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Old 20th December 2016, 02:52   #1
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Default My experience with a home-cleaning robot

Hello folks, here is a small write up about my experiences with the iRobot braava 380t.

Why a robot?

The answer was simple for us – we were so frustrated with the string of house maids we had to hire and let go simply because none of them were efficient. Every other day we would have to remind them to let us know if they were going to take a leave (god forbid we anger them by questioning upon their return). Also the need for keeping an eye out for a corner missed or an item missing altogether from the house was a nightmarish experience. (End of rant)

Well – basically all our dismay turned to joy when we came upon the fantastic house helper called – Braava. We opted to go for the 380t which I purchased online from Amazon US and asked one of my colleagues returning to Mumbai to carry it along.
Their official website is http://www.irobot.com/For-the-Home/Mopping.aspx

The Choice –
After watching like a ton of reviews on automated options for cleaning the home I finally decided to opt for mopping robot vs a vacuuming robot.

Why you ask?

The PROS -
  • Well for one the cost – the top end Roomba costs $ 899 and the Braava 380t cost me $ 299.
  • Secondly the vacuum robots only pick up dust and dry debris – for the wooden and tile floors with sticky spills and the gooey mess you still need a liquid cleaning solution. This is exactly why this was my ideal choice and replacement for ‘jhadoo’ – the Sweeping Mode and ‘pocha’ – the Mopping mode.
  • The beauty about Braava is it works extremely well in small spaces i.e. our rooms. The braava 380t is designed for multiple rooms and large spaces (350-1,000 square feet). (The other option on the Braava series is the jet 240 with its water nozzle sprays and 3 different modes of cleaning i.e. Wet Mop, Damp Sweep and Dry Sweep. However for me the biggest drawback was coverage area of only 150 – 200 square feet and low battery life which meant frequent recharges)
  • Braava is also equipped with navigation technology – think of it like a GPS map of your floor with all furniture, obstacles, etc. mapped and also no scary situations of tumbling down the stairs!
  • Since the entire unit is tiny compared to the other robots I’ve seen it works brilliantly in tight spaces – under the WC, shoe racks, etc.

The CONS
  • Yes there are some die hard vacuuming loyalists who would present the fact that the Braava may not really match up to the truly autonomous capabilities of the vacuum robots.
  • The Braava will need a little help from you when it runs out of charge unlike the Roomba which will return to its dock when it runs out power.
  • The Braava needs cleaning pads – dry cloth and wet cloth for both the modes (sweeping and mopping) which you will have to manually change/clean at the end of every session.

If it helps, you can refer to a comparison chart between the 2 Braavas.

Well, with my mind firmly made up, I finally got the early Christmas gift for the wife and believe me she has not stopped admiring this little robot ever since!

I have been using this for more than a month and so far no complaints – yes sometimes the Braava might leave a spot. However, this should not stop you from using its focused cleaning mode for that small space and it won’t complain at all!

SO HOW DOES IT ALL WORK –

We’ve put up a couple of demo videos on YouTube if you’d like to watch them – here are the links.
TIPS, OBSERVATIONS AND CONCLUSION
  • Always ensure your floors are uncrowded (no stray toys, door mats, weak tables, etc.) The Braava will gently keep knocking/ pushing against obstacles, so in case there is a delicate item it will simply knock it over!
  • You can place chairs on top of the table itself to allow it to work seamlessly, the Braava does love to clean thoroughly so it will try to get under and around chairs and tables.
  • The Navigation Cube must have a clear and unobstructed view of your entire room, place it on a height and not on the floor – the Braava will knock it around if it is on the floor.
  • The Cube should point to the centre of the room/ area which is being cleaned.
  • Always switch on the Cube first and then the Braava and then select the mode for cleaning. This will allow the Braava to connect to the Cube and once the signal is locked it will start cleaning.
  • If the Braava gets stuck in an extremely tight/low space, simply pull it out – it will pause cleaning once you lift it.
  • To resume just select the same mode it was working on.
  • The sweeping cloth (white in colour) should always be dry. Before and during the sweeping mode.
  • To clean the cloth, simply use a brush to get rid of the accumulated dust and other particles (see pic)
  • The mopping cloth (blue) has to be damp but not dripping wet. The mopping attachment should be filled with water. Always check if there is adequate water in the reservoir.
  • The cloth can be washed with regular washing soap and water to get rid of the dirt accumulated after the mopping cycle is complete. (see pic)
  • Recommend that you use the turbo charging cradle, if not, the adapter directly plugs into the Braava for charging as well.
  • A 2 hour period will fully charge your Braava for the next round of sweeping and mopping.

