Quick Look: Mint Floor-Cleaning Robot

I’ve been aching to get my hands on a Mint ever since it was introduced at CES this year. It’s a little cleaner robot like the Roomba, but created with hardwood floors in mind. Think of the Roomba as a broom and dustpan, while the Mint is like a Swiffer.

I’ve only had this little guy for long enough to charge him for a few hours and give him the run of the living room once, so this is just a quick overview.

So how is it? It’s cute! And compact. I’m always surprised by how big Roombas really are; the Mint is about the size of a big book or a couple netbooks stacked on top of each other. This means it can get into corners and edge around things easily. It’s three inches tall, which means it’ll go under most furniture and some couches. It fits under my couch just fine, but a low-hanging bookcase hits it on the “forehead,” which to be fair it figured out right away and worked along the edge of.

It’s extremely quiet. If you’re not paying attention, you won’t notice it until it’s bumping into you. But it still has enough torque to push my garbage can around a bit (it wasn’t sure what to make of that).

Very easy to set up. It uses little cloths or Swiffer wipes, which are very easy to install. Then just put its little base somewhere in the room and it syncs up and off it goes. I thought it would restrict itself to the room it’s in, but it found its way into my bedroom through a hallway, and came back after a few minutes. Bonus!

I just wanted to put these pictures up with these first impressions; expect a full review once I try it out for a week or so, get a feel for its battery life, shortcomings, and so on. But I like this little guy. It costs $250, which is a lot more than a broom, but hey.