is rechargeable and eats dirt.

His name is iRobot Scooba and we love him very much.

A while back when I was wildly spending my brother’s reward points on ipods and gift cards to GAP Maternity, my sister was (just as wildly) spending her portion of the reward points on a more eclectic assortment of rewards: an automated pepper grinder (with laser point precision??), a Brio wooden train set, a baby Samsonite penguin backpack, and a robotic floor washer. All of these things were delivered to my house and were duly stashed in the closet for the last half year.

I suspected then that she and her husband might find that lugging an extra 15-pound floor-washing robot back to Thailand less than convenient, but since I have never wanted a robot, I didn’t think much more about it.

My only experience of cleaning robots or floor droids, as I like to think of them, is from watching Buster feed cheetos to the vacuum robot on Arrested Development. Besides that, I’ve always assumed that they were more about novelty than practicality, and probably left a wake of crumbs in their trail.

Well, when Sue decided to leave the brand new irobot scooba here, I only felt a little irritated about having to deal with yet another box of something. The initiative it takes to learn the ropes on a new piece of technology is usually an obstacle enough to ensure the box never gets opened. Luckily, Chad has no problem jumping into bed with new technology.

We left him alone with the Scooba and ten days later we came back to clean floors! Very clean floors.

Scooba plugs into a base which we keep tucked away in the corner of the living room. When a section of floor needs cleaning (ie kitchen, hallway, living room, or bedroom) we pull him out and fill him up with four parts water and one part cleaning solution. We quickly whisk the dirt along the edges of the room towards the center, turn him on, and let him loose.

He turns in ever-increasing circles, vacuuming and washing simultaneously, until he hits a wall. Then he does a half turn and goes off in a diagonal – until the ENTIRE floor is sparkling clean. I’m not sure how he gets to every place, but apparently there is a video on the main website that shows you with a time-lapsed red tracer that scooba hits every spot on the floor at least once.

Scooba even came with a virtual wall; that is, a small electronic device that sits on the floor and emits a signal that Scooba can’t cross.

Now if we could just some kind of implant for Christian so the virtual wall could work for him…(Nabi Grace took a head-over-heels tumble down the first five concrete steps coming off our second story patio!)

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