The Most Popular Robotic Vacuum Cleaner: The iRobot Roomba 650

This robotic vacuum cleaner is the  "Best Bang for your Buck". It is the least expensive model in the iRobot Roomba range yet has many desirable features. It scores 4.5 out of 5 stars, from 3,033 reviews.

The iRobot Roomba 650 robotic vacuum cleaner

This photo shows the robotic vacuum cleaner transitioning from a hardwood floor to a carpet.

This it has no problem in doing, but if there is a long fringe on the carpet, things may not be so easy! These tend to tangle in the rollers and can stop the whole cleaning program right there!

It can sometimes roll over cords, but the safe thing to do is to remove them from the cleaning path.

Features of this Robotic Vacuum Cleaner                          

This robotic vacuum cleaner does not clean in a pattern most humans would use,

It has 4 basic patterns that it can call upon and determines when to use them for the most efficiency-

  • Spiraling: Roomba uses a spiral motion to clean in a concentrated area
  • Wall Following:This technique is used to clean the full perimeter of the room and navigate around furniture and obstacles.
  • Room Crossing: The robot crisscrosses the room to ensure full coverage
  • Dirt Detection: On board sensors can detect patches of dirt and debris and clean more intently in that area
  • Cliff Detection Sensors: If the Roomba comes across a stairway, it stops and reverses and continues on a safe path. This feature can be a problem if you have carpets with black or very dark color strips. I have heard that it may be possible to cover up the appropriate sensor with tape, but then the Roomba may fall down any stairs!

The 3-Stage Cleaning System                                    Return to Features

  • Stage 1: Brushes agitate embedded debris .
  • Stage 2 : Counter-rotating brushes lift debris from the floor
  • Stage 3:  The vacuum pulls dirt away and into the bin.

Note that the spinning side brush sweeps along walls and corners.

The brushes do tend to tangle up with long hairs and may require frequent cleaning. if you have pets. However it does a fist class job or sweeping up the hairs and really helps to keep the dust level down!

Scheduling the Robotic Vacuum Cleaner            Return to Features

The process for scheduling which days and at what time the robotic vacuum cleaner works is a simple process that is a bit like setting an alarm clock.

The video shows all the details.

Auto-dock and Re-Charge                                           Return to Features

When the cleaning job is done, Roomba returns to Home Base and recharges and waits for the next cleaning cycle, so it should always be ready to clean!

Run time is about 60 minutes and recharge can take 90 minutes to 3 hours.

Auto-Virtual Wall                                                             Return to Features

This unit can block off a doorway and prevent Roomba from leaving a room.

It should be placed on the outside of the doorway and the arrow, on top of the unit, should be  pointed across the opening. 

There are 2 modes that can be selected by a switch: When "Auto"is selected then the unit will be activated when the Roomba starts a cleaning cycle.. It will be switched off after 135 minutes.

2 alkaline "C cells are needed to power the virtual wall and they should last about 6 months.

Stair Detect Sensors                                                   Return to Features

Stairs do not present a problem, due to sensors mounted on the bottom of Roomba, that sense an edge and the unit reverses before it tumbles down!

One problem with these sensors is if you have a black carpet or black stripes on a carpet. The sensors "think" these are stairs and will not clean these areas!

I have heard of customers taping off the sensors with clear tape but I do not know how successful this "Fix" is!


irobot logo

Roomba 650


Roomba 650


Amazon logo

Roomba 650


Above you can see three different places to buy. This will give you ample opportunity to find the best price and service for your purchase.

The prices quoted do change, so please check out all three and don't forget to look at the shipping and handling cost.

All of them have sales specials from time to time.

 iRobot is the manufacturer and have an extensive site that maybe a bit confusing and difficult to find out exactly the differences between models, but is well worth a visit.

ABT Electronics is located in Chicago and do ship all over the USA. They have a wide range of appliances and electronic goods.

Amazon is known by everyone and the "no questions asked" return policy is appreciated by all web customers.

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