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The iRobot Roomba i7+ sweeping robot that can take out the garbage

The sweeping robot has long become an indispensable device in my home, not only because it can be lazy, but also because it can go deep into the bottom of all kinds of furniture to clean thoroughly. I have used many brands of products, and the most favorite is iRobot’s products, in the public on iRobot WeChat Seeing the introduction of the new Roomba i7+ on the number, it can automatically take out the garbage. My daughter-in-law and I were poisoned in one second and moved home as soon as possible.

The iRobot Roomba i7+ sweeping robot that can take out the garbage


      Roomba i7+ is not a product, but a combination of Roomba i7 sweeping robot and Clean Base automatic dust collection and charging stand. The two can be purchased separately, but they must be used in combination to achieve the greatest advantage. The packing box of Clean Base is much larger than Roomba i7, which is quite surprising.
      Let's take a brief look at the accessories in the two packages:
      The accessories of Roomba i7 are similar to the Roomba 900 series. In addition to the robot, it also has a charging base, a new virtual wall, a spare high-efficiency filter and a side brush. The filter design is different and has been upgraded.
      The appearance of Roomba i7 is also very similar to the 900 series, it is also simple three buttons, using vSLAM visual processing technology instead of laser navigation. The advantage of visual navigation is that the robot is moved in the middle of cleaning. It is easy to reposition the previously created visual landmark to continue the cleaning task. However, it is difficult to judge the position after the laser navigation moves, only repositioning.
      The bottom of Roomba i7 looks very similar to the 900 series at first glance, but in fact the structure has changed a lot: in order to make the dust box washable, the motor is moved from the dust box to the inside of the fuselage.
      Anyone who has used the iRobot sweeping robot knows that the motor has always been placed in the dust box, but when it is used with the cleaning base, the dust box must be replaced. Moving the motor to the fuselage can avoid wasting costs.
      In addition to removing the motor from the dust box, the structure of the dust box has also been greatly changed. A layer of fine mesh is added for preliminary filtration, which can greatly reduce the burden of the high-efficiency filter. A layer of paper towels on the filter screen can have the same effect, but the operation is really troublesome.
      The double main brush made of i-series rubber has also been fine-tuned to make it easier to pick up large particles of garbage. Of course, the most noticeable change is the color change. Previously, iRobot would set all detachable positions to yellow, while the i-series would all change to green.
      After removing the rubber brush, we will find a piece of metal hidden in the channel. This position is one of iRobot's unique Dirt Detect sensors. When it detects that the inhaled dust is large, it will judge that the current location is dirty, and the robot will repeat the cleaning here until the cleaning is completed. No other brand has this design.
      The other set of dirt detection sensors are on the left and right sides of the dust box entrance, which are the two black shiny square pillars in the photo. Those are infrared sensors. When there is a lot of dust passing between the two, the area will be judged. The dirt is more serious. How powerful this function is, I will talk about it later.
    After introducing the i7, let's take a look at the Clean Base automatic dust collection charging stand. Compared with the standard charging stand of the i7, this size is definitely a giant. This set combination gives it two chargers. If it is a double-story house, you can put the small charger upstairs, so you won’t be afraid that you won’t be able to charge it after clean upstairs.
      In addition to charging, its more important function is to suck the dust in the robot dust box into the built-in garbage bag at the top. In fact, it has a powerful vacuum cleaner inside.
      Also take a look at its accessories. In addition to the base, it also comes with a special dust box and two garbage bags, one of which I have already installed in the machine.
      There is a winding design on the back, so that too long wires can be stored to ensure a neater placement.
      Open the top cover to see the installed garbage bag.
      There is a mechanical switch on the lid. When the lid is closed, a tube will be automatically inserted into the garbage bag to ensure that it does not leak.
      This is the comparison between the size of disposable garbage bags and the size of mobile phones. According to the official statement, the disposable dust bag can hold the equivalent of 30 trash cans. I have used it for more than a month and haven't changed it yet.
      The trash bag has a clever double-layer lid design. When inserted into the base, the outer cover slides down to expose the entrance. When pulling out from the base, first pull up the lid to automatically close the garbage bag. No dust will leak out during the whole process of garbage disposal.
      Compared with the i7 standard dust box, there is an extra green cover at the bottom of the dust box attached to the base.
      This green cover is a one-way cover made of rubber material. The strength design is just right. When the robot is working, the suction power is not enough to open it. The suction power of the base can open it. The garbage in the dust box is sucked into the garbage bag through this hole. .
      The pipe can be seen from the bottom surface of the base, and the base is made into a bulky overall structure, instead of separating the chassis and the column to reduce the volume, presumably it is also to ensure that there are no gaps and enhance the effect. 
      Roomba i7 is integrated with Clean Base, the floor area has not increased, but the trash can on the top is added, and it can't be stuffed under the furniture.


