Friday Report: Freeta versus Roomba
January 8, 2014
There are many comparisons between my basset hound, Freeta Goodhome, and a Roomba vacuum cleaner. If you've owned one, a basset, not a Roomba, you know what I mean.
The Roomba is a self-powered robotic vacuum, an efficient dust collector. Freeta is a self-powered anti-vacuum, an efficient producer of dust and debris along with elephantine quantities of pet hair. The Roomba is quiet, working a tireless, eight-hour day on a single charge. Freeta is stealthy as a wharf rat working the midnight shift, cleaning up anything that even historically passed near something edible.
The Roomba has dual HEPA filters that consume dust and allergens, producing clean, fresh air in its wake. Freeta consumes that clean, fresh air and produces mephitic odors that seem to have a living, evil, walk-around-the-room presence.
The Roomba can be scheduled to perform seven cleaning sessions per week without anyone being in attendance. Freeta can easily perform seven messing-up sessions per day whether anyone is home or not.
Unlike Roomba, Freeta can multi-task. For instance, the other day I turned my back and she got her rabies tag caught while grazing dirty dishes in the lower dishwasher rack. She panicked and headed for safety towards the dog door, which, of course, she couldn't get through, chained to an old bent-up dishwasher rack and all. In her wake, she left a trail of shrieking people and broken dishes at exactly the same time as she was making a horrific mess on the floor. See? Multi-tasking.
Roomba lets you know when the bin is full by a polite little red light. Freeta notifies us that the bin is full by window-rattling flatulence.
At the end of its day, Roomba returns to Home Base to dock and recharge. At the end of her day, Freeta docks face-down in the middle of her Sleep Number bed.
With Roomba, there's no need to get out of your chair if you happen to drop a Frito on the floor. You can direct the robot vacuum with the infrared remote control to go pick it up. With Freeta, there's not a chance that a dropped Frito will even hit the carpet.
Roomba's detractors have a problem with the fact that untended, Roomba will slip behind a door to clean it and inadvertently push it closed, leaving the Roomba trapped and endlessly cleaning closets. Freeta can open any door if there was ever anything edible behind it.
Roomba will light up with an error code whenever it goes over striped surfaces, thinking it's running into a cliff. Freeta will fly down any cliff in hot pursuit of an errant piece of bacon. Several consumers have reported problems with Roomba forgetting where it was going and wandering aimlessly throughout the house, finally going to sleep in the middle of the room. Darned if that doesn't fit Freeta to a tee, so we'll just call that one a match.
Some owners report that the tiny spinning brushes on the bottom of the Roomba, designed to clean edges, actually stirs up dust and debris, contaminating the air inside the house. With Freeta, well, let's see, didn't we already cover air quality with Freeta?
Last night I was comfortably reclined and reading as Freeta climbed onto my chest, completely blocking the view of my Kindle. I continued to read, craning my neck around her and scratching her ears as she belched contentedly.
You just don't get that with Roomba.