Saturday, February 18, 2006

Robotic floor cleaners

Everybody believes that Japan is always at the cutting edge, especially when it comes to consumer electronics products.

Not really true. I'm surprised to find iRobot Roomba. This fancy robot, developed by iRobot three years ago, automatically clean floors, something Japanese household appliance makers couldn't think of.

According to a discussion board on robotic floor cleaners for Japanese people, Roomba is on sale in Japan for 80,000 Japanese yen (near 800 US dollars or 400 British pounds) while you can buy one in the U.S. for 250 US dollars.

Part of the reason is likely to be the fact that Japanese people live in small houses, not enough space for a robotic cleaner to running around the floor. Toshiba produced something similar, but it's now discontinued...

This year iRobot even produces Scooba, which washes, scrubs, and dries the kitchen floor automatically! (See BBC News report.) I want to buy this... (It's not yet to be sold in UK.)

Anyway, that's a distant dream. All I need to do now is to find the best hoover in UK. Do you have any suggestions? Is Henry, the British original hoover, really good? (I found a Japanese website devoted to Henry and his family, which is far more informative than any English webpages on Henry... (Look at the official website of Numatic, the British company making Henry. The company doesn't seem to realize Henry's potential appeal to a wide range of consumers.)


Anonymous said...

As far as I know, no one who has used a Dyson will dispute its position of numero uno in the vacuuming arena.

Linus said...

teh Dyson has a vaccum cleaner suprise suprise ultra small but only released in Japan. Its very very expensive though.