How To Set Up a Virtual Wall For Roomba

Most of the households in the US use a robot vacuum from respective top brands in their home to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. A Roomba is one such brand which is amongst the top retailers of robot vacuums.

Consumer preferences and different home layouts resulted in the concept of Roomba Virtual Walls which we covered in brief when we wrote about how to stop a Roomba from going to a specific room.

What Is a Virtual Wall and What Does It Do?

The iRobot Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier device creates a virtual wall which a Roomba won’t enter. It’s like creating restricted or prohibited areas for the Roomba not to enter. There are two different settings which allow the device to create a virtual wall for a Roomba to avoid. The virtual wall is a cone shaped barrier which gets wider as you move away from the device. 

  1. A virtual wall created in a straight line which has a range of about 10 feet. Place it wherever you wish to.

    Virtual Wall Mode
    Image Source: – iROBOT
  2. The second setting allows you to create a 2 feet radius circle around the sensor where you place the device. The best use case of this can be near pet bowls and around the christmas tree. This is also known as the HALO MODE.


The best place to place the virtual wall is outside the door of the room where you don’t want the Roomba to enter. The arrow on top of the virtual wall device should be directed towards the opening door of the room.

Do All Virtual Walls Work With All Roombas?

The Roomba models compatible with e, i, s Series and also 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 Series too.

How To Set Up a Virtual Wall For a Roomba – Step By Step

  1. We assume that you have the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Device with you.
  2. We have covered this in detail and you can check this article. How to setup a virtual wall for a Roomba

You may also want to know how to tell your Roomba to clean a specific room.

Does Virtual Come With Roomba?

No Roomba model comes with the virtual wall. You can get one at $59.99 or a pack of two for $99.99 from the iRobot website. When on the website click on accessories and choose your best option.

Do You Need a Virtual Wall For a Roomba? – Is It Necessary

Virtual walls are best used when you want the Roomba to stay away from stuff which can damage the robot vacuum. Like pet water bowls or the brushes which may get tangled into cables and wires.

Once you have your Roomba mapped out your entire floor plan, then a virtual wall is not needed if you don’t have special use cases as mentioned above. Also, once the map is built and stored on your Roomba, you can also set up no go zones (Keep Out Zones) where Roomba shouldn’t enter. 

It also depends on personal preference. Though you have keep out zones feature, a virtual wall is still an ad hoc solution for many Roomba users. Virtual walls are a quick and easy way to block out a specific zone wherein Keep Out Zones may need a few runs and trial and error to get set up properly.

How Long Does a Roomba Virtual Wall Last?

Auto Mode: – When the virtual wall device is set to auto mode, the indicator on the device keeps blinking every 8 seconds. This shows that the virtual wall is active. When batteries are worn out or low then the indicator blinks twice asking to replace the batteries.

In auto mode the batteries should last for 6 months. To make your batteries last long, deactivate the auto mode when not in use. 
Manual Mode: – Activate manual mode when just before you start the cleaning cycle. Unless turned off, the virtual wall is ON for approx. 135 minutes. Once the indicator blinks green then it means you need new batteries soon.

Battery Type: – The iROBOT Virtual Device needs two 2 (C) alkaline batteries.

Difference Between Lighthouse and Virtual Wall

Lighthouse is a divider between the room you want to clean first and then the room which should be done next. Let’s say, the lighthouse is active between the bedroom and the kitchen, then the bedroom will be cleaned first and then the Roomba will move to the kitchen for cleaning. Lighthouse helps in navigation of a large house and helps in avoiding the cleanin of the same area again and again.

A virtual wall on the other hand is a wall which your Roomba won’t cross as it’s a restricted area in terms of following the instructions.

How To Make a DIY Roomba Virtual Wall – Virtual Wall Alternative

Here is a video which explains the entire process of making a DIY Roomba virtual wall.

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About Author
An engineer and MBA, who is a technology and a gadget freak. I write about smart home solutions and gadgets like all wireless devices, technology brands like Apple. Love to follow the latest trends in the technology space and write about latest developments.

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