Featured product: iRobot Scooba 230

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robot mop, irobot scooba 230, floor washing robot

Neither a germaphobe nor OCD, I loathe cleaning. Sweep the kitchen floor? Put it off till next week. Scrub the toilet bowl? Crap’s going down there anyway, what’s the point? You can imagine how I was thrilled when the Swiffer Wet came out. I’m even more excited to see a contraption that washes, scrubs and squeegees the floor automatically.

The iRobot Scooba 230 is both a “robot” and a “cleaning machine” but before you start imagining the the alluring humanoid automatons of the Stepford Wives, I must disappoint you. This robot mop has more of a minimalist IKEA aesthetic: a circular disc 6.5 inches in diameter with a height of 3.5 inches. It weighs just three pounds, is easily stored, and best of all, doesn’t nag (I’m speaking to both women and men).

And how’s it work? The Scooba 230 is equipped with iAdapt™ Responsive Cleaning Technology, sensors and software that allow it to analyze the space to be cleaned and execute the proper robotic movements to get into all the nooks and crannies in the most efficient and least self-destructive fashion (i.e., the Scooba won’t catapult itself down a flight of stairs).

Like an electronic manta ray or Chinese algae eater, the Scooba 230 will glide across your non-carpeted floor, using scrubbing brushes underneath to loosen dirt and grime. The squeegee-vacuum, in the meanwhile, lifts up dirty water (or Scooba Hard Floor Cleaner) that a mop might otherwise leave behind.

So ooh and ah with a martini shaker in one hand and a martini glass in the other while the Scooba cleans up to 150 square feet in just one session, lasting either 45 minutes or twenty minutes. The marvel of modern engineering is like free entertainment!

While I’m sure that this floor washing robot fulfills my every need, I’m pretty sure it’s not for everyone. People who are highly suspicious of automation a la Isaac Asimov science fiction novels, control freaks, diehard Amish folk, friends of filth and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (which the Scooba 230 is proven to remove in laboratory tests) will probably not be too keen on this product.

In addition, you might not find it worthwhile to shell out around $300 for a fancy machine, but like I said, different strokes for different folks.

What do you think of the iRobot Scooba 230 cleaner, readers? Are you, like naively-optimistic-of-technology slovenly me, convinced that you need it in your life?

-Kim

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