The iRobot Home Company
A Roomba is essentially a robot on wheels. It glides through your home while vacuuming as it goes along its way. As a smart robot, it uses sensors to adapt to its surroundings.
iRobot Home is the leading company in smart vacuum technology. They offer several models of different price ranges that all offer automated cleanings.
The true purpose of a Roomba is to push a button and let the cleaning do itself. More advanced models, like the Roomba 960, offer additional features that increase the Roomba’s effectiveness around the house.
What is the Roomba 960?
The Roomba is a high-tech robot that uses advanced cleaning technology to maneuver around your home without you ever having to lift a finger.
One of the most unique features of this model is the camera that it uses to monitor and survey its surroundings. We’ll go further into this feature later in this iRobot Roomba 960 review guide.
What does the iRobot Roomba 960 do?
If you’ve never used a Roomba before, fear not because it is literally the easiest thing in the world. Simply click the CLEAN button in the middle of the device and it’ll go to work.
You won’t have to worry about recharging it either since the robot is smart enough to dock itself and recharge when its running low on battery. This isn’t a feature unique to this model as the older ones do this as well.
What separates the Roomba 960 from the older models is the fact that it will map out your entire home with the newly added camera. Not only that, you can locate your Roomba much easier and it’ll clean faster and better each time.
The iRobot Roomba 960’s design doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It is a circular device that is small enough to go under hard to reach places. It is designed in a way to mitigate any damage that may be caused by bumping into things.
There’s a built-in handle found at the top of the device. It’s a bit smaller than the previous Roombas as a way to make the design a bit sleeker. You will also see the camera and the cleaning mode buttons near the center of the device.
The device is covered by a bumper that protects the device in the case that it falls down stairs or bumps into furniture. Although this happens much less with a device of this caliber, it’s always reassuring to know that it wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it does happen.
Types of Floor Surfaces
Hardwood floors will be the least of your worries with the iRobot Roomba 960. These types of surfaces are usually super easy to clean for any Roomba and this advanced model will have no trouble.
High Pile Carpet/Rugs
High Pile Carpets are usually tough for smart vacuums, especially when you have pets in your home. The Roomba 960 does surprisingly well on this type of surface and will be able to take care of almost 75% of all of the unwanted debris.
Low Pile Carpet
Similar to the high pile carpets, the Roomba 960 can handle these efficiently. There will be very few types of debris that the smart vacuum won’t be able to handle like fine sugar and the like. Everything else would be fairly easy.
Not often an issue with cleaning but it is important to mention that the Roombas will easily clean tiles.
3 Stage Cleaning System: First introduced in the earlier models. The 3-stage cleaning system is still here because it works. The Roomba 960 will loosen the debris with a spinning brush. It’ll then lift the debris and lastly suction it into the removable waste bin.
Camera Smart Navigation: Probably the most defining feature separating this device from the rest. The camera scans the home and maps it out for future cleans. Couple this with the sensors and you have a pretty smart cleaning helper in your home.
iRobot Home App: Just like with the Roomba 690, this model allows the use of an App to schedule cleans, monitor cleanings, and start/stop cleans. You can also change the modes of the Roomba to spot cleaning or auto cleaning mode.
Automatic Docking and Recharging: This model will run for approximately 75 minutes before docking and recharging itself. It takes around 2-3 hours for the robot to fully charge itself.
2600 mAh Battery: The 960 offers a 2600 mAh battery that really packs a punch. You won’t have to worry about replacing it for a few years as the Roomba automatically recharges itself.
Lightweight and Sleek Design: At a whopping 8.6 lbs, the iRobot Roomba 960 is a super light-weight device that is sleek and efficient at moving around the house. It is 3.6” in height and 13.8” wide allowing it to fit under most tough to reach spots.
Voice Control Capability: If you use Amazon Alexa or Google assistant, you can start/stop cleans using voice commands instead of having to go through the app or physically start up the device.
Dirt Detection Technology: Dirt detect technology helps the Roomba identify areas in the house where it may need to spend more time due to having a lot more grime. It’ll recognize this and act accordingly.
One of the cons which we discussed already is that the Roomba 960 will have some trouble with very fine unwanted debris such as sugar/salt.
It isn’t completely hands-off as you’ll still have to empty the dustbin compartment in the device so that the debris doesn’t accumulate too much.
The device will dock and recharge itself but won’t resume cleaning after its fully charged. You may have to reactivate it either through the app, voice sync, or physically pressing the button. You can also wait for the next scheduled clean.
High-pile and Shag carpets have given Roombas trouble in the past but the 960 is the best performing one against these types of surfaces. However, keep in mind that it won’t completely clean these types of surfaces.
Setting up the Roomba 960
There’s not too much of a setup in any Roomba robot. After unboxing, it is recommended to charge it for 2-3 hours before putting it to use.
You can also download the app and sync your device through WIFI.
How to use the iRobot Roomba 690
These robots are pretty hands off and they’re easy to use. Simply follow the instructions after unboxing it which will tell you-you’ll need to charge it for a bit before using.
Once its charged, click the “clean” button in the middle of the device to turn on auto clean. This model will run for 90 minutes before it docks itself and recharges.
To make things simpler, there’s an app you could use to schedule cleanings or even start one when you’re not home. Not only that, but you could see a history of your past cleans.
After cleaning, you’ll have to empty the dustbin to avoid the buildup of debris so that the robot can have space to pick up and store more.
How to use the iRobot Roomba 960 App
You can download the iRobot Home app with an android or iPhone. The iPhone must have ios10 or better and the android should be running 5.0 or higher.
It is the same app across the board for any Roomba that is Wifi-compatible. The functionality is the same as well. You can schedule reoccurring cleans ahead of time so that the Roomba can work on its own without you having to keep activating it manually.
You will also be able to view past cleans and stats such as run-time and a mapped-out area of the house. It’ll also alert you when the bin is full so it will pause cleaning to allow you to empty it.
Although Roomba’s are a hand-off smart robot, they all come with minimal maintenance. Emptying the bin will be the one that happens the most frequently.
Next up you’ll sometimes find some dust built up near the wheels and it’ll cause the Roomba to slow down. It’s an easy fix but you might not be aware of it unless you’re constantly watching.
The brush area sometimes gets clogged as well and so you can remove it pretty easily and clean it quickly. You can use a coin or a small screwdriver for this.
The support section of the iRobot website has a great guide detailed with pictures and instructions for how to maintain this model found here: https://homesupport.irobot.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8995
The Roomba 960 is a great device if you want to experience a higher end robot vacuum. It offers great functionality and the ability to move seamlessly throughout the house. If you’ve been cleaning traditionally you might not be ready for a model that is at this price point.
Don’t let that deter you from getting this model because it doesn’t require some type of extensive knowledge to operate it. It is really as simple as set it and forget it since the device recharges and docks itself. With minimal maintenance, the Roomba 960 is a great addition to your futuristic home.