Robots for home automation – The Mint

The Mint

While visiting Best Buy one day we noticed they had a sale on in the vacuum cleaner area. It was here I spotted an Evolution Robotics Mint for sale (the box had been damaged).

Since the price had been reduced by a a decent amount (it is normally around $240.00 USD) we decided to purchase it and give it a try.

The Mint is a robotic floor sweeping and washing device that uses either Swiffer pads or Microfiber cleaning clothes. You hook the pad up to the front of the device, and using a North Star GPS system the robot will then navigate around your floor cleaning as it goes.

There are two cleaning options to choose from, either dry or wet (to mop the floor). These can be selected via button on the top of the device.

Mint floor sweeper

Mint floor sweeper

The robot has sensors built in as well so that when it reaches a ledge it knows there is a drop and pulls back.

The Mint comes with a rechargeable battery and wall wart so you simply plug it into the wall when finished so it is charged and ready for your next use.

You can see an example here including the device specs on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Robotics-Mint-Automatic-4200/dp/B00408PCEW

Review

So what do I think of it?

Unlike regular swiffering the device is pretty slow, however if you plan to just turn it on and leave it in a room while you do something else, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Obviously due to its shape it can have problems reaching certain areas, so you may need to still manually clean them. One nice benefit though is that it is small device so can fit under couches and tables far easier than a regular vacuum cleaner or mop. This saves having to move furniture around which is nice.

The battery life seems to be pretty good so far. It takes a rechargeable AA style battery pack so theoretically should be easy to replace if the batteries stop holding a charge.

An issue many people may find annoying is that it ‘bangs’ into things. So if it is attempting to clean under your dining room table, you can expect it to hit a lot of chair legs as it goes.

How would I rate it?

Useful! If you have an areas of the house where you can just put it down and leave it to go, it is a great benefit. The price tag though is a little steep compared to just using a regular Swiffer.

If you can get it on discount I would recommend it though.

Conclusion

Since purchasing the Mint it looks like iRobot have bought the brand out and now sell it under the iRobot Braava name:

http://store.irobot.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=23314286&s=A-ProductAge

iRobot already offer a number of other robotic home cleaning devices, including pool cleaners, gutter cleaners and vacuums.

Devices such as these are starting to show that there is a market for home automation with regards to cleaning. I believe this market will continue to grow and we should start to see some real innovation emerge over the coming years.