Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> The state of the art in autonomous mobile robots for unstructured environments is terrible.

Roomba’s are very good at what they do. The real limitation is what you want the robot to accomplish and how much it costs. There are surprisingly few home chores worth spending significant amounts on a robot to do it for you vs just having a cheap maid service.

In professional settings, you can generally just make it a structured environment.

> Roomba’s are very good at what they do.

I'm not sure you've ever owned a Roomba. In theory they work great. In practice, there's always something on the floor they get tangled in, there's that one couch they're just small enough to fit under but not escape from, or there's that one corner of death in your room they inevitably get into and become trapped. And sometimes, even when everything is absolutely perfect, one of the sensors decides it's stuck an so the thing just backs up in circles indefinitely in an otherwise-ideal empty room.

I've owned two Roombas and both were somehow more work than just sweeping or vacuuming.

We just bought a Mi Robot to replace our Roomba 630. It’s half the price, actually maps my house, doesn’t bump into stuff, has better fault-recovery, scheduling built-in, and is just generally a real pleasure to run.

> Roomba’s are very good at what they do

Provided you want them to clear a surface that's mostly empty of obstructions. Wires are the bane of their existence, but also cloth and big pieces of paper that can't be ingested by the vacuum.

They are relatively ok for office settings, but the models without navigation would take until the universe heat death to clear big open floor offices properly.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact