The invasion of the cleaning androids


Let’s face it, cleaning can be pretty tedious. There isn’t much excitement in the annoying drone hum of your hoover as you push it round your slightly dirty carpet. It’s a modern-day dilemma of epic proportions. In the modern age of instant news, virtual reality and holoportation, picking up a broom and scrubbing your way around the skirting boards just seems old-fashioned. When everything else in our lives has launched itself into the 21st century, why haven’t domestic chores kept up?

Never fear tech fans, we’ve scoped out the coolest cleaning gadgets on the market. iRobot are an American company who have been building robots since 1990. Founded by roboticists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, they had the vision of making practical robots a reality. iRobot are famed for engineering some of the most successful robots on the planet. After designing defence and security robots for the US military used in thousands of dangerous search, reconnaissance and bomb-disposal missions. They have turned their attention to the home and have created three robots that have changed the way we get domestic chores done.

The Roomba

The world’s first fully automated vacuum cleaning robot. This little black disk has literally changed people’s lives in some parts of the world. Never vacuum again as the iRobot navigates the length and breadth of your floors performing a high-efficiency cleaning pattern as it moves. Even better, the Roomba 980 uses vSLAM technology to map and track visual landmarks to know where it has been, so it never cleans a spot twice. The robot runs continuously for 2 hours then docks itself at the charging port to refuel and then carries on until the job is complete. And the other thing, this robot is as quiet as a mouse, so beats any like for like handheld hoover on the market.

The Braava

Is another innovation in robot cleaning technology from iRobot. This machine solves the problem of mopping. Perfect for any homes with hard-wood flooring or laminate. This hassle-free cleaning robot uses dry or damp cloths to mop surfaces for you removing dust, dirt and mess automatically. Simply attach a cloth and choose between two modes; sweep or mop then let it do its thing. Once Braava is finished it will return to where it started and power down, just like you would put your feet up after a hard afternoon scrubbing. The Braava covers up to 92 square meters in a single cleaning cycle, and takes just two hours to clean.

The Scooba

The latest invention from the iRobot tech giants is a floor scrubbing robot that does three cleaning tasks in one. The Scooba provides a professional-grade floor cleaning finish. It sweeps and pre-soaks the floor area, then scrubs with a 600RPM brush while a squeegee vacuum sucks dirty water from the floor, it finally ends the cycle with a drying finish to leave a clean, dry, polished floor. The Scooba uses advancements on the technology used in the Roomba to optimise cleaning on wet surfaces. The Scooba also claims to remove 99.3% of bacteria, the only robot of the three to achieve this level of clean.

Mab – the cleaning drone

Mab is a system and design concept which was the winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2013 and the brainchild of Adrian Perez Zapata is a spherical device created on the idea of a bee’s honey collection process. The sphere, when activated, would roll into a room, scan the area and determine which level of clean is needed; fast, normal or exhaustive. Then it would deploy 908 tiny robot drones to get to work with a water and cleaning solution mix. The system also features wireless connectivity, so by the use of an app can allow for remote scheduling of cleaning. Sounds great right? Unfortunately this device is only at the concept stage and is currently not in development, but is an interesting look at how domestic cleaning could be like in the future.

So if you can’t have the Mab just yet, then the other three of these robots sound revolutionary right? Having three little cleaning minions buzzing around your home mopping up after you and keeping your home sparkly clean sounds like a one way ticket to domestic bliss. However, there is a small catch. To own all three of these little beauties will set you back a handsome £1,700! Which is an extortionate price to pay for peace of mind, but if you can afford it, we’re sure it would be worth it. Our domestic cleaning services, on the other hand, cost as little as £30 per week, which means a year’s worth of our cleaning services will cost you £150 less than all three robots combined. Moreover, our cleaners not only wash and vacuum your floors, they do everything else, from scrubbing your kitchen cupboards and surfaces, to bathroom sinks, showers and toilets, something the Roomba hasn’t quite conquered yet. We’ll even make your bed for you and are happy to do laundry and ironing upon request. Besides, a friendly face, and a nice chat over a cup of tea is out of reach for these robots and most people don’t want robots taking over their lives just yet.

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