The 560 is the third generation Roomba and PCMag calls the Discovery “souped-up” because it has a bigger chassis, wheels and better suspension.
This was the first Roomba to have an anti-tangle feature where the brush would rotate backwards to loosen itself from any loose tassels or wires, and while it can be scheduled, it doesn’t have a remote control.
iRobot claims that you can clean up to 4 rooms. This is only possible if you are using 4 virtual beacons instead of the 2 virtual walls included in this package.
However, many online reviews claim otherwise that it had some trouble moving from room to room in addition to finding its own charging dock.
The battery often runs out when doing this. You can read more of that in the reviews section.
Update September 22, 2017: Since I posted this post a few years ago, iRobot has new robot vacuums like Roomba 650, 860, 960 and 980. Click on the links for more information or Check out the best Roomba article. These newer cleaners have smarter portability and better cleaning performance.
- You can buy a used one for as low as $199
- Scheduling feature (once a day, 7 days a week)
- Sealed body so that dust does not clog the sensors
- The brushes are adjustable so they pick up dirt from shaggy carpets
- Works on dark carpets
- Picks up heavy debris like nuts and bolts well
- Room cleaning takes a long time, about 20 minutes in a medium-sized room
- Some issues with virtual wall/beacon detection and docking based on reviews
- Will have trouble picking up light debris such as paper and pet hair
- small dirt box
- Hair will wrap around the motorized brush and side brushes
- Needs frequent cleaning
- No bin full indicator
What do you expect from the iRobot Roomba 560?
From Roomba 560 onwards, iRobot has made significant improvements in terms of performance and reliability.
The 560 is the first Roomba to use a modular design which means parts are easy to replace. Cleaning performance has also taken a quantum leap in addition to its long-term viability.
In the package you will get 2 virtual walls and an additional filter. The filtration system traps allergens according to iRobot but is not a HEPA filter.
Like all Roomba vacuums, it has two brushes that rotate oppositely – one agitator and one bristle brush.
- The brushes are automatically adjusted to the thickness of the rug
- It has an anti-tassel feature that detangles from tassels or cords
- Allergen filter trap
- Contains 2 virtual walls (batteries not included)
- Includes an extra filter
Full specifications can be found here.
To give you a better understanding of how the Roomba navigates without the need for technical sounding, take a look at this illustration.
You will notice that it is very similar to the 700 series but the basic design of the sensors remains the same.
I also found a great long exposure photo that shows you the cleaning pattern.
Remember I said iRobot can clean up to 4 rooms without any help?
Well in theory it could be based on so many reviews like this one on geek.com it tends to miss the beacon and walk out room and more complex layouts it will have a hard time finding its charging base.
Note: You will notice that in the PCMag and Geek.com reviews they mentioned that it had a virtual beacon which allowed it to clean multiple rooms but based on the reviews the 560 sold on amazon doesn’t have a virtual beacon but only virtual walls.
It can still clean multiple rooms if you remove the virtual wall but it will be much more difficult.
One of the videos in the Watch it in action section tried multiple room cleaning minus the virtual wall and the result was positive.
Are you going to clean the stairs?
Yes, you can schedule this to clean independently once a day, seven days a week. However it does not have a remote control.
Normal charging time may take around 3 hours but iRobot recommends charging this for 16 hours on its first use.
One of the improvements the 560 brought to the Discovery was the use of a modular design. This makes replacing parts easier.
The areas that need frequent brushing are the side brush and counter rotating brush which tend to pick up a lot of pet hair. This is a necessary step in order not to quickly damage these parts.
Here is a video detailing how to clean the 560 …
the show length
The Robot Shop tested the uptime and said it lasted just over two hours which is a pretty good number considering this robot uses a NiCad battery.
All iRobot Roomba vacuums come with a 1 year warranty on the robot and 6 months on the …
It does a good job on bare floors but due to its poor suction, you’ll have a hard time picking up lighter debris like pet hair, paper, or something similar.
It does a good job with heavy debris like nuts and bolts.
Spring-loaded wheels and adjustable brushes make this suitable for thinner and thicker carpets but don’t expect too much in terms of deep cleaning due to poor suction.
Don’t rely on this as your main cleaner but only as a maintenance broom between deep cleaning sessions so you don’t have to haul that heavy weight upright too often.
It will work well on most carpets from thin to thick, and although there are some complaints about it not working on darker rugs/rugs, video reviews reveal otherwise.
Pet hair removal
The counter rotating brush will do most of the work in picking up pet hair and has done a fairly decent job based on the reviews.
Note that the dirt bin is not large so you will need to empty it often if you have a lot of pets.
If you have two or more pets at home, you may want to consider the newer Roomba 650.
Watch it in action
|charger type||charging station|
|Shipping time||3 hours|
|the show length||2 hours
Based on a review by Robot Reviews
|net weight (with battery)||8.2 EGP|
|Purchase Weight||12 pounds|
|bin full indicator||
|Cleaning sessions per week||7|
|containment||2 virtual walls|
|brush cleaning tools||1|
|Accessories included||charging base
2 virtual wall (needs 2 C batteries not included)
1 extra AeroVac filter
1 brush cleaning tool
1 extra filter
|Guarantee||1 year on Android
6 months on battery
It scores highly when it comes to cleaning and the scheduling feature is another one.
It was also able to pick up pet hair quite well based on these reviews, but the dirt box filled up fairly quickly, especially in the first few rides because the floors tend to be dirtier during this stage.
Negative reviews stated that cleaning performance was not the issue. I’ve summarized common problems consumers encountered below.
The first and most common complaint is the side brush breaks after a few months (some 4 and 5 star reviews mentioned this as well).
Secondly, he had trouble getting back to the charging base.
Third, counter rotating brushes will need frequent cleaning.
Finally, there were also complaints about product failure during the first year of ownership.
Reviews from other sites
Video review of Robot Shop
Over 40 people left a review here and it rated higher than Amazon. Reviews were similar to those on Amazon, and consumers were happy that it had scheduling, reached areas under the furniture and did a good job picking up debris.
Complaints are the same – broken side brush, small dirt box, side brush and main cleaning brushes need frequent cleaning, not fully automatic, some quality control issues.
There was also one consumer who pointed out that the 560’s gearbox is completely locked allowing dust and dirt to get into the gear which is one of the culprits in it crashing a lot.
Where can I buy this?
You can buy this robot from Amazon but it will cost you over $1000!!! The best option in my opinion is to get the newer Roomba 690 which will cost much less. This alternative will be eligible for free 2-day shipping if you join Prime.
You can also buy extended warranties of up to 3 years if you want the extra peace of mind.
This robot is great for people who live in small to medium sized homes looking for an affordable robot vacuum.
And don’t mind the lack of premium features like a bin full indicator, remote control, and virtual beacon.
The cleaning performance is great thanks to the counter rotating brushes but they require some maintenance to run smoothly.
It will take about 20 minutes to clean a medium sized room, so don’t bother watching it, just let it do its work.
The dirt bin is small so you will need to monitor this manually as it does not have a bin full indicator.
It might also be a good idea to buy additional side brushes in case the brush that came with them breaks, as many consumers have complained about this in reviews.
Overall, this is a good robot vacuum cleaner that does a good enough job of maintenance and cleaning.
Unfortunately, iRobot has discontinued this product and warranty claims may be an issue, you may want to take a look at the latest 650 if you are looking to buy a mid-priced Roomba.