      Before officially starting to use it, let's briefly introduce the iRobot APP. Generally, the APP of the sweeping robot is mainly used to remotely control the robot's startup and monitor the working status of the robot. You can receive a report after sweeping the floor, and you can go to rescue in time if you accidentally get stuck. However, the i-series of iRobot has greatly enhanced hardware, and the APP has some more practical functions.
      The APP can manage multiple sweeping robots and wiping robots that support WIFI. In the Smart Home module, you can also see that iRobot has opened up permissions to Alexa. The iRobot itself is remotely controlled through the MQTT protocol, and can be easily added to smart home platforms such as Home Assistant, which is very convenient to achieve unified management.
      The main interface of Roomba i7 will display the current status of the robot, and there is an additional button to empty the dust box at the bottom. This is an option that must be placed on the dust base. At the bottom is the main function module of i7. Compared with the 900 series, it mainly adds the Imprint smart map module. This function will be explained in detail later. The two modules, maintenance and maintenance, and history, are relatively simple, and you can see their usefulness after reading them.
      The other menus are mainly to set the cleaning times and detailed status information of the robot.

Use experience

      Compared with the 981 I used before, Roomba i7 has increased the maximum suction power from 5 times to 10 times (compared to the 600 series). The working mode is all visual navigation. There will be no big difference in the early use, but in the later period. Because of the addition of the Imprint intelligent planning function, efficiency and flexibility will be greatly increased.


      In normal use, the working methods of the robots of all brands are similar. Here is a brief introduction.
      I didn't use the Clean Base at first because I wanted to see if it could clean the floor when there was rubbish in the dust box. And I plan to put this charging base under this heater for a long time. You can save a sweeping robot at home, so you don't have to worry about having no place to charge after sweeping.
      In open areas, i7 will sweep the ground back and forth according to the planned path without repeating it. When encountering obstacles in front of it, it will automatically slow down to reduce the impact on furniture and walls.
       The main reason we have always relied on sweeping robots is that they can thoroughly clean under the furniture, which is difficult to clean manually. There are cats in the house. Without the help of a sweeping robot, a lot of cat hair will float under the furniture at any time when the cat is shed. Cat hair will never be cleaned up.
      Cleaning the underside of the office chair is the weak link of the sweeping robot. The legs of the swivel chair occupy a large area and are difficult to enter. Manual cleaning can be easily removed. The sweeping robot can only squeeze into every gap as much as possible. I usually put the swivel chair in the middle of the room every time I turn it on, because the middle of the room is relatively clean, which prevents the chair legs and table legs from forming blind spots that the robot cannot clean.
      With the aid of side brushes, iRobot has always been handy in cleaning the roots of walls and around the legs of furniture.
      After the cleaning is complete or the robot is out of power, it will obediently go back to the charging station. The i7 can work for 75 minutes on a single charge. Starting from the 900 series, if the Roomba has insufficient power to clean the entire area, it will continue to clean after it is fully charged. The i series has the function of automatically cleaning the dust box, no matter how large the area is, it can be cleaned.
      If there is a Clean Base, the dust box will be automatically emptied after the cleaning is completed. Of course, a cleaning report will be provided, including the cleaning area, the area and the time of the focus to clean the dirt. Rooma's cleaning speed is obviously not fast, because Roomba is not simply designed for fast cleaning. When the cleaning area is small, it will perform a second cleaning. In addition, as the number of cleanings increases, the robot will have an increasing understanding of the house structure and cleaning speed. Will also improve.

