- 1 Bobsweep vs. Roomba – Can the Bobsweep bObi compare to the iRobot Roomba 980?
Bobsweep vs. Roomba – Can the Bobsweep bObi compare to the iRobot Roomba 980?
“I have a bObsweep that keeps my living room and kitchen clean when I’m working”. Mention this while at work or out with your friends and you’re going to get some very strange looks. “What? What’s a bobsweep? Like a magic broom or something?”. Say “I love that my Roomba keeps my house clean while I’m not around”, and you’ll get some questions about it, some people who have a Roomba will agree with you, and others will ask you where you bought it and how much it costs.
Can a relatively unknown company leave it’s mark in the robotic vacuum industry, or even topple Roomba, the champion? Is bObsweep a viable Roomba alternative?
Read my Bobsweep and Roomba comparison to find out.
bObi by Bobsweep
|Removes Pet Hair||✓||✓||✓|
|Entire Level Cleaning||✓|
|Recharge and Resume||✓||✓|
|Turbo Mode/Carpet Boost||✓||✓|
|Rating||4.7/5||4.4/5 Stars||4.0/5 Stars|
Bobsweep, the company, not to be confused with the robotic vacuum of the same name, is a relatively new company, around since 2010. They’re very small, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Small can also mean very agile, and very responsive to customer service issues. They don’t have the massive R&R budget that iRobot has (iRobot is the manufacturer of Roomba). That’s the downside of being a small company, is not as big of a R&D budget. They’re based out of Canada while iRobot is based in the United States.
iRobot is a powerhouse of a company. As I mentioned in my Neato vs. Roomba article, They started out making military and police robots and gradually started making more and more consumer robotics like the Roomba. They have a giant R&D budget and are poised to make first class robots that can do almost anything and make a person’s life much more convenient.
They are huge. They pump out great products and improve on their previous products by correcting flaws, and adding new features to each new product. Is bigger better? Read on to find out…
Bobsweep bObi Features
What makes the bObi very unique is the fact that it will mop your floors and also even UV sterilize them. There’s no other robot that will do this to my knowledge. This is a pretty freaking cool feature. In order to get the same thing from a Roomba, you would have to buy a Roomba AND Braava (the mopping robot from iRobot), coordinate their cleaning schedules, and also maintain two robots instead of one. Most Roomba owners just mop their hardwood floors the old fashioned way.
People who are REALLY serious about their floors being germ-free will also be really happy about the UV sterilization feature. bObi also has a HEPA filter so your house won’t be just clean looking, it’ll be allergen-free, mopped, and sterilized. A Roomba can’t do that.
Another thing I love about the bObi is the look of it. It kind of reminds me of the look of an iPhone, or something similarly high tech and stylish. This is the look that Bobsweep was going for when they designed the bObi (notice the way that iPhone and bObi are written out?). The designers were looking for something super stylish, while offering something unique that other robotic vacuums don’t offer.
bObi has another unique feature for spot cleaning called “waffle mode”. Named for the pattern it cleans in. This works pretty well for larger spills.
There’s also a really nifty remote that comes with the bObi that reminds me more of a control panel than it does a remote.
Roomba 980 Features
The Roomba 980 is just packed with features. Nothing new or really crazy unique like the bObi, but features that you’ll use every day and appreciate. Because iRobot has improved every model of Roomba since it’s first, you get the solidity of years of learning about what works and what doesn’t, the best navigation technology, the best scheduling options, and when done right, you can pretty much just set, forget, maintain from time to time and enjoy clean rooms. The Roomba 980 can clean entire levels and does it more efficiently than other bots. When comparing Bobsweep vs. Roomba, all of these really honed in features and tech are what makes a big difference.
The 980 has a mobile app (like the Neato Botvac Connected), so you can control it from your smart phone and reschedule when you’re not even at home. This is a blessing for those with busy schedules with many interruptions in it.
Another new feature of the Roomba 980 is that it has a camera… or an “eye”, as I like to call it that maps out your room to clean more efficiently. It makes your rooms more clean with less time spent on cleaning and less mishaps of getting stuck.
The 980 is brushless, which means no more spending a lot of time detangling long hair from the brush, and it also, like the bObi, has a hepa filter.
Update: For a less expensive, and almost as great option, come check out my Roomba 960 Review.
Roomba 860 Features
The Roomba 860 is the newest Roomba to hit the market. It has most of the power of the 980 (without carpet boost technology), and a low price! Some people don’t want to spring almost 1000 bucks for a robotic vacuum, no matter how high quality it is. The Roomba 860 is great for those who are on a budget but want a reliable robotic vacuum that does a wonderful job.
