- Effective floor cleaning
- Ideal for pets and kitchens
- Few or no missed areas
- Soft bump turns
- Avoids drops and hazards
- Leaves floors fairly wet
- Bit of a faff to clean
- Doesn’t clean right up to edges
- Not cheap
- Automatic floor scrub and mop
- Vacuum dirty water removal
- iAdapt navigation technology
- Scrubs up to 27m2 on a tank
- Voice warnings and information
- Manufacturer: iRobot
- Review Price: £499.99
WHAT IS THE IROBOT SCOOBA 450?
It’s winter, we’re on a farm, and we have two mucky dogs and a constant succession of couriers with muddy boots popping in. Mopping the kitchen floor is a daily task at this time of year. Enter the iRobot Scooba 450 floor-scrubbing robot – but how will it cope with our multi-level kitchen and mixed laminate and tile floors?
Very well, as it turns out. Navigation proved faultless, it didn’t hurl itself down any steps, and the triple-soak, scrub and squeegee-vacuum action cleaned the floor super-effectively. It isn’t cheap, and the Scooba 450 is a faff to clean out afterwards – but it’s a whole lot easier than daily mopping by hand.
IROBOT SCOOBA 450 – DESIGN AND FEATURES
Building on the Scooba 230 we reviewed way back in summer of 2012, the Scooba 450 is a more mature robot with better navigation and serious cleaning gumption. At over 36cm in diameter and just over 9cm tall, it isn’t a small device, but its brushes and squeegees cover a wide portion of the base and therefore a decent wide patch of floor with each pass.
For the not insignificant asking price, you get the Scooba 450, charger, a small bottle of cleaning fluid and one virtual wall. This small device emits a beam that the Scooba senses as a wall, allowing you to annex off parts of the floor, or stop the Scooba from escaping through an open door. It detects drops, carpets, skirtings and kick plates using a variety of sensors to ensure it stays on your flat, moppable floor.
Key to its cleaning prowess is its scrubbing, drying and buffing action. The first part of the cycle sweeps dust and light debris into the vacuum inlet and lays down a thin sheen of water/detergent mix from the clean tank. The main rotating brush bar is next, scrubbing the floor with its stiff bristles, while a squeegee blade behind sucks up the now-grubby water into the waste tank. A final squeegee follows just to mop up any last drips.
The Scooba has two tanks, with the smaller rear tank easy to carry to the sink for emptying and refills. Fresh water with detergent sits in one, with waste water in the other; plus there’s a small gauze filter to collect larger debris sucked up with the dirty water. The entire business part of the machine – the light-blue plastic piece – detatches for easy cleaning, and the brush pops out of that in case it needs detangling from errant pet hairs.
You can select to clean a “small” room or “large” room, which equates to 20 minutes or 40 minutes of cleaning time respectively, until the Scooba declares your floor clean.
Controls are as simple as a big illuminated “CLEAN” button and an “i” button that speaks information on cleaning status is a soft female voice. Note that she sounds quite offended if you pick up the Scooba mid-clean.