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my review of the dirtdevil dirt devil whiskers robotic sweeper

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by , 06-17-2012 at 11:20 AM (34326 Views)
introduction- i have an "all tile" house. i am a clean freak. i have two cats and myself and we shed. i work 12 hours a day and my precious time off is needed for rest and a social life. i looked into robotic vacuums such as neato and roomba but, discouraged, decided against them because of the price. sigh.

i stumbled onto this review I changed my mind and decided to give it a go. i bought the first one from Walmart . i bought the one without the dust rag on the bottom, because it thought it would be a potential failure point and a source of irritation on lumpy/bumpy/rough "fake slate" TILE floors, instead of smooth hardwood. i assembled it, charged it, chose "dark floors" setting, and then put it in the bedroom. it got stuck once, wedged under the tall secretary. whiskers generally needs to be babysat because the cup gets full, stops and squeaks at you, and needs to be emptied. it's pretty neat to watch it get out of tight places. the battery runs out and you have to pick up the unit and go plug it in. i dump the dirt cup then and wash the filter. you can buy the filters replacement at the dirtdevil website. i read somewhere that you need to clean the sensors with a Q-tip.

this is not a vacuum. it is a sweeper for hard floors. it sweeps the floor, like a broom, but does a better job. it cleans best when used every day or every other day on recently mopped floors (i.e. not sticky or gross). (i tend to mop the whole house every 90 days or so, when the house starts to smell like a cave of a large animal -- thanksgiving break, xmas break, spring break, and the first week of summer but i mop the kitchen and bathrooms weekly or as needed.) the whiskers keeps up with the 2 inch dead roaches (Texas - they come in from outside) , cat fur, detritis, and schmutz on a clean floor, if used on almost DAILY basis.

you need to be there when it runs. one room for the full charging time, so that the mathematical algorithm can work and ALL the room gets swept. it does the baseboards to get oriented and the bad reviews out there are "it's sweeping the baseboards again". yes, it is. don't worry about it. leave it alone and let it do the job for the full time. you have to shut doors. i lay a broomstick down in a couple of places where i need the invisible walls (take that, roomba). i read the bad reviews online and it is clear to me that people were sweeping filthy floors and getting their panties in a wad when the inlet got clogged up, or they were expecting it to have the suction power of a roomba and to be able to do carpets.

i purchased another so i could do two rooms at a time. i named the first one "Mo" from the movie wall-E, and i named the second one "The Furminator". there is also the "cool factor" in watching them do the work for you and the science/algorithm/statistics/math involved -- "how cool is that?" the nerd in me observes "one speck of crud" and waits to see if that "one speck of crud" gets swept. it usually does. no disappointment there.

in conclusion, these gadgets work well on tile floors to clean up pet hair and dust. they work best if the floors are freshly swept and mopped, and then maintained by the machines. they keep clean floors clean. they do the intended job better than my hand sweeping did. i can get other chores done while they work. my allergies are better since buying this product. i highly recommend the dirt devil whiskers product.

edited to add: it helps if you pick up occasional furniture, area rugs, and stuff off the floors. i had to pick up floor lamps, queen anne chairs and occasional tables. less confusion for the furminator.

edited to add: look at this
and this
this too
and this

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Updated 06-18-2012 at 12:46 PM by ladykemma2



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  1. ladykemma2's Avatar
    ya know the more i research, the more i am glad i didn't get the roomba. i have antique furniture and i hear that the roomba slams into furniture. if i do progress further with this i am considering the Neato-21 pet version
    Updated 06-28-2012 at 03:01 PM by ladykemma2
  2. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i raised the tall secretary on 1 inch blocks. no more problems with wedging. i have figured out the trouble areas and have solved these problems.

