iRobot Roomba 980 Review

​Despite the name, the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot has no apparent affiliation with Apple; it is just one of those eye-catching names where you put an ‘i’ as the prefix and it immediately becomes desirable and high-tech in consumer’s eyes.

There are some cases where buyers refers to the product as ‘he’, suggesting some personality, spirit and even sentience that it either a positive or negative thing depending on how much you want to this robot to be able to think for itself. Is this Roomba 980 a clever, helpful addition to the household and is it an improvement on previous models?

How is the Roomba 980 Different from the 800 Series Models?

The Roomba 980 Vacuum is designed as a robot that you can pretty much leave to work on its own.

There are high expectations of anything with the word robotic in the name as there is the implication of intelligence, that these are machines that can be left to their own devices to do the job so you don’t have to.

This appears to be the case with the iRobot Roomba because it not only promises to navigate the ideal cleaning route through visual localization, but also to automatically recharge and resume the cleaning when necessary.

Tests showed 2 hours of life on hard-floors before it heads back to its charging dock and users do not dispute this. Additionally, the use of tangle-free extractors means that there should be no concerns about it getting caught up in pet hair and debris and in need of immediate attention and maintenance. That ability to go and charge itself and resume the task is pretty impressive and a great example of innovation at iRobot, but it is not the only example.

​Where else are there Improvements and Differences on the Previous 880?

​The iAdapt 2.0 navigation technology is pretty similar to that of recent models but there is now the ability to map out an entire floor, meaning the parameters have increased and Roomba has become more intelligent. There is also a new iRobot App, which lets users set a cleaning schedule from a smartphone in a remote location, and the AeroForce cleaning system is back from the Roomba 880 with a new carpet boost for greater air power on carpets and rugs – apparently 10x better than the 600 and 700 series. It is all well and good stating these changes in specifications but thankfully buyers have noted clear improvements on previous models too. It does seem to be smarter, with one user saying it is less “directionally challenged” than its older siblings, and is also a little quieter.

​The Roomba 980 vacuum clearly has a desire to clean everywhere of its own accord but does it do a good enough job of the cleaning to be worthwhile?

​Cleaning performance is also important here and while there are some areas where this robot is more comfortable than others – as it apparently gets confused by black carpet – it still does a pretty good job. A benefit of the design is the height of 3.6 inches, which means that it should fit underneath furniture pretty well, but the small capacity means it cannot hold a lot of dirt. The problem here is that the cleaning action and suction is so good that it can fill up quite fast. This robot uses a combination of agitation, brushing and suction to clean all those surfaces and even a side brush for skirting boards.

​Conclusion

​As the models have developed within the iRobot Room​​ba range, they have definitely become more desirable due to their improved intelligence, cleaning power and the convenience for the user. The small technology details like the carpet boost and ability to map out an entire floor really do make a big difference to the performance of the robot and the results seen; however, it is the other elements that make life even easier for the human owner that are the main selling points here.

The app is a great new touch but it is the automatic recharging that is the icing on the cake because it seems that buyers really can set up a remote schedule and leave the robot to carry out the task completely by itself. The iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum can receive your commands, map a cleaning path across the whole lower floor of the house, use a strong 3-stage cleaning system for a great result and recharge itself in its dock – all you have to do is lift one finger in an entirely different place.

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