I own two Roombas. Rather, I own two Roomba husks. Yesterday, my pink one, long the workhorse even if it was older than my grey Discovery, decided that it would rather not turn off its brushes—ever. I even turned it off and they continued to whirr until I removed the battery.
That battery is the only good one I have, in fact, after having burnt through at least two others between the two Roombas in the past. The replacement batteries are about $35 a pop, but they do such a bang-up job with pet hair that I was loathe to live without one.
But now I’m not so sure. My grey Roomba acts like it’s taking a charge, but I just tried to run it and it’s dead, too. Both are outside of the warranty; I’ve had them both for about two years.
I’m left with a tough choice: do I spent another $200 or so on a new Roomba that will almost certainly give up the ghost in another year or two? Or do I finally accept that floor cleaning robots, while useful, are just too susceptible to the very dirt and grime they’re meant to clean to be worth it?
You know what’s the worst part? My floor’s too dirty to use my Scooba, which has been sitting unused for about six months while I waited on a battery and firmware replacement. $200 will buy me a nice broom and a badass mop.