Roombas are, presumably, very cool. Sharing a home with a black lab, a white Persian and a lot of rugs with tassels means I would not know. Roombas are for people with wall to wall carpets. Or rugs sans the tassels. The iRobot Braava Jet 240 (made by them Roomba folks) is for another subset of the human race -- the people who have a home festooned in tile and hardwoods. Built primarily for kitchen and bathroom spaces, it can only clean a 9-18 square metre range. That's less than the 32 square metres the high-end Braava or the 27 square metres the last mopping Roomba handled.
But the big change in this guy -- besides it being very tiny and adorable -- is that it added replaceable cleaning pads into the mix. It's sort of like a frankenSwiffer. Only you don't have to buy wet pads. Instead you fill the back of the Braava up with water, it sprays and then runs over it with the pads (which smell like that one time you mopped your floor).
There's three different kinds of pads. One is for picking up dust and does not need water. The other two require water, with one (intended for maintenance and small spills) using 60 per cent less water than the other.
No programming is required, and the Braava knows exactly what kind of pad you're using. So you slot the pads in and let it go do it's clean thing, then take the pad out at the end.
If you're like my coworker Adam, and find replaceable cleaning pads to a be an expensive waste and destroyer of the environment then rejoice (a little) you lardo. Because they also have washable microfibre pads.
Sure you'll have to remove and clean them after every use and that's basically as big a hassle as wringing or rinsing a mop, but then the robot does the hard labour when usually it's you or the small child you birthed for house cleaning purposes.
The Braava Jet 240 is available for sale later this week at $US199 ($267) and its multitude of pads will be available for $US7.99 ($11) per box of 10 at all major iRobot retailers.
Laziness don't come cheap y'all.