The Braava vacuum cleaner ($299) literally changed my life. Probably not in as spectacular a fashion as you might have guessed from the previous sentence, but change it did nonetheless.
You see there there now exists the pre-Braava and post-Braava phases of my life. In the pre-Braava phase I was a robotless tech blogger, and happily so. In the post-Braava phase I now have two robots (and soon to be three) that happily toil away under my roof. At this point it would be extraordinarily hard for me to go back to how things were before I first hit the sweep button on the Braava and heard it give it’s signature cheery series of chirps before setting about it’s duties.
Let me tell you a little bit about the Braava. It’s a mopping/sweeping robot from a company called iRobot. It’s meant to be a compliment to it’s more famous sibling, the Roomba vacuum.
Braava does it’s job surprisingly well. I say surprisingly because, again, it was my first robotic cleaner—not because I expected it to do a bad job.
The Braava works well. Once you tell it to get started it heads out, feeling it’s way about until it has gotten the bulk of the surface it can get to. It’s clearance is low enough that it glides right under kitchen cabinets and open fridge doors. And it’s quiet—very quiet (especially compared to any robot vacuum I’ve seen and heard in action).
For the most part it does a very good job cleaning. Since it pushes what it sweeps or mops along in front of it, a few small particles do seem to escape it’s purview, but honestly it’s nothing close to what would make we not want to use it. I’ll just say this: if I were to sweep or mop I’d probably clean the floor a little better… but I can live with that little difference. What I get from the Braava in exchange for me having to clean far outweighs any slight oversight on the robot’s part. Every single time I walked across a floor freshly cleaned by Braava, it was very clean.
Braava works both with cloths supplied from the manufacturer or with Swiffer dry pads you can get at any Target or Walmart. I went through quite a few during testing simply because it was so fun to watch in action.
I’m amazed at the engineering that went into the Braava. You can tell as soon as you take it out of the box that a lot of thought had been put into this machine. The way magnets are used both to dock the Braava with it’s charging station and to fasten the sweeping/mopping pads to the front of the robot are brilliant and satisfying to see in action.
If you have hard floors in your house and want to keep them clean without having to do the work yourself I can absolutely recommend the Braava for purchase. Bravo, Braava.