The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby third_deg » January 7th, 2014, 11:29 am

I consider it to be the original scooba, packaged in same way as later model Roombas, while using some of the inventions from the 230 (pump, tires, and putting a sheet of water down to presoak). We figured out the presoak tech late in Scooba 230 project. So not implemented as well as we could.

So in general a robust repackaging with emphasis on user experience.

I'm sure it is a very good robot. The biggest improvement in iRobot as a company is the exhaustive life testing performed. The newer robots should be reliable. It's always hard to learn all of the unknowns though.

Relative to styling I'm not impressed. It's OK. But there are too many break lines, no front to back theme, attempts to use the balancing features I added to Scooba 230, but not integrated in the design. UI is functional just a series of buttons with the now branded Clean button in the middle. Really just a series of components thrown together. The 700 and up Roombas are sleek, and well thought out. Scooba needed an update, but the original has cleaner lines. As does the 230 (as short and stout as it is). Not even carry over of textures and colors from one part of the robot to the next.

I'm an ME, but I appreciate ID... The usability and integration of the tank is decent though, and reduction of parts to clean etc. So good work there at least.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby Gordon » January 7th, 2014, 2:39 pm

third_deg wrote:...We sold a charging dock just like this for the original Scooba BTW. ...
Please expand, such as where did that configuration get sold?
No such 'docking' Scooba has, AFAIK, been discussed in these fora.
The original (ca., Dec. 2005) 5900 was bundled with a"Charging Base", a.k.a., 'cradle', that permitted charging Scooba's battery away from the robot.
------------------------------------------------
To keep this post 'on-subject', what can you say about Scooba 450's battery charging PSU (a prior post in this thread alluded to the 450 being able to use R3-Roombas' PSU)?
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby davidelewis » January 7th, 2014, 2:52 pm

@third_deg
Very interesting hearing your perspective .... Do you still do ME with domestic robots?
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby Gordon » January 7th, 2014, 2:54 pm

third_deg wrote:Larger version of Scooba 230 pump (at least when I left). It pretty much just works, so I expect they will use that still.
Scooba 230's pump design uses the "peristalitic" pumping method. It will 'suck' fluid into its tubing, trap it there, and the trapped fluid will be pushed out the other end. No flapper valves are required!
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby cbl1 » January 7th, 2014, 3:00 pm

I must have the 5900. The battery comes out for charging. Between not liking the pulling of battery, priming the pump, and the awkward way of filling and emptying I gave up on using.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby vic7767 » January 7th, 2014, 3:04 pm

Here's a tid-bit from the iRobot 450 Scooba web page
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450_1.jpg
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby davidelewis » January 7th, 2014, 3:07 pm

The 5800 and all newer models charge with the battery "in". I find that the pump only needs priming if the it has not cleaned for a couple of weeks. That said, the "peristalitic" pumping method sounds like a nice improvement.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby Gordon » January 7th, 2014, 3:09 pm

I fail to see why the 450's "pre-soak" is getting so much 'air-time'! All big Scoobas lay down solution as a pre-soak tactic, and depend on subsequent crossing of trails to complete surface cleaning.

I'll make the following guess: While S-450 development trials were in progress, marketing observers noticed there seemed to be more solution on the floor than was left by prior S-models. Most likely, the new, more efficient, peristaltic pump was laying down a bit more liquid. Hmmmmm, what can be said about that? Ooooooooooh! I know, let's claim that the Scooba 450 has a Pre-Soak Mode!! Ummmmmmmmmmm, cooool! They all agreed.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby vic7767 » January 7th, 2014, 3:11 pm

cbl1 wrote:I must have the 5900. The battery comes out for charging. Between not liking the pulling of battery, priming the pump, and the awkward way of filling and emptying I gave up on using.


The 5900 with some accessories included the external charging brick but you didn't have to use it. After the OSMO charging update the battery did not really need to be removed to charge. The power supply could be connected directly to the Scooba charging jack and the battery would charge internally. It was still recommended to raise or remove the tank assembly prior to charging the battery inside the Scooba.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby Gordon » January 7th, 2014, 3:15 pm

vic7767 wrote:Here's a tid-bit from the iRobot 450 Scooba web page
Thanks vic. That explains it--the S-450 is getting along with less energy. Either its running time is shorter (also explaining why tank chamber volumes can be smaller), or there has been huge improvements in machinery efficiency.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby third_deg » January 7th, 2014, 3:51 pm

Scooba charging dock: we built a unit to hang the robot on a wall, then plug into its side power port. We also made a stand (that almost identical to the "dry dock" to do the same. Scooba had the charging contacts you see on new unit as originally designed but were removed before final production (PM feared them ).

Scooba also has an external battery charging shoe available.

Pre Soak: scooba never did a "pre soak". It just did a poor job of sucking up water. So it worked to presoak for the next pass.

Sciooba 230 originally picked up water brilliantly, but cleaning dropped off. So we added the ability to put water down behind the squeegee and in front of brushes. (PS: I can modify ax scooba 230 to clean dramatically better if interested)

The 450 instead only pre soaks / vacs then does a drying phase. That is the difference being discussed now as "New". But technique was developed during 230 dev program. But this is different then what has been sold in the past.

As to power, the dry vac to wet vac systems have been altered to need to move less air overall. We brute force Scoobas system to add the dry vac. Original scooba can pick up screws though, but 450 can't .

