iRobot Roomba 980
I decided to invest in an autonomous vacuum cleaner and after some research, I ended up with the iRobot Roomba 980. The main feature which I wanted was the ability to control the bot via a phone app, so that I could have it clean while I am at work. In addition, I wanted one with the ability to clean carpets thoroughly, and only the 980 had the deep cleaning cycle feature.
The setup was very simple right out of the box. What took a bit of effort was connecting it to the home network, as it only supports 2.4GHz bands and had trouble finding my network. The app also requires you to create and link to an iRobot account if you wish to use Alexa voice commands. At first, it didn't recognize my device but after restarting the app and logging in, it was recognized properly.
The Roomba 980 cleans carpets exceedingly well, and I am very happy with its performance. It usually does not get stuck, although a few socks or dog toys could wreak havoc and cause it to pause and issue a warning that it is stuck. Alexa commands are very basic: start, stop and go home, as well as a status. The app has the ability to show you a mapping of your home, as Roomba navigates from room to room, performing its duties. Even though the advertised run time is around 2 hours, I find that mind usually lasts about 1.5 hours, as it has to activate its deep cleaning cycle almost all the time while traversing carpets. The 2 hours as specified by the manufacturer probably assume a mixture of hardwood/carpet cleaning runs.
Overall, I am very happy with the 980 although its $800 price tag (Amazon, as of August 27th) is asking a bit much, considering there are much cheaper alternatives out there, if you are willing to give up on some of the features. The only negative I have is that it does not clean the stairs and that navigation could be a tad more precise, especially in darker areas of the home!