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Originally published September 25 2007

Roomba 530 robotic vacuum review by consumer advocate Mike Adams

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) The new Roomba 500 series robotic vacuums are, its manufacturer says, the best robotic vacuums ever made. We decided to buy a Roomba 530 and put it to the test, and today we bring you the results in an exclusive NaturalNews Photo Tour available at

Why review a Roomba robotic vacuum? For one thing, the use of household robots has potentially huge implications for the quality of life of consumers. The more we can get machines to take care of basic household chores (like doing dishes, washing laundry or, in this case, cleaning floors), the more time we all have to spend on other, more meaningful endeavors like watching stupid videos on YouTube and playing video games on the Nintendo Wii. On a more serious note, given the number of people who currently suffer from allergies and respiratory problems caused in part by unclean homes, the idea of living in a cleaner home with less dust, hair, dandruff and flakes of dead skin all over the floor is enticing from a health perspective, too.

Plus, a lot of consumers are suddenly interested in the Roomba robots, and I wanted to offer a truly independent, objective review of this product and the company behind it: the iRobot Corporation. As you'll see in the review, I have some serious reservations about the company's future plans for battlefield robots, but you'll have to keep reading to learn about that.

In this review, I describe the new technologies and improvements in the Roomba 530 model, and show detailed pictures of the relevant parts of the robot. Overall, the product is quite impressive: It works as advertised, and it delivers solid performance with a more environmentally friendly battery and smarter navigation that handles thick carpets as easily as hardwood floors. Even cleaning the brushes and dust bin is now far easier than in previous models (view the product pictures to see for yourself).

From an engineering and robotics standpoint, the iRobot Corporation seems to have created an impressive product that can literally save a family hundreds of hours a year on cleaning time. While it doesn't do windows, and it doesn't scrub floors with a mop (their Scooba robot takes care of that), the Roomba 500 series does what it promises to do: Sweep up dirt, dust and debris. It rarely gets stuck when navigating around the house, it's more gentle on furniture than previous Roomba models, and it's a whole lot less noisy than earlier Roombinians, too.

Click the following link to view the photo tour for yourself and explore what's new (and cool) with the Roomba 530:

I can't wait to arm my Roomba with a Taser...

So with all this good technology, what reservations could I possibly have about the iRobot Corporation? For one, the company has reached an agreement with the Taser company to start mounting tasers on its tactical robots sold to the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies. Do we really want tasers on robots that could potentially be used for crowd control on the U.S. population?

And more importantly, if tasers are mounted on the robots right now, it seems a small step to start mounting shotguns or other firearms on these robots, setting them loose in Iraq, Afghanistan or even some U.S. city where they go on a "Terminator" rampage, killing anything that moves because they're programmed to do so. Sound ridiculous? Sure, it's a bit sci-fi right now, and the company claims it's not looking to arm its robots with military weapons, but you can bet the Pentagon has a different plan. An army of robotic soldiers who won't question orders (or die) is every war monger's secret dream...

So read this review carefully and think twice about whether you want to support a company that's arming robots with Tasers right now. And be sure to stay inside your little Free Speech Zone box at your next public rally, or else you might be targeted with a Taser-toting Terminator 'bot.

"Don't Tase me, bro!"

I discuss all this in more detail in the Photo Tour:

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