It's every housewife and househusband's dream to have somebody else mop the floor. You could hire a maid to do the job, but they have this pesky habit of charging for their work. (Admittedly, housecleaners can still do work that robots can't, like dust off the bookshelves you haven't touched since you bought a Kindle, but that's a lot easier to do yourself than mopping is.) Unlike most floor-cleaning robots, the Mint 5200 isn't shaped like a flying saucer. It's square-shaped, so it can get into corners, an idea you'd think would be more popular in the automated floor-cleaning business.
It uses a Northstar Navigation System, which means that you place an electronic cube somewhere in your home that broadcasts a location signal and the Mint uses it like a GPS, so it can figure out where it's been and where it's going next. The Mint builds an internal map of up to 800 square feet worth of floor space and works out a pattern of the area that needs to be mopped, so that tricky nooks and crannies don't get missed and the same place doesn't get mopped twice during the same cleaning session. It dodges furniture and rugs and uses its low-slung chassis to glide under furniture, where even the maid might forget to mop.
When the Mint encounters an obstacle, it sometimes puts it off for later, doing the easy work first -- again, much like a maid -- and coming back later to mop strategically around the obstacle, cooking up strategies in its electronic brain for doing the job most efficiently. If you need to clean more space than the Northstar cube can handle, you can buy additional cubes and get additional mopping action, so your 2,000 square foot condo won't have any unmopped floors. But factor this into the cost when you go shopping for a robo-cleaner.
As a cleaning device, the sweeping pads are good at collecting hair, dust, and fine particulate but they simply cannot pick up larger debris.
Granted, it's in the most inelegant way — just dragging it along into one big snowballing dirt mound — but at the end of the cleaning cycle, my floors were clean.
The Mint is whisper quiet – you can easily talk on the phone, watch TV or listen to the radio while it works.
I had left Mint Cleaner turned off for too long and the battery has discharged itself too much.
I took one star off for shorter battery life. I have big apartment and it runs off power one room less than I have and habit to stuck in gaps under my doors.
Mint Plus go on for an extensive time, so is perfect for those who are after extensive mopping or have the larger home.