even rotate it was so tangled in hair. Now, hair isn’t a problem. And the rubber rollers have enough give that when it starts to eat something like an iPhone charger, it just stops, and we can easily pull out whatever is caught (no damage to any items it’s pulled in so far).

    When we first got it, we ran it several times in a row – each ending with the “full bin” light. Definitely made me feel like we were missing a lot of the dust when we were vacuuming ourselves! Now we have it set to run every day, and it usually takes a few days to fill up the bin.

    It is a bit loud when it’s in the same room you, but as soon as it rounds a corner you can barely hear it. We just set it to run when we’re not home, so the noise isn’t an issue. It gets over the raised edges in the doorways fine, and it’ll go under our bed. If it’s not in it’s dock when we get home, it’s usually pulled in something like a iPhone charger cord or cat toy. It would get confused more often when we first got it, but it seems to be a rare occurrence now.

    *Bonus*
    Our cats don’t ride it, but they do follow it around. We turn it on when we’re cooking and they’ll be off following it instead of getting into the food.

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