    HSN has these on clearance for 69 dollars today.

    have you ever had a housecleaning service? these are like prepping the house for the maid. quick dust with the feather duster, knock the dirt to the floor, raise objects off the floor, let the bot go, and done.
    Updated 06-29-2012 at 09:16 AM by ladykemma2
  3. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i timed the battery - 65 minutes.
    Updated 06-26-2012 at 09:14 AM by ladykemma2
  4. ladykemma2's Avatar
    the bots got terribly confused by early morning patches of sunshine on the floor, no matter the sensitivity settings- doing the "backward dance". i had to close the blinds.

    i tried an experiment having both of them going at the same to time do the entire great room, entrance hall, kitchen and small bath. just roaming the entire front half of the house "at will", instead of blocking off areas. the kitchen is getting neglected. the center of the great room is getting neglected. the edges look great. monitoring this takes too much of my time and attention. I concluded in cordoning off the areas, the machines do a better job.

    a "still alive" cockroach on its back will refuse to get sucked up and clings to the whiskers.

    bored science teacher on 3rd week of summer vacation
    Updated 06-26-2012 at 09:24 AM by ladykemma2
  5. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i have been acting like a lunatic in public, telling people i know about this tool, because i want everyone to have a whiskers robotic sweeper. my friends are amused.

    the orkin man thought it was cool.
    Updated 06-29-2012 at 09:11 AM by ladykemma2
  6. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i ordered 10 F-67 filters from the dirt devil website. they sell spare parts, whiskers, too.
  7. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i have fallen into a routine.

    2 rooms a day for 3 days, repeat.

    day 1 kitchen and dining room
    day 2 entry hall/little bath and great room
    day 3 master bed and bath

    feather-dust, knock the dirt to the ground, lift objects off the floor and "bot"

    saturday change sheets
    sunday clean bathrooms

    ta da!

    the filters came in. they have the plastic frame on them.
  8. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i don't vacuum anymore, i "Bot".

    ha ha "to bot" is a verb.
  9. ladykemma2's Avatar
    ya know, it's appalling what this filter picks up on the three days rotation. what did i used to live with? filth by Friday. i used to watch the fur bunnies drift like tumbleweeds across the floor, shrug my shoulders, and say," I'll get to it on Saturday."
  10. ladykemma2's Avatar
    my friends were unimpressed. "i could have vacuumed in the time the robots took."
    yes, but that's not the point, you can be cleaning another room while they sweep the floors. and they do a better job.

    "you have to pick up stuff off the floors before they can sweep."
    yes, you do, but don't you anyway? ... don't you?
    Updated 07-12-2012 at 09:18 AM by ladykemma2
  11. ladykemma2's Avatar
    wow, more bad reviews.

    Dirt DevilŪ Whiskers Robotic Hard-Floor Sweeper with 10 Dusting Sheets Reviews at HSN mobile

    it's clear that they didn't watch the instructional videos and read the directions.

    instructional videos Whiskers SV

    i sent a message to dirtdevil recommending they include a dvd of instructions in the box.
    Updated 07-12-2012 at 09:17 AM by ladykemma2
  12. ladykemma2's Avatar
    ok, i got a form letter back from dirt devil asking for a "written on paper and mailed" donation request. WTF? did they even read my email?
  13. ladykemma2's Avatar
    interesting article Will your household adopt your new robot? |spam! It is better fried than typedACM Interactions the link works even though it says spam.

    apparently my unimpressed friends were "rejectors". roombarization ("bot-proofing") actually has been studied academically and published. gotta love the science.
    Updated 07-22-2012 at 02:00 PM by ladykemma2
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  15. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i concluded from reading this work that only 1/3 become robot aficionados. interesting.

    i wonder: how household clutter keeps people from using robots efficiently

    are they the same people for whom a housecleaning service doesn't work because you have to pick up before the maids arrive.

    in my school, the lady who cleans my classroom will not sweep if the chairs are not on the tables, and she WILL tell you so, hence we have the kids trained to put the chairs up on the tables at the end of the day. i wonder if that is why i just do this automatically at home.

    and why do people seem to find this a problem.
    Updated 07-22-2012 at 01:52 PM by ladykemma2
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  19. ladykemma2's Avatar
    yuck, the bot swept the fancy feast canned cat food before i could get it off the floor. spent time cleaning up fish slime out of the bot.

  20. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i have discovered that once I got the house "daily clean", i can just let the bots go at will and left to themselves, they cover a good deal of the house. I just quit going crazy monitoring the randomness and stop re-directing, and the house will be clean. leave 'em alone.

    front half of the house - day 1
    back half of the house - day 2
    Updated 08-08-2012 at 12:17 PM by ladykemma2
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