One of the many ways in which last week did not go exactly as planned involved the robot giving up the ghost and refusing to drive forward when I set it up to clean the living room. The robot was a gift from my parents, on which we’ve become quite dependent over the past 18 months. Both psychologically and physically: we no longer have a regular vacuum, as it developed nasty vacuum smell last year after 8 years of service and was summarily banished. We’d been dithering about replacing it, making do with the robot and the dustbuster. And then the robot died and we had to assess our vacuuming needs and make a couple of decisions.
Let me just say that it’s still not clear what exactly happened to the robot. The bumper became jammed, and there was schmutz inside the bumper and around the little front wheel that rotates. We were told by customer service to clean all that out and reset it, which we did. The bumper was still jammed, and the robot still wouldn’t go forward. We were then told by customer service that the robot was fried and we needed to buy a new chassis. Fried how, and why it couldn’t be repaired, was never made clear. No one ever requested to actually see the robot, or to have it sent it, which was a little odd. Apparently the skills required to fix the robot are more pricey than those required to build a new robot, so we’re offered only the replacement option.
In the end, we went ahead and ordered both the replacement chassis with a new 1 year warranty (for about 1/3 of what a new robot would cost) and the canister vacuum that I’d picked out back when our old one died. In a surprising turn of events, the canister vacuum arrived one day after I ordered it (from a local company, which no doubt helped), which allowed us to thoroughly vacuum the living room as part of the preparations for painting. As promised, the vacuum is the smallest vacuum ever and is easily stored in our hall closet-turned-pantry, even with the shelves we installed last summer. Since the floor tool is not motorized, it’s a bit tiring to vacuum an entire room with it, but it’s a very effective and well-designed machine. I was happy enough to be able to again vacuum the cobwebs at the ceiling that I didn’t mind the work involved in getting the floor clean. In combination with the robot, we should soon have a much less dusty abode.