Davidelewis (DMX?.... Is that you?). Since leaving iRobot I've designed Sphero, Myomo, and Romo robots domestically yes.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby vic7767 » January 7th, 2014, 3:54 pm

So it's a toss up, an iPhone 5S with 16 gig unlocked ($620 + shipping) or a new 450 Scooba ($599 free shipping).

Think I'll use the land-line phone (it's built in to the home with relocatable features RJ11 jacks) and go for the 450 Scooba.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby Gordon » January 7th, 2014, 4:25 pm

third_deg wrote:... we built a unit to hang the robot on a wall, then plug into its side power port. We also made a stand ... to do the same.
I do recall those products. They, unfortunately, gave impetus for a Scooba user to pluck onto them a Scooba that had just completed a mission, without FIRST cleaning out Scooba's internals before setting it to charging & storage.
Scooba had the charging contacts you see on new unit as originally designed but were removed before final production (PM feared them ).
Those "features" added a lot of mystery to the task of trying to figure out all of S1's bits & pieces.

Tell me, thinking of in-house model abbreviations, does iRobot Engineering refer to the 450 as "S2", or some other cryptic? It has been of great convenience to me to be able to use "R3" when referring to the 500-series Roombas. It is now clear that Scooba S2 is requiring all new production tooling and testing equipment, hence it no doubt has earned a new nickname.
...Pre Soak: scooba never did a "pre soak". It just did a poor job of sucking up water. So it worked to presoak for the next pass.
Ahmen, to that.
...The 450 instead only pre soaks / vacs then does a drying phase. ...
S1-Scooba used that "drying phase" term in a misleading manner, its only "drying" interest was to partially dry its internal surfaces to minimize pooling of dirty liquid where it halted work. Pray tell: Does S2 actually dry the flooring before ending its mission?

Thanks, 3rd-deg, for responding to my Qs.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby third_deg » January 7th, 2014, 4:42 pm

R3 is a totally different beast than R2, but we still use those designations

I think is fair to call this S2. Scooba 230 is different beast though. That product would have been soooooo good (but it got killed in corporate hell)
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby DocBot » January 7th, 2014, 5:48 pm

So I am not seeing anything "that new" compared to the 390 aside from the claim that it is 3 times better at cleaning than any previous iteration? (Well that and the verbal cues and info button) Am I missing something?
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby davidelewis » January 7th, 2014, 6:01 pm

I believe that the Scooba 450 also uses iAdapt, so it should have more even/faster coverage of the floor area. From the iRobot site: Using iAdapt Technology, the advanced system of software and sensors used in Roomba, Scooba 450 offers complete coverage of every section of floor. iAdapt has been modified for wet floors to optimize the timing between recurrent passes on the floor.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby third_deg » January 7th, 2014, 6:31 pm

It moves at Roomba speeds (I assume). Scooba (5800/5900, et al) moved slower because we needed to let the water work a bit longer. By only putting water down after the squeegee (450), you can move faster, and let soak. Then scrub / suck it up later. That way you need less water over all. So the cleaning improves. But you also need to make more passes (iAdapt covers each area an average of 5X to ensure it gets everywhere at least once). That gets harder the bigger the area. So that's why they limit the coverage area given to 150/300 sq/ft.

So the new part is packaging, reliability improvements, and fewer parts to interact and clean with.

It's a solid design, and re-tasking of the coding. But the science for it was developed from past lessons learned. A good solid robot, but no new inventions to speak of. Just incremental improvements everywhere.

Areas that I'm not psyched about are busy styling at best (Looks to me like an Asian knock-off). I don't think anybody will look at this design and say "Iconic". Obvious functional elements added, but styled by John Deer not Apple.

And the fact its bigger and HEAVY. Almost 2X Roomba, yet holds 25% less water than the smaller original.

But I'm sure it's reliable, and solid.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby DocBot » January 7th, 2014, 6:33 pm

Ah OK thanks Dave. I just ordered a 390 for the parents but it hasn't shipped yet so I am tempted to cancel it although I got a good deal for it, $340. Hopefully a comparison review to the 390 will come out soon.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby cbl1 » January 7th, 2014, 7:15 pm

Out of curiousity I went out and pulled the Scooba I have much maligned out of the garage closet to see what the model actually was. It is a 6050 which appears to be a 380 (later model). Should have been a fairly good Roomba. But from the moment I went to open it up by pushing down the handle while prying up at same time I remembered how much I hate the Scooba design. Third_deg I'm certain that design of having to push down on the handle that happens to be the only spot to pull up on was not your idea.

This being a later model I shouldn't have had so much of a problem with the pump it appears. But it does have a charging port so I guess I didn't have to use the external dock. And oh yes - found those Scooba light houses that weren't compatible with the lighthouses I already had in house for Roomba.

Goes to say - the user experience does mean a lot when it comes to actually using. I don't remember it ever having a problem cleaning once I got past the headache of getting it ready. So if this one is less headaches with as good a cleaning ability it may be a winner for me.

Now - the next big thread will be .... what cleaner can we get it to take! I hope the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner I have been using with my Braava will work.
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Re: The New iRobot Scooba 450 gets down and dirty

Postby third_deg » January 7th, 2014, 7:39 pm

Haha! I have made my fair share of poor design decisions (Lets call them learning opportunities). Pushing down on the tank to lift it up(??!) to remove while also being the main robot handle (Huh) Was not one of them.

Btw, if you push down on the back of the robot while also pushing the tank eject, it works better.... uggh
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