Dirt Cleaning

      As mentioned earlier, there is a "dirt" data in iRobot's cleaning report. This is the exclusive feature of iRobot: Dirt Detect. This function has been developed to the second generation. It consists of an ultrasonic sensor under the roller brush and an infrared sensor at the entrance of the dust box. When it encounters an area with a lot of dirt, the indicator light of the robot will turn into a blue flashing state. Repeat cleaning back and forth everywhere.
     To demonstrate this function, I sprinkled a thick layer of flour on the floor.
      Then add cat litter and solid steel clapboard nails.
      With this level of dirtiness, even hand-held vacuum cleaners have to be dragged back and forth many times. Try to see how much Roomba i7 can do.
      Roomba i7 entered the dirt detection mode when passing through this area, and began to clean back and forth repeatedly.
      In this small area, Roomba i7 no longer operates in the navigation mode of trajectory planning, but repeatedly cleans from multiple angles, and finally cleans here. If it’s a robot of another brand, I’m afraid it will make garbage everywhere.
      The final cleaning effect, whether it is powder or metal particles, is cleaned, only a small amount of free accumulation is left in the V groove on the floor, but this is a position that is difficult to handle with a handheld vacuum cleaner, and the requirements for a sweeping robot are still too high. .

Imprint Smart Map

      The Imprint smart planning function is a new function only available in the Roomba i series. It gradually learns the home layout after many cleanings, recognizes each room, and automatically generates a smart map. With the map, the robot can clean the designated room without closing the door, and a variety of automatic execution plans can be defined.
      The first cleaning will give some suggestions, such as putting away debris and wires, etc., and then start cleaning.
      After cleaning, the robot will come back and climb on the charging stand, and the charging stand will automatically perform the cleaning procedure to suck up the garbage in the dust box. The noise of the charging stand during cleaning is much greater than that of the robot, but the cleaning only takes about 5 seconds.
      In a fixed environment, it is best to enable the smart map function. After activation, 2-5 cleanings are required to complete the map drawing work.
      Tips before drawing a smart map: open the door, clean up debris, and perform cleaning tasks at different times. Simply put, you don't need to pay attention to it. As long as you use it normally, it will slowly finish drawing by itself. However, iRobot has prepared a training mode for impatient users. In training mode, it only scans the room without cleaning, so it is much faster and there is no noise.
      In fact, Roomba i7 can intelligently learn and remember up to 10 different home floor plans. With the support of 10 maps, even villas and mansions can be handled by a single machine, and I am considering sending away the other robots in the house.


      The most troublesome thing about the sweeping robot is the cleaning of the machine afterwards. In this regard, iRobot originally did the best. They replaced the traditional brush with a patented double-effect rubber brush made of rubber. There is no entanglement of hair or pet hair at all. The original problem was to pour the dust box every two days. And the i series also deprived this last labor right, and it only needs to be thrown away once a month or two.
      First of all, let's take a look at the cleaning ability of Clean Base. This is a dust box that has been swept several times. There are already a lot of cat hair and dust piled in it, and there are even a few small screws.
      With the double-layer filter design, the dust on the filter screen has been significantly reduced. Some sweepers are equipped with a comb-like cleaning tool to dig out the garbage in the gap of the filter screen, and i7 will basically no longer have this demand.
      Put it on the base for about 5 seconds to clean, all kinds of garbage in the dust box have been sucked up. This is the first time I have seen a dust box that has been used for more than a month so clean.
      The dust on the high-efficiency filter is basically sucked out, and the effect is similar to what I usually suck with the Dyson flat nozzle tip, which can undoubtedly greatly increase the life of the high-efficiency filter.
      Finally, let us feel the powerful suction power of this charging base. Originally I wanted to use the dust box to do a dirt detection work test and demonstrate it. I accidentally put it on the base and was sucked clean. I had to grab some small steel nails to demonstrate, and it was completely sucked in by the base in a few seconds. .


      The iRobot Roomba i7+ is undoubtedly the biggest breakthrough in the field of sweeping robots in the past few years. No wonder it won the honor of the best invention of Time Magazine in 2018 as soon as it was released. In the past, I would delay sweeping the floor because I was too lazy to dump the dust box, and there will be no such problem in the future. We even equipped three robots because we were too lazy to take the floor cleaners upstairs and downstairs. Now it seems that one i7+ is enough. With the powerful Imprint™ intelligent planning function, we must consider reducing the number of robots


      As long as the garbage is thrown away once a month or two, the sweeping problem can be completely solved and labor is liberated.
      Automatic garbage cleaning not only saves time and reduces dust flying, it is also extremely helpful to maintain the performance of the filter
      Dirt detection function, becoming the cleanest sweeping robot
      The glue brush has no problem of jamming and is very convenient to clean up. It is a perfect match for families with pets.
      Ten smart maps, the best choice for multi-floor units
      Can join a variety of smart home platforms 


      An extra amount of daily expenses for buying garbage bag consumables
      The price of $799 is not cheap
      Of course, you can use echo Dot to control it
iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal-Empties Itself, Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Black