Man's new best friend
Available at Al Yousuf Electronics and The Dubai Mall
It talks, plays short tunes, fumbles around the apartment like an overexcited toddler and retires quietly into a corner at night after a hard day's work, just like me. What makes us different is that the thing can do a household chore.
The HOM-BOT is a sleek, quiet and intelligent robotic vacuum cleaner. The robo-vacuum has four modes, two manual and two automatic. The manual ‘spiral spot' and ‘timer' modes are useful when you have a specific area that needs cleaning without the HOM-BOT wandering away in the opposite direction, or when you need the house cleaned at a certain time; and the automatic ‘cell-by-cell' and ‘zig zag' modes allow the BOT to do its own thing.
With its two cameras and infrared sensors it maps out your room, notices furniture and corners and gets to business. The sensors help the little fellow navigate around your legs as well, so you don't have to worry about breaking it unless you directly step on it. It weighs about 3.18kg, is 3.5 inches high and is one of the most amazing inventions so far. When its battery dies, the BOT makes a beeline to its docking station where it charges itself.
There are, however, a few drawbacks: one does require the patience of Job when trying to control the little fellow manually with the remote, it's a lot easier letting the BOT run around in, as it likes to call, "Spatial expansion mode."
Something worth pointing out is the BOT's over enthusiasm to clean everything — get into corners and whiz around/over and under every object within its reach. This sometimes gets the BOT into weird positions (halfway up a bar stool, for example) where it struggles by itself for a few seconds (usually making it worse) before crying out, "Please check the wheels" along with a distress tone — continuously until you rescue it.
For those with OCD and the fanatical fixation on keeping your place spotless, the BOT might not be the best appliance as it sometimes misses certain areas and doesn't clean the places it can't reach. This applies to those who have gone overboard on their interior decorating as well — unless you follow it, moving furniture as you go. It's perfect for wide open spaces, balconies and carpets. If you are willing to overlook these small issues — the pros definitely outweigh the cons.