Best iRobot Braava 380 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022:
The Braava is positioned between the Scooba floor cleaning robots and the sweeping robot. He proposes, in fact, to clean the floors using microfiber wipes, dry or humidified.
iRobot, which is offered a complete soil maintenance system, innovates with this Braava 380 robot – a heritage from the Mint, whose manufacturer Evolution Robotics was bought by iRobot – which can sweep or mop without a cleaning product, exclusively on hard floors. This robot also inaugurates a new navigation system at iRobot, called NorthStar: the robot geolocates in space, which allows it to know where it has already gone. Finally, iRobot promises that it is so quiet that it is able to work while its owner is asleep! This original robot is full of enticing promises.
Best iRobot Braava 380 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022
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Convenience of use
It is available in 2 versions, the iRobot Braava 380 that we are testing, and the 320, which does not come with a support to moisten the wipes, but compatible if you buy this optional accessory. The 320 cleans a smaller surface, with reduced autonomy and, it can only be used with a single NorthStar cube.
The Braava 380 is suitable for cleaning 90 m2, an area that can be doubled using several cubes. Because, what is unusual is that this robot does not work with a charging base but must be paired with a small cube (NorthStar), which constitutes, in a way, its eyes, since it allows it to locate in space.
Pairing is quite simple: you just need to activate the cube and the robot placed side by side, then launch the robot while waiting for them to connect; the blue light flashing on the cube becomes fixed, as are three small light points at the front of the robot (the more points are lit, the better the connection). This operation can be a little long (several minutes).
Two constraints must be respected: turn the blue indicator light of the cube towards the center of the room and ensure that the cube has a clear “view” on the ceiling.
There are few buttons on the Braava 380. The one used to start the device lights up red during charging and turns blue at the end of charging. The various illuminations also indicate the robot’s errors (red or blue, flashing or steady, number of consecutive flashes, etc.). Rest assured, during our tests, it made surprisingly few errors. Then there is only one button for wet cleaning and one for dry cleaning.
Too bad, this robot is not programmable – but it might have complicated its use, overall very simple.
Prior step, you must put in the microfiber cloth for cleaning: the blue one for wet cleaning or the white one for a sweep, the material being different. There are two cleaning supports: one is “multifunction”, you can attach a dry wipe or a wet wipe. The second, called Pro-Clean, is used for wet cleaning; it is provided with a reservoir and a buffer to moisten the wipe during all cleaning.
The positioning of the blue wipe on the Pro-Clean support is easy: it hangs with scratches.
On the other hand, installing the wipe on the multifunction support is less simple: you have to wedge it in slots – too bad, we would have preferred scratches too.
The wipes provided are washable, knowing that the multifunction support can also receive disposable wipes.
Installing the wipe support on the robot is then very simple since it is magnetic (this is the case for the two supports).
Roomba robot vacuums and Scooba cleaners use iRobot’s iAdapt system; without a camera or rangefinder, they do not map the parts, but an algorithm readjusts their movements to the environment (64 times per second).
This iRobot Braava 380 uses a new navigation system from iRobot called NorthStar, inherited from the Mint robot. It works by GPS geolocation. The robot constantly communicates with the NorthStar cube which maps the ceiling so that it knows the shape of the cleaned room. The movements made via pre-established diagrams taking into account the size and shape of the part are adjusted using the other sensors of the robot. The advantage: cleaning that does not drain the battery because the robot stops when it has passed everywhere.
The Braava also detects the vacuum, as well as the differences in floor height, thanks to sensors located at its buffer. Note: it does not come with virtual beacons. It is therefore necessary to obstruct its route as iRobot advises, in the case of large voids (balconies, elevation more important than a stair step) …
The navigation diagram of the device is precise: it moves in a zig-zag, adjusting its movements to the obstacles it encounters while advancing and retreating, in scanning mode. In mop mode, its navigation mode is different. It performs back and forth movements, like the movement of a broom.
This robot is not intended to navigate from room to room. On the one hand, its navigation system does not provide for it, on the other hand, it is supposed to stop in front of the carpets; it therefore does not cross the thresholds of doors.
It is not a question of suction, but of efficiency, to cover an entire surface, then to remove the dust therein. We have noted that it covers all of the surfaces, even furnished, very well. When a room is congested, it is inevitable that it does not pass several times in the same places, but the main thing is that it covers the whole room, which is the case.
As for its effectiveness, it is excellent on dust, hair and animal hair – this robot working with microfiber wipes is not a vacuum cleaner. It therefore does not collect “heavy” waste, such as breakfast cereals, litter if you also have a cat playing with it, or even gravel from the garden. But on hair, animal hair and dust, the results are excellent
By chaining 2 consecutive cycles, one in sweep mode and the second in mop mode, during our tests, we managed to keep our interior clean between two weekly vacuum cleaners, by operating the iRobot Braava 380 daily (all with two cats). If you can’t expect the same results as with a robot vacuum cleaner, the Braava is very good. And unlike the vacuum cleaner, with its overflowing wipe, it cleans very well along the walls and in the corners
iRobot promises such discretion that the owner can sleep while his robot is working. It is true, it is perfectly silent; it is therefore possible to operate the robot day and night. Be careful not to step on it if it works in your presence!
There is, as an option, a charger to ensure rapid charging: the charging time is halved, going from 4 h to 2 h, but given the autonomy (4 h in scanning mode and 2 h 30 in mop) of the device and its low consumption, this does not seem necessary to us. The autonomy allowed us several complete cleaning (sweeping followed by mop) of an apartment of 70 m2 without recharging the robot.
This robot is certainly perfectible, in particular by allowing the use of detergent in mop mode. Nevertheless, it largely keeps its promises, in particular an incredible discretion, a pleasant intelligence of navigation and a good management of obstacles. Finally, in terms of cleaning, it does the required work. The iRobot Braava 380 is still a recommendable device.
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