iRobot Roomba 560: A Better Robot Vacuum

The latest robot vacuum from iRobot takes a while to get the job done, but it does boast a slew of new features and improvements.

Though it still relies on a floor-situated Home Base for charging, the Roomba 560 is now beefier in size and weighs a full 8 pounds. The 560’s round, flat body is propelled by two primary wheels, each with its own motor and suspension system. The wheels are larger than in previous versions, allowing the 560 to ride higher off the ground. In addition, iRobot claims that the wheels’ motors provide more torque than ever before, helping the 560 power over plush carpeting and area rugs.

Other upgrades include a bigger dust tray (30 percent bigger, in fact) and a redesigned spinning wall brush for a longer reach. Better yet, the main chassis housing the Roomba’s sensors is now sealed, protecting against overload from dirt and debris. Also new; an onboard scheduler that lets you program the 560 to clean automatically, and a multi-room cleaning function that relies on “Virtual Wall Lighthouse” units you deploy, with care (placement is important), around your house. During my test, the Roomba could vacuum multiple rooms at a time, but sometimes had trouble returning home to recharge.

All in all, even though it takes longer than a regular upright, this robot vacuum is a nifty little cleaning machine.

iRobot Roomba 560: $349.99

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