In the end, we simply love this robot and we would recommend it for anyone who is looking for a hassle-free home cleaning solution. If the budget permits and you're keen on a complete war on the dirt in your home go for a combination of the vacuuming robot along with the mopping robot.

Happy cleaning !

My experience with a home-cleaning robot-picsart_122002.10.57.jpg

My experience with a home-cleaning robot-picsart_122002.14.28.jpg

My experience with a home-cleaning robot-table.png

Last edited by GTO : 20th December 2016 at 10:33. Reason: Spacing. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th December 2016, 11:42   #2
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

Great stuff. So did you order it online and got it delivered to your home? Any additional cost you had to incur?
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Old 20th December 2016, 12:20   #3
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

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Originally Posted by SnS_12 View Post
Great stuff. So did you order it online and got it delivered to your home? Any additional cost you had to incur?
We opted to go for the 380t which I purchased online from Amazon US and asked one of my colleagues returning to Mumbai to carry it along.



@Le Roi est mort : very interesting post. At first glance it reminded me of the hobby line follower robot my brother made. This is like looking at the hint of things to come
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Old 20th December 2016, 12:37   #4
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Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
We opted to go for the 380t which I purchased online from Amazon US and asked one of my colleagues returning to Mumbai to carry it along.
Ok. It retails at $ 220 on amazon compared to $ 299 on the official site. So it needs no power conversion to be used in India?
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Old 20th December 2016, 12:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
We opted to go for the 380t which I purchased online from Amazon US and asked one of my colleagues returning to Mumbai to carry it along.



@Le Roi est mort : very interesting post. At first glance it reminded me of the hobby line follower robot my brother made. This is like looking at the hint of things to come
@rav11stars - Yes it super exciting is'nt it mate ? Now I am praying for someone to rack their brains and come up with a dusting robot and then I would be truly in bliss mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnS_12 View Post
So it needs no power conversion to be used in India?
No, just use a normal travel adapter and it will work with our Indian home plug points.

Last edited by bblost : 20th December 2016 at 15:09. Reason: Back 2 Back posts.
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Old 20th December 2016, 13:33   #6
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

Thanks for sharing!

Questions:

1) What's the height of this thing? Can it go under the bed and clean the area?
2) Its not a vacuum so does it really collect all the hair and dust without leaving anything behind?
3) How long would it take it to clean, say a 14x14 room? Speed?
4) What's the cost of the consumables? Maintenance cost

EDIT: Does this model look like a whole lot better deal?

Last edited by fine69 : 20th December 2016 at 13:41.
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Old 20th December 2016, 14:59   #7
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Thanks for sharing!

Questions:

1) What's the height of this thing? Can it go under the bed and clean the area?
2) Its not a vacuum so does it really collect all the hair and dust without leaving anything behind?
3) How long would it take it to clean, say a 14x14 room? Speed?
4) What's the cost of the consumables? Maintenance cost

EDIT: Does this model look like a whole lot better deal?
@ fine69 - Here is my take -
1) Pretty tiny - 3 to 4 inches at most and about 9 inches wide so pretty comfortable under most beds.
2) Pl. watch the video if you can (for a better view of the dust it collected after sweeping only the kitchen area) It collects everything. Hair, dust particles, etc.
3) To be honest I've never calculated the time actually. I can safely presume it will be under 30 minutes for both. There is also a Quick Clean mode on this one which essentially cleans faster - targeting open areas and skips cleaning intensely around your chair & table legs
4) The microfibre pads will need to be replaced if worn out, Yes these are early days but I've used it daily without fail for more than a month now - no additional expenses yet. I believe a set of 3 microfiber cloths is available on Amazon India for about 1K INR.

