So I went out and bought the iRobot Scooba, floor washing robot. Well I say went out and bought, I got it online, so no going out needed. I had been thinking about this for a while since I seemed to spend at least five minutes a night on my hands and knees clearing up food debris by my five year old and two year old twins. The Scooba cost me 400GBP, which is a chunk, but if it works well it will pay for itself in terms of my time in about a month and a half; based on my consulting fee of approx 100GBP an hour.
It did a reasonable job last night, although it did miss a few hard to reach spots such as just next to where the washing machine sticks out from the other shelving, but overall I'm pretty pleased. There was some good ground in food debris, most of which came up. It will be interesting to see how clean it can get things if we use it daily.
We didn't save much time last night as we spent a good half an hour watching the Scooba move around the kitchen. We saw all the behaviours described in the instructions including spiraling, wall following and room crossing. This is a great example of behaviour-based robotics which we'll be covering in the Artificial Intelligence course I'm teaching online at Hawaii Pacific University this Spring.