Tech Blog

Review: iRobot Braava 380t

by Blogger on ‎11-19-2013 03:35 PM - last edited on ‎11-20-2013 12:07 PM by Blog Editor in Chief

iRobot Braava 380t

 

I’m not a fan of mopping — I don’t think it’s a favourite chore for many of us. And to take that further, I’m not a fan of cleaning but it must be done. If only we could afford the luxuries of having a full-time cleaner, right? That’s why I do the dance of joy when companies like iRobot build products to help you clean with a click of a button. Braava 380t floor mopping is the latest product from iRobot. I got to take this robot for a test drive, and here is my review.

 

irobot Braava 380tIf you are like me, you thought the Swiffer was the best cleaning item on the market. I love the Swiffer but the Braava takes it one step further in the department of “strategic cleaning.” It uses the qualities of the Swiffer and the disposable cloths, but has a robot doing the work for you. While iRobot is working, you can continue reading that novel or get work done. Enter: the Happy Dance.

 

iRobot Braava 380tOnce you turn on the iRobot Braava, it likes to dance in a spot for a minute or so before it gets into its groove. Now, if you have a "Type A" personality, this could be frustrating because you just want it to move to the next location – FAST! That is why it’s important to embrace the concept of ‘letting go’ and be occupied by reading a book or working, but check in to see where the Braava is, because you might have to reposition it to get all the areas of the room. It does a good job of detecting objects and navigating around; it might lightly bump into the wall but will pivot away to the next direction. I tried the Braava on my hardwood floor that had an area rug. It was able to detect the rug and move away from it a few times. Only once did the Braava get stuck on my rug: I had to reposition it. Good thing about the Braava is that it’s super quiet; you’ll only hear a loud beep when it is stuck on a rug or a corner.

 

iRobot BraavaThe iRobot Braava is really easy to use, you just press a button and voilà. This device is designed to efficiently dry or damp mop the entire floor.  Power on and choose either the ‘Dry Cloth’ or “Wet Cloth” button.

 

When you are in the “Wet Cloth” mode, the iRobot goes back and forth in one area a couple of times before it hits its next target. This is to ensure deep cleaning. When iRobot is in “Dry Cloth” mode, the Braava moves in a straight line until it hits the wall and then turns around. This feature helps to pick up dust, dirt, and hair.  However, I had the assumption that it would travel down the floor until it hits the wall and navigate back in a straight line. It does that about 60% of the time when in “Dry Cloth” mode, but for the most part the Braava dances as if it’s in ‘Wet Cloth’ with the back-and-forth mopping action. Sometimes it stops half way of the straight line to pivot in the opposite direction. This is where trust comes into play only to let the Roomba do the iRobot Braava 380tdirty work at it’s own pace.  Overall, the Braava did a great job of mopping my floors.

 

It uses a reusable Pro-Clean cloth that has fibers to attract and trap dirt, oils and grime from the floor; you just need to add a little water. However, if you prefer, mild cleaning solutions can be added to the reservoir instead of water.

 

I tried the Braava on my hardwood stairs in ‘Dry Cloth’ mode and successfully went into a straight line. However it didn’t try to pivot back down the line as it would on a wide floor, because it could detect that there was a drop off. This requires a bit of work, since you have to place the Braava properly for each set of stairs. If the end of your stairs is on an angle, it’s likely the Braava won’t be able to reach that area for cleaning.  Braava cleans all hard-surface floors including tile, vinyl, hardwood and laminate.

 

Will you be hiring a robot to do your mopping? 

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