As more of our mundane chores and tasks are relegated to robotic devices, it isn’t hard to imagine a future where we no longer maintain our stuff but instead maintain the things that maintain our stuff. We no longer clean the pool, we clean the pool cleaner. We don’t vacuum the carpet, we clean the robo-vacuum. We don’t clean the toilet, the toilet cleans us.
Of the devices scurrying about our homes, most of them operate on the floor. Little round UFO-looking robo-vacs, like the Clean-Mate QQ5 Plus, roll about inhaling all manner of floor debris autonomously. The crossover Neato XV-21 looks like the flat edge of the upright vac without the rest of it. The flat edge seems to be more in tune with walls and other architectural obstructions, so the folks at iRobot decided that their robo-mop would be a square deal.
The Braava 320 is the middle of their line, useful for specific applications on wood, linoleum, tile, stone or any hard smooth surface. It comes with 2 removable mop heads: a dust mop that uses disposable wipes like Swiffer and a damp head for wet mopping. The optional Pro-Clean Reservoir Pad is available to maintain effective cleanser lubrication. Its low profile allows it to mop under furnishings with restricted clearance and soft-touch bumpers keep it from slamming into stuff. The dust mop is good in spaces up to 800 square feet and the wet mop will clean up about 250 square feet.
It knows where to do its magic through the technological wonders of the North Star Navigation Cube which is reported to project a signal on the ceiling in order to map the floor. A curious approach, to say the least. Within its defined parameters it is fairly tenacious though its limitations are readily apparent. A proper mopping includes frequent rinsing of the mop head so it doesn’t act as a wet filth vector. For maximum efficacy, the Braava 320’s mop element should be rinsed during the process so the little bot isn’t just messing things up.
Braava 320 have only one navigation cube and you cant expand cleaning area by buying the another one. Charging time is about 10 hours.
Next came the mopping test, only to find that the Braava does not come with the necessary reservoir pad needed to keep the mopping cloth damp.
Took 4-5 minutes to get it going after many false starts then it did a "clean sweep". Quiet, very autonomous and returned to starting spot as promised.
For a robot that suppose to save the time and energy, it's not that quite useful. The worse thing is, it get it stuck very often, even in an open space.
Braava 320 is a very easy-to-use, effective mop and broom for light-duty-to-average messes, and I like that it uses cleaning consumables you may already have in your home.
While cleaning, it remembers where obstructions are and knows where it's already been, maximizing it's battery life and cleaning results.
It turns an annoying chore into… well, it completely removes that chore from your life. And you get that “cleaning lady just came” feeling because of how well it works.
It performs fine as an automated floor mopping robot, picking up dirt as it silently and intelligently cleans your wood or tiled floor.
In mopping mode, it works for about 1 - 1.5 hours, cleaning about one small room. It takes about 8 hours to charge . . . it is really not power enough to be useful.
I particularly like the fact that it moves in a linear pattern so the entire floor is covered.