Meet “Bob” our new house boy…life with a robotic vacuum

Bob’s a little blurry because he was in motion. He was working!

My husband and I recently got a robotic vacuum, a Shark Ion 725. We got it primarily because we have dark hardwood floors, which show every single white speck, every grain of sugar, every piece of lint. I swear, you can sweep an area, and when you get to the end and look back, the first part you swept has stuff on it already. Vacuuming is more effective, but it’s a hassle to drag out the big vacuum every single day (or multiple times a day).

Hence…Bob the house boy. I’m very happy to report that Bob does exactly what we wanted him to. We let him zip around for about an hour day, and our floors have never looked better. He does a good job on carpet, too, and doesn’t have any trouble moving from floor to rug.

Some other observations about Bob:

  • He moves in a random pattern, and changes direction when he (gently) bumps into things.
  • If you have a lot of clutter, a lot of stuff on the floor, a robotic vacuum would not be a good choice for you. Conversely, if you have minimalist style with large open areas, a robotic vacuum would be a great choice.
  • We have an open floor plan and our house is uncluttered, and only occasionally does he get hung up on something and needs assistance extricating himself.
  • Bob comes with magnetic strips you can lay down to keep him out of areas where you don’t want him to go (or from falling down the stairs). They’re useful, because Bob is kind of like a dog or cat. He tends to go where you don’t want him to. We’ll want him in the kitchen, and we’ll find him scurrying down the hall toward the guest bedroom.
  • He goes over wooden floor grates just fine, but gets hung on the flatter metal ones.
  • He can handle short fringe. We have a large area rug with a 2-inch long fringe. He goes over it fine. But another rug with 4.5-inch fringe hangs him up every time.
  • Bob came with a programmable remote, but we haven’t scheduled him because we want to activate him ourselves and keep an eye on him when we’re home.
  • He’s pretty quiet. You can watch TV just fine while Bob works.
  • His battery charge lasts for a hour before he has to take a nap (recharge himself). Bob puts himself to bed (docks himself).

If you’d like to see Bob in action, I took a short video when Bob first came to live with us, which I posted on Instagram. See Bob go!

I chose a Shark Ion, because my main vacuum is a Shark, and it works really well. So I had confidence in Shark, and Sam’s Club had a great deal.

The Shark 725 is fairly simple model. It comes with a programmable remote. Other Robotic vacuums can be programmed with your phone or work with Amazon’s Alexa. Some will wash your floors in addition to vacuuming them. Some run longer before needing a charge.

To see Bob’s bros at Sam’s Club, go here: Shark 725 

Amazon has a lot of robotic vacuums available:

Lastly, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have is what to name your robotic vacuum! I call mine Bob the house boy. My husband calls Bob Fifi the French maid. I think it’s obvious Bob is Bob.

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2 Responses to Meet “Bob” our new house boy…life with a robotic vacuum

  1. We have an iRobot Roomba we named “Banshee,” not because she shrieks but because she’s named after a ship in one of my Pets in Space stories–she’s shiny silver so she sort of looks like a starship–and she does a pretty job. I know what you mean about the random pattern though. Still, she eventually manages to leave a clean floor behind.

    We don’t have the magnetic strip you mentioned and we could use those, because Banshee gets caught under our dishwasher. It’s almost exactly the same height off the floor that her top surface is, and she slips under a corner of it and then gets hung up. We’ve learned to stick boots under the dishwasher before we run her to act as “bumpers” and then it doesn’t happen. The only other thing we have to watch out for is electrical cords that might be hanging low enough for her to snag. Though I don’t think she’s powerful enough to pull a lamp off an end table, I don’t want to find out the hard way!

    Banshee definitely makes keeping our floors clean a lot easier. I’d rate her 4-1/2 stars. I’m very happy to have the robotic technology assist with the housekeeping chores. More time to write! 🙂

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Banshee. I thought about naming Bob after a cyborg in one of my books, but in the end, I decided I wanted a houseboy. Lol. My husband insists on calling Bob “Fifi.” I think he’s going to get confused.

      In our house, Bob gets hung up on the metal floor grates we have in the dining room. So we accommodate him by putting a dining chair over the grates. He doesn’t get hung up, and he can get under the table better.

      I’m like you. I’d rate it 4.5 stars, and the floors are a lot cleaner. It’s a great tool.

      I wish I had a robotic cook!

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