To your query on the Milagrow - at the risk of sounding pedantic might I add - please do your research before investing and keep your need in mind. Mine was simple I wasn't looking for a Vacuum Robot hence I chose this one to do the sweeping and wet mopping. Good luck with your purchase mate !
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Old 20th December 2016, 16:19   #8
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

Its available in India too but costly compared to the US

http://irobot.in/vaccummclean.aspx

Also you can find some cheap options from Aliexpress as well

https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale...leaning+robots
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Old 20th December 2016, 16:54   #9
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

Its really nice. I should plan one for my mother. Can you elaborate a little - anything you know about the service availability in India (as you have imported it to India from abroad) if any technical glitches occur?

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2016 at 10:20. Reason: Typo
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Old 20th December 2016, 17:44   #10
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

We bought a Roomba a few years back - the first gen. Did its duties peacefully every night for the first couple years and then one fine day it just gave up. Went to its charging port and never rolled out. We couldn't get it serviced in India and it's now lying in a corner somewhere gathering dust - what an irony!

That's hardly a sob story for a vacuum robot that could pick up small hairs, dust and small food particles.

My quick review -

Not the best in the business but a pretty fancy gadget to wow your guests
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Old 20th December 2016, 18:45   #11
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

We have bought a Milagrow Redhawk 3.0 for 22k from their website. Had couple of minor issues, but the company did send an engineer to take care of it. Would recommend this easily.

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2016 at 10:21. Reason: Language
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Old 20th December 2016, 19:20   #12
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Default Re: My experience with a home-cleaning robot

I use Milagrow Blackcat 3.0. Bought about a year back for about 23K under a discount scheme.

Advantages:
1) Serviceable in India.
2) Replacement parts available in India.
3) Can be ordered on Milagrow site or on Amazon India.
4) Returns to the cradle to recharge.
5) Long Charge hold capacity.
6) Comes with an IR barrier to block access to a specific area.
7) Works well to remove Dog Hair that my Lab shreds.
8) 3rd Generation product.
9) They have added wet mopping accessories that can be purchased and added to this product for better performance than was originally available.
10) Vacuuming works well.
11) My dog runs around avoiding it while it is on.
12) Picks up and cleans dirt from places that we do not clean too often.
13) Comes with a nice remote.

Negatives:
1) Can get tangled in mats, and cords.
2) Can fall off steps sometimes.
3) Expensive in India but cheaper than some international brands with similar features.
4) Wet mopping (At least as was originally provided) is cosmetic.
5) Though there is a timer, don't feel it can be safely used while am not at home. Feel it will get stuck somewhere.
6) It cleans in a random motion so some area may get left out. It does not have a navigation or GPS based system.
7) It cannot replace a maid. But supplements one.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 12:12   #13
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Nice effort mate. Thanks for your hard work.
I wanted to see if it would navigate under my dining table (with chairs tucked in) which is probably an obstacle race challenge for something of that size.
Whats your experience?
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Old 22nd December 2016, 18:58   #14
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Nice effort mate. Thanks for your hard work.
I wanted to see if it would navigate under my dining table (with chairs tucked in) which is probably an obstacle race challenge for something of that size.
Whats your experience?
Well it is a master navigator around chairs, tenacious little cleaning monster that it is ! Unless the area under the table is completely blocked for it to work it's way through - then it just won't. Just haul them chairs on top of the table if it isn't too much effort! Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohiT Nonu View Post
Its really nice. I should plan one for my mother. Can you elaborate a little - anything you know about the service availability in India (as you have imported it to India from abroad) if any technical glitches occur?
Thanks mate - Yes, they do have a technical support team - please refer to their website for India and you should be able to get in touch with them.
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