I recently found an purchased a Roomba 550 from Goodwill here in town for $32 (it was half off it’s list of $65). It came with everything originally included (virtual walls, brush cleaner, charger, dock, etc). And it was in great shape. Brought it home, and hooked it up. Initial charge, if the unit has been unpowered for more than X days, is a 16 hour battery conditioning, which is great (though it did make me a bit worried about the 2 day return policy on electronics from Goodwill).
After the 16 hour charge, I set it loose on the main floor (which is gated off from the lower floor for baby safety). And after about 30 minutes, it finished it’s run (getting probably a good 70% of the floor), and came back to dock. Awesome. With a nightly run, it’s bound to get “everything” at least once a week. So, I set it to run every night at 1AM, and went to bed.
First morning, we found it stuck in the kitchen. Sadly, Tara put it back on the dock without hitting the Go button to see if it would continue, or throw an error. It’s cool.
Next night, it ran again. Came down the morning, and found the unit stalled in a corner. Pressed the “Go” and it said the brushes were jammed. Turned it over, and found it had sucked up one of my son’s socks, which leads me to the mantra “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean the Roomba can’t find it”.
Since then, we’ve run it manually twice, and it’s been great. It does really like one room (the play room), I think because it’s open and has one rug in the middle that it doesn’t get stuck on, etc.
Out of curiosity, I did contact iRobot since I wasn’t absolutely sure about the model number, and after giving them the serial number, they told me that it was a “Model 550, US model, Manufactured in April 2008”.