The Roomba 860 doesn’t have UV sterilization and the mopping function and never will, but the navigation system of all Roombas, including the 860 model, is better than bObi’s. The 860 is a great value in that it has the same brushless dirt extractors that the Roomba 980 has but at a very low price.
The 860 has a fresher design and color than earlier Roomba models and, while not as cool looking as the bObsweep bObi, it does look a lot better than earlier Roomba models and is a good indicator that iRobot is starting to develop a sense of style.
The Roomba 860 does a better job of vacuuming and navigating than the bObi, and can be had for a nice discount if you use my Amazon link to purchase it
Bobsweep vs. Roomba: Pros and Cons
Cheap. For what you get, the price is just awesome. There is so much “bot for the buck” with this little bot, that for people on a budget I would say just go ahead and get it. You’ll probably not be as happy if you were to buy a cheaper Roomba model and the extra features that the bObi has should push this robotic vacuum into the 600 dollar range.
It’s really sexy. I would rather look at one of these all day than a Roomba. The Roomba, to me looks spartan. Functional. Cold. The bObi looks friendly and fun. Another point for the bObi if style is important to you.
The mopping feature is not a “deep mop”, think of it as only a swiffering. Don’t think about getting your floors really wet and having the bObi continue cleaning them either, because it doesn’t handle large amounts of water. Large puddles will ruin your bot.
The navigation isn’t as advanced as the Roomba’s. Waffle mode is a sweet feature but the navigation system is simply just not as advanced as what many years of Research has brought to the Roomba.
No wifi control. The remote is nice, but the Roomba 980 has a smart phone app, which is really convenient for scheduling.
Roomba 980 Pros:
It’s navigation system and features simply cannot be beat by any other robotic vacuum on the market right now. iRobot has set the bar high, and I doubt if any new company can unseat their technology and feature set. Roomba really is the very best.
The new camera is so good at avoiding obstacles that it’s almost creepy. It’s almost as if it really can “see”!
It’s awesome at getting pet hair out of carpets and honesly, the best offering out there right now if you have a pet. It’s REALLY good. And there are no more brushes that keep getting hair tangled in them.
Roomba 980 Cons:
The only cons are that it doesn’t mop and sterilize like the bObi, but iRobot never set out to make this a feature. Maybe we’ll see a bot in the future from iRobot that does that.
Price. That’s the biggest Roomba 980 con. The price is the highest among any robotic vacuum and is not a good entry level vacuum. Try talking your husband or wife into spending a grand on a robotic vacuum! The bObi is about $500 cheaper, and all of us could use an extra few hundred dollar savings. If you’re looking for a Roomba that’s a little cheaper, I have a Roomba model comparison that you should check out. I reviewed all of this years Roomba models in that article so if you’re interested in cheaper, definitely read that.
Bobsweep vs. Roomba: Other considerations
Another thing to consider when you’re comparing Bobsweep vs. Roomba is customer service, and what if something goes wrong with this new expensive robotic vacuum? You don’t want it to become a multi-hundred dollar paperweight or doorstop.
Bobsweep is known to have the best customer service in the business. You have a problem with your bObi, bobsweep will hold your hand and walk you through it. They’re a small company, and while small doesn’t always mean good service, it does with Bobsweep. They’re great to their customers, and it’s one of the best things about them. They go the extra mile to make their customers happy.
iRobot (Roomba) has great customer service as well. They feel like a bigger company, dealing with them, but they’re responsive and will take your issues seriously. Bobsweep wins here in the customer service department, while Roomba completely wins in the features category.
Bobsweep vs. Roomba: The winner
In this contest, there’s not really a clear winner, like there was in my Neato vs. Roomba article. Bobsweep is a new, hip, fresh and fun company that puts out a great product with many features that you can’t find on a Roomba. The iRobot Roomba 980 is just an incredible piece of tech, and it’s quite honestly the best robotic vacuum that you can buy right now…. If you can afford nearly $1,000 for a robotic vacuum.
The Bobsweep bObi has great ideas, is very reasonably priced, sexy, and has many features that can’t be found on the Roomba 980. It’s a great robot, and the only complaint I have about it is that the navigation features, and the vacuuming feature is not as good as Roomba’s.
All things considered in this Bobsweep Vs. Roomba challenge, the winner is:
iRobot Roomba 980
The Roomba 980 didn’t trounce the Bobsweep bObi, but it is, over all, a higher tech, and better bot. The 980 is expensive, but you can get a huge discount on amazon, just click the Amazon link below.
If you’re not in the market for such a high priced robot, I would whole heartedly recommend the Bobsweep bObi. It’s VERY well priced, and a great little machine. It’s the best one out there for it’s price. The Amazon listing below has the lowest price you can get on it, so you should check it out.