IROBOT SCOOBA 450 | Flat base decoded
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You probably know iRobot as the purveyor of robotic vacuum cleaners, but they do more than just Roomba. In addition to the company’s iconic carpet-cleaning bot, the company also produces robotic servants of all kinds, including gutter cleaners, pool cleaners, and autonomous floor scrubbers. Not being fans of manual labour, we ( had to get our hands on one of the latter to see if it was actually better than scrubbing floors manually. Here’s what we found.

Setup and installation

Getting this little bot up and running is about as simple as it gets. Don’t even bother with the instructions manual — just pop in the batteries, fill up the water and soap compartment, punch a couple buttons, and you’re done. The pictorial directions iRobot includes in the accompanying Quick Start guide are practically impossible to screw up, which we really appreciated. All in all, you’ll have this thing out of the box and roving your floors in just a couple minutes.

Features and design

Somewhat unsurprisingly, iRobot decided to stick with it’s iconic “oversized hockey puck” look with the Scooba. It’s a bit taller and beefier than your average Roomba, but otherwise retains the exact same design aesthetic – minimalist, round, and low-profile.

It lays down clean water and sucks up the dirty stuff all in one pass.
But don’t let the look fool you – under the hood, this little bot is completely different than Roomba. On the undercarriage, it sports a different brushroll that’s better suited for scrubbing flat floor surfaces like tile, laminate, concrete, and hardwood. Additionally, because this is a floor scrubber, the bot is outfitted with a two-compartment reservoir – one for water and cleaning solution, and another for the dirty waste water it squeegees off the floor. 

Unlike other robomops out there, this one doesn’t push around the same gunk-ridden water – it lays down clean water and sucks up the dirty stuff all in one pass, which is pretty nice. It’s also eliminates the need for sweeping beforehand. When it comes to the control interface, we’ve got to give iRobot big props for outfitting Scooba with one of the easiest control systems we’ve ever encountered on a household robot – though it’s worth mentioning that this lack of difficult controls largely comes as a result of having few advanced features and settings. Even so, the Scooba is a breeze to control. There are only three buttons you use to access all the functions: one big one in the center for activation, a smaller one on the right to play voice instructions, and another that toggles the bot between its two room-size settings. Even your grandma could figure it out.

If you get the bot, it’s highly recommended that you also get a beacon or two, as this will allow you to tell the bot which sections of your floor are off limits, and help keep it quarantined to areas of your choosing. You wouldn’t want it on your carpet, after all – that might start a turf war between this bot and your Roomba.

To pre order your own autonomous floor scrubber click me. 

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Drew Prindle | Digital trends | Living

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