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Dirt Dog from iRobot, RATING: GOOD

The Dirt Dog is a sturdy little robot that is supposed to keep your garage clean. It does not pick up doggie doo-doo. It isn't even the robot designated to pick up dog hair, there is another robot from iRobot for that. "Dirt Dog" refers to the personality of this little robot...all ruffy and scruffy and ready to go!

My Dirt-Dog has been running around all day today (after one or two rechargings). Dirt Dog is able to pick up larger stuff than Roomba, but isn't quite as pretty, and can't be programmed.

Here are some of my observations about Dirt Dog:

  • Dirt Dog can't handle stairs and will almost tip over them (so far has stopped in time) instead of detecting them and doing it's little 180 turn like Roomba does.
  • Dirt Dog will scoot back to the base and dock itself when it has finished it's task.
  • Dirt Dog is great at sweeping the kitchen floor. He can even get the kibble that the real dogs spill!
  • Using Dirt Dog in the Garage

  • Dirt Dog now sweeps the garage every day. He does a mighty fine job of it too! Before I let him loose in the garage, I first picked up the larger pieces of junk and trash lying around so they don't jam up the roller brush and also moved everything close up against the wall (gardening soil, charcoal, my mother) so that Dirt Dog wouldn't have to maneuver around them. You can leave the cars parked in the garage, however, because Dirt Dog just scoots right underneath and sweeps everything clean. I love it!
  • Caring for Your Dirt Dog

  • So far maintenance on Dirt Dog has been fairly low. After each use, I remove the trash bin (really easy to do), dump the dirt in the trash and put it back into place. Then I stick Dirt Dog back on the home base to recharge for the next cleaning. Every so often I also take a peek at the roller brush and the space just behind the dust bin to see if anything has collected there. If it has, I remove it. Much like you do with your vacuum cleaner when hair or twine becomes wrapped around the roller brush. If Dirt Dog has been sweeping the garage, I also wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth, as he gets pretty dusty. Better Dirt Dog than me, though!
  • I have to give Dirt Dog an overall rating of "Very Good" (I reserve "Excellent" for truely life changing products, although these little robots come close!) I base this rating on the fact that my garage floor is spic and span clean, so clean, in fact, that I have no qualms about scooting out into the garage in my socks, even white ones. I stick Dirt Dog out in the Garage every morning, and let him navigate around all the junk, and underneath both cars. I just wish there was some way to call him though, because I end up getting down on all fours to peek under the cars to find him. I am also worried about forgetting Dirt Dog is out in the garage and driving over him. That would be an expensive "Oops"
  • April 13, 2007 - My DirtDog is sick. I put him out into the garage this morning and all he does is turn in circles. This means I will now have to read the directions to try and figure out why. Maybe it's just because today is Friday the 13th?
  • May 29, 2007 - I have been in touch with the irobot customer support and we have been discussing my sick Dirt Dog. So far they have been very responsive, but we have not found the problem with Dirt Dog just yet. My Garage floor is filthy!
  • To reset the memory of the Dirt Dog if youÂ’re experiencing a charging issue, do this:

    1. Remove the battery from the Dirt Dog.
    2. Press and Hold the POWER button on the Dirt Dog for 5 seconds.
    3. Reinstall the battery into the Dirt Dog and make sure you hear two distinct clicks.
    4. Charge the Dirt Dog for 3 hours on the gray Fast Charger, or 6 hours on the black Standard Charger, then run the unit.
    Diagram of the Bottom View of the Dirt Dog.Follow up:  None of the remedies worked, so iRobot sent me a new Dirt Dog, and I sent the old one back. Everything is fine and dandy now; every morning I put Dirt Dog out in the garage to sweep. I love my Dirt Dog. I never want to be without my Dirt Dog. Seriously.

    October 9th, 2007. Somehow the front wheel of my Dirtdog snapped off.  I suspect that certain DHs accidentally ran it over with the car a little bit... Or stepped on it. Or maybe it was that giant horse of a dog (real) of ours. He has been known to step on a laptop left laying around. In any case, I am without Dirt Dog. I believe that I can get spare parts, however, so there is hope. Scooba and Roomba are fine, btw, DD seems to be a bit more accident prone.

    October 2008 -  iRobot sent me a new DirtDog at some point which was very nice of them, but now it won't charge. I miss the DirtDog more than the Roomba - because DirtDog cleans the garage. The problem is that DirtDog breaks down a lot - granted one time was my fault - I stepped on him, but the others were not. I really hope they work out the bugs because I really love having this funny yellow robot to sweep the garage.

    October 15th, 2009 Update: I downgraded my review of DirtDog to "Good" from "Very Good" because the darn thing keeps breaking down. When it is working, it was the one I used the most - DirtDog being in charge of keeping the garage nice and tidy, but this version at least is a little hot house flower of a robot - quite delicate. As far as usefulness goes, I rate DirtDog over the top wonderful, excellent, and spiffy. Damn, was my garage clean before the little guy started going in circles. Then I think his battery died too. Will look into getting him fixed. Miss my DirtDog.

    RETRO HOUSEWIFE, 2007-04-09

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