When the Roomba began stumbling over carpets everywhere in 2002, mankind's dual fascination with robots and avoiding housework finally coalesced. The Mint automatic floor cleaner tweaks the original Roomba concept, replacing suction with wet/dry Swiffer cloths and adding a remotely-synced GPS-like system to guide its movement more intelligently.
The Mint, perhaps unavoidably, might be best defined by the ways it differs from the Roomba. It's a smaller, squarer machine that sweeps and mops instead of vacuuming or scrubbing. Its movements are guided by a separate sensor placed somewhere in the room to be cleaned, and the robot and sensor communicate to establish a map of the area. After this discussion, the Mint cleans in a methodical zig-zag pattern, returning to its starting location when it confirms that it has covered every inch of the room. It can both sweep and mop, depending on which cloth is snapped on and which setting is selected.
The sensor and traffic pattern definitely gives the Mint a step up in efficiency over its Roomba predecessors, giving it better spatial awareness and allowing for more precise cleaning patterns. It also keeps the vulnerable 'bot from hurling itself down the stairs or getting stuck on carpeting, a nice bit of insurance for your investment.
In my tests, the Mint cleaned very effectively around table legs, into corners, even venturing (thanks to its small size) into the deepest recesses under our radiators. In sweeping mode, it smartly kept to a forward motion, ensuring that it didn't leave (much) previously swept dirt behind. Since it does much less bumping and stumbling than the Roomba, it's very quiet, and I liked being able to run it overnight and wake up to clean floors with the Mint stowed out of the way where I had left it.
My main gripe is with the sensor cube. You have to be careful where you place it, because the signal strength seemed weaker when there was a barrier between the cube and the Mint (it was hopelessly lost maneuvering around simple table legs when the sensor was placed on top of the table). The Mint is also limited by the range of the navigational cube, so even though it has the battery life (four hours) to clean an entire home, it won't be able to move much further than an adjacent room or hallway. The manufacturers suggest the solution is to carry the cube from room to room as the robot cleans, or buy more than one sensor.
Despite all the navigational equipment in play, there was still a lot more bumping and restarting than there would be with a human operating a Swiffer. As a result, some little piles of dirt it had collected were left behind--not what you want from a cleaning robot.
The Mint can't compete for sheer cleaning power with, say, iRobot's Scooba--but it also costs about half the price. It's just not suited for heavy-duty or large-scale cleaning, but that's not necessarily a criticism. If you have all hardwood, tile or linoleum floors with few area rugs, or your main concern is sweeping and light mopping, the Mint is an excellent and intelligent alternative. Take it for what it is—a subservient little robo-Swiffer with a single-room capacity—and you won't be disappointed.
We did not have the problem you described. Set the sensor on top of a heavy table and the Mint operated in fine fashion, cleaning thoroughly and quietly and never had any problems.
It's nice to see a new product that does what it says it will do, and do so in fine fashion.
I want one, it is such a great idea. This seems like a very good product, and it would definatly make cleaning hard floors much easier.
wow! this is great! I want one. It will surely help us a lot.
this cute little floor cleaner sure looks efficient and at the top of technology. having one of these would definitely take away from all the fuss over messes in the kitchen
This reminds me of the old tv shows I watched as a kid where the robots did everything for the humans. Everything seemed easy and no one had to do any house chores. That seems nice in theory but it would definatly increase our reliance on technology. I think that this is definatly a step in that direction. Scary thought. Its actually comforting that it can't do more than 4 hours and cant wander far from the 'Mint'. RIght now its not as advanced and efficient but if it were more people would probably 'have to have one'.
Cool I can fire my maid and just have robots clean my floors. I'm betting it won't clean up animal puke though.
This is such a great idea. I want one, it could help out alot!
I wonder what my cats would make of this? They have a fondness for bringing small animals into the house, roaches, geckos and the occasional snake (normally alive) just so that they can play with them. They're likely to flip this thing over or ride it around the room.
Anyway, there's no denying that the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner looks cool so maybe I'll give it a go. I did find some more videos of it here: http://mintautomaticfloorcleaner.com
I think that it could lead us to be so reliable on tech nology that when a mager disaster happens that knocks all electricity out we would freak and basically make stubid disitions and kill ourselves.Also it would increase the population of fatasses world wide along with making us so we don't think and rather let a computer do it for us.
My experience with the<a href="http://www.mintrobot.net">Mint Floor Cleaning Robot</a>is that it actually does a better job cleaning my floort than the Roomba and tends to get stuck a lot let. Definately pleased with it.
Goes around as it is constantly lost, regardless of the cube position. I followed instructions on placement of both to the letter. See it for yourself: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LJF7mi65xE. Planning to return the unit, though I had high hopes for it after reading Amazon reviews.