To ensure that your Roomba does not venture into a room you don’t wish to clean, make use of “KEEP OUT ZONES” which you can set up within your iRobot HOME app on your mobile if your Roomba supports Imprint Smart Mapping.
Your Roomba should support the Imprint Smart Mapping feature. The models which have this are i6,i7,i8,j7,s9 and m6.
What Are Keep Out Zones?
The Keep Out Zone feature allows you to stop your Roomba to go to specific rooms or areas for cleaning. You can add keep out zones via the iRobot Home App via the Imprint Smart Mapping feature.
This functionality is ideal to keep the Roomba away from specific areas where your Roomba finds it difficult to navigate or you don’t want your Roomba to go.
In all Roombas which support Imprint Smart Mapping, the maps are stored in the cloud. Hence keep out zones once set are remembered by the robot vacuum irrespective of how you start the cleaning process. Whether via the iRobot app, or voice assistant (Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant) or by pressing the CLEAN button on the Roomba.
Why You Can’t Create a Keep Out Zone On Your Roomba?
Keep out zones is a model specific feature available only on selected models as mentioned above. The Roomba models which support this feature are: –
Roomba i7 and i7+
Roomba S Series
Braava Jet m Series
Before creating a keep out zone on your iRobot HOME App, make sure your smartphone is connected to your WiFi network. Also, update to the latest firmware.
Mandatory Step: – Your iRobot HOME App should compulsory be updated to 4.0 or higher
Create an Imprint Smart Map before you workout keep out zones in your home. Once you’re into the smart map creation process, you will be guided to create keep out zones and you can decide which room to avoid or a specific area like where pet bowls are kept.
If you already have a Smart Map created then you can just got to → Zones → Keep Out Zones and set up your rooms and areas to be excluded from cleaning.
Another way to stop Roomba from going in a room is the concept of ROOMBA VIRTUAL WALL. Now let us understand what it is and how it works.
Roomba Virtual Wall – How It Works?
As we have tested a lot of Roombas, we understand how the roomba virtual wall works. A Roomba virtual wall is a small black tower which creates an invisible barrier by emitting infrared beams and your Roomba would never cross these virtual boundaries. These virtual walls can operate upto 10 feet.
There are 3 types of virtual walls which we now study below: –
- Virtual Wall
- Virtual Wall Lighthouse
- Dual Mode Virtual Wall
1) VIRTUAL WALL
This is one of the initial methods which iRobot came up with to make a Roomba confined to specific areas for cleaning. It creates invisible infrared beams upto 8 feet and only Roomba can see and sense that to avoid cleaning in those areas.
You can also set the virtual walls to AUTO MODE, instead of activating them manually. For best results, place the virtual outside the doorway of the room where you don’t want the Roomba to enter. Point the arrow on top of the virtual wall towards the door you wish to block.
Virtual wall is compatible with very old models of Roomba which are: – 500,600,700, 800, 900, i and s series.
2) VIRTUAL WALL LIGHTHOUSE
This is the successor to the old virtual wall. It’s compatible with only specific models of Roomba which are: – Selective 500, 780, 790, 877 and 880 models.
Virtual wall lighthouse has two different operating modes.
Virtual Wall Mode: – This blocks specific areas in your house. Can be placed in doorways and pointed towards the room where you don’t want the Roomba to enter.
Lighthouse Mode: – This basically confines the Roomba to one specific room for cleaning until the entire room is cleaned before it can move to a different room.
3) DUAL MODE VIRTUAL WALL
This is the latest and most advanced form of physical Roomba confinement methods. This is the most effective method as it gives you granular control as to where the Roomba cleans. This technology is also operated in two different modes which are: –
Virtual Wall Mode: – Restricts specific areas in your home. Can be placed in doorways to make the Roomba sense the infrared beams and not enter the rooms.
Lighthouse Mode: – In this mode the virtual wall creates a circular protective zone of upto 24 inches in diameter. A Roomba will not enter this zone.
This mode is compatible with 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 series models.
There is another mode called the HALO MODE. This is useful where you don’t want the Roomba to bump into small objects like pet food bowls, small furniture etc.
A virtual wall operates on 2C alkaline batteries and needs replacement every 6 months.
Can You Use Virtual Walls Alongside Keep Out Zones?
Yes absolutely. Though both (Keep out zones and virtual walls) meet the same objective of keeping the Roomba away from specific areas or rooms. They can be used in conjunction too.
The best way to use Keep out zones and virtual walls together is as follows.
When your Roomba is mapping out your home during the Smart Mapping process, you can use virtual walls to keep the Roomba away from specific rooms or areas. Once the Roomba has mapped out your entire home, you can then set up KEEP OUT ZONES on your iRobot HOME App and make this feature more effective.