Some purchases that you make, you instantly know that they are going to save you a tonne of time or money. And these are the purchases that we should be on the look out for, things that can help us to multiply our productivity or to help us focus exclusively on the essential things. What exactly am I rambling on about? Here is the most useful thing that joined our household in 2020 (okay, my wife bought it) and some thoughts about it.
I had my misgivings when my wife felt the home was too dirty and purchased a robotic vac by Xiaomi. Lo and behold, this turned into hands down the best thing we ever bought.
It picks up a full canister of dust every alternate day and now my energies can be better spent cleaning other parts of the house or just mopping the floor after the robot has done its work.
I didn’t know just how far behind I was in my cleaning duties until the first day we used it. Did I feel like a loser at first? Yes I did. Don’t buy this if your feelings of inadequacy are easily triggered. You have been warned.
It’s been almost 6 months and the robot is still going strong. Battery, and all other hardware are working well. Suction is still good. We haven’t even bothered to download the app and just let it run by itself. The kids get a kick out of following it around and disturbing it during it’s cleaning routine. That’s how I know this thing is robust. There are even 2-in-1 models that can mop the floor as well. Yes, I know I’m late to the game again.
Anyway, it’s probably not even among the elite models on the market (I believe iRobot is the pioneer here) but it’s a giant leap away from not having one. Even if you have a maid, you should consider getting one of these so that your maid can work and rest more effectively.
Home cleaning by part-timers in Malaysia generally cost around MYR 18 per hour, so if the robot takes over 60 mins of vacuuming and mopping every day, that’s worth MYR 18 per day. So in less than 50 sessions the ROI is fully recovered (slightly longer if you opt for the higher end models). If you’re living in a country with an even higher cost of living, this makes even more sense.
The only downsides that I can mention are that it’s a bit noisy for a longer period of time, since the AI is not as efficient as a human and it needs to do a few passes. So I guess the electricity consumption is slightly higher. You also need to clear the clutter like thick floormats and children’s toys off the floor before starting. A small price to pay. And finally it doesn’t do well when approaching a lower level like a staircase or bathroom. You will need to barricade the stairs or close the bathroom doors to prevent the robot falling in (at least my model anyway). A small price to pay.
AI and robots constantly getting better and replacing jobs in the future is inevitable, but in this segment of robotic cleaners, it’s not a zero sum game. Humans can’t always put in the time and labour needed, yet homes can always be cleaner. And a cleaner home is a healthier happier home.
*Are you using a robotic assistant in your home? Let me know which model and how it’s working out for you. Btw, I wonder when they will make robots that will be able to handle ceilings and walls as well as clean inanimate objects…
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