Roomba Returned

We’ve had our Roomba now for almost 2 months, and have been very happy with it. I think every week it has gotten at least two full runs on the bottom floor. I’m always amazed at how much dust lives in our carpet, and Roomba always seems to find more the next week.

Well, sometime last week I noticed that it was acting a little funny. When it should have been going into a spiral pattern, it tended to spin around one wheel, or sometimes around its center. I did some researched, and ran all of the tests that are suggested on the website. I eventually found some documentation on Diagnostic Modes. Going through the new tests, I was able to determine that the sensor in the right wheel was malfunctioning. I guess this isn’t that unusual; Roomba uses an optical sensor, so it’s no surprise that it gets dusty and fuzzy and can’t work after traveling enough down on the dirty floor. I hope they’re able to make newer versions a bit more robust.

Once I figured out what was wrong, and was pretty sure that I couldn’t fix it myself (compressed air didn’t seem to do the trick), I emailed customer support. After them asking me to try a few more things, they told me that I would have to send it back to the factory, but first I would have to call customer service and get some tracking number, and the info on where to send it.

Yesterday morning I called the number and was glad when someone answered the phone right away. The guy that took my call, Freddy if I recall, did a very good job of quickly understanding what I needed, taking my information, and telling me what I needed to do next. By two o’clock yesterday afternoon, I had dropped off my Roomba to be shipped back to Peoria, IL.

Once they get my old one, they’ll send me a brand new one, hopefully one that’s not so prone to being disabled by a little carpet fuzz. If my new one does have similar problems, after the warranty expires, I think I’m going to have to take it apart and fix it myself. Actually, I’m kind of looking forward to opening it up and fiddling with its innards. It’ll probably be a couple weeks before I get the new one, hopefully you won’t have to wait that long for me to post.

I guess that’s it. I can’t say that I’m really surprised that Roomba broke down so quickly. I knew when we bought it that it was new technology, and there would probably be problems, and I’m happy as long as they’re replacing the old ones, or if I can fix it myself. I’m sure they’ll improve in the future, technology always does.