The vacuum cleaner under the Christmas Tree or how to regain freedom.

My partner bought me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.

So my partner bought me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas and what a great idea that was!

The robot is round, sleek, minimalist and well packed with spare parts… We looked for a convenient place to put its charging station and plugged it all in. It’ll take 6.5h for a full charge.

In the meantime I downloaded the app and wanted to explore it but needed to wait for the robot to charge a little more which we did after a few hours. We connected it all to the wifi but didn’t get much of a chance to test it out because the kids have their new Lego spread all over the place and it’d be a shame to vacuum it up already!

I find the app unclear and fumble around in it for a while, there are functions it’s supposed to have that I cannot find and it’s frustrating; it makes me feel like I’ll just be disappointed about another product being oversold.

We finally test it at the end of the day…. Well it works well! It goes under furniture that I don’t regularly vacuum under because I have to get on all fours to reach those areas. The app keeps losing the connexion. I’m unconvinced at this point but I did find the features I couldn’t find by accident. The thing is I lost the menu and can’t find it back again.
The app is rather fascinating in the sense that it maps the areas that have been cleaned so you can just watch it work whilst lying on your bed! Tristan and I spent quite a while just watching and commenting, we even noticed that it recognised Eve , represented by 2 curved lines, sitting on a mat and moving once in a while.

When it finishes cleaning it goes back to its charging station so I decide to empty it to see what it did. Oh my god, I’m shocked at how much dirtier my house is than I thought! It’s picked up so much and this gives me hope that this is maybe the most awesome purchase of the year.

The next day that same hope is shot to hell. The connexion between the app and the vacuum doesn’t hold, most of the day I can’t get it to function at all. We got it to clean automatically. This means it doesn’t map the house, doesn’t remember anything, cleans everywhere instead of being able to zone how it cleans which was kind of the point behind our choice

You can name your robot. From now on out is known as “Le Débile” which translates as “the Idiot”. This unfortunate nickname is due to the fact that whilst testing stuff out and failing miserably due the nonexistent connexion the robot decided to head back to its charging station by going around the entire house even though it was 50 cm away from its dock. It did this twice in a row.
I ended up frustrated and, quite frankly, angry that I couldn’t do anything with the app, I stupidly went to read the comments on the app store and got worried that we’d made an expensive mistake so I ended up sending the helpdesk an email.

They answered fast (good) but addressed me as « Dear Mrs. Degauquier » (not good – where the hell did that come from?!). In short they’d had technical difficulties and it should now be resolved (good).

This appeared to be true, we’d had no issues since. The app works correctly but is still not used friendly enough. We ended up finding what we now call the magic menu. We’ve called it that because you have to click a specific spot in the blue top bar whose existence isn’t indicated in any way.

This time we got it to create and memorize the map by basically doing the same thing it did yesterday but now it could remember where it had been.
Then we programmed the cleaning schedule for both wet and dry cleaning. Yes it cleans wet too! You just have to fill the tank with about a half-litre of water and place the pad underneath it and voilà, it knows what to do.
You can decide suction power, water flow, set a do not disturb, set a quiet mode, you can zone the floor and decide which areas it will clean and in which order according to how you live in the house. We’ve learned it can do the whole ground floor with one tank and we have to rinse the pad half-way around. And it’s still picking up more dirt than we understand.

I wouldn’t go so far as to eat off the floor but “The Idiot” has impressed us.
I could give it a more positive name but we don’t want to encourage it to be too full of itself.

Here’s a little video in which you can watch The Idiot work. You’ll notice it slow down when it arrives close to Nemo the cat. Nemo remains fascinated and continues to watch it as much even after 4 days. You’ll also be able to admire the fact that our baseboards are still not in place, they are still in the hallway. We’ll get around to placing them eventually.

So aside from the initial frustrations and that we have to learn to manage the chairs so it can work I can’t recommend this enough, you’re really buying yourself extra free time, extra rest, extra help. There’s even a model that empties itself.

To come back to the numbers in the previous post… cleaning the floor here costs me 6.5 days a year or a ridiculously high cleaning person budget. Purchased during black Friday The Idiot cost us 439€ and we’ll break even on that in less than 4 months and I’m really chuffed.

To buy: