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Smart Home

Sweep up some spare cash with these robotic vacuum deals

Looking to save time and money cleaning the house? A robotic vacuum can automate this mundane task, and we've got the deals that will do it for less.

Welcome to Home Deals, where we pick out the best deals on things you need for your home, garden and beyond. Like our cousin, the Cheapskate, we'll give you a regular selection of cool deals, but we'll cover things like coffee makers, LED light bulbs, gardening tools and anything else your home or garden requires.

Of all the chores in the modern household, vacuuming has to be the worst. It's such as dumb task. Surely this is the sort of thing that a robot could do for you? Fortunately, in this brave new world we live in, there are robotic vacuums that can handle this most mindless of tasks. They have varying levels of smarts, though, and varying levels of cost to go with these smarts. Let's take a look at what deals are on offer for robotic vacuums

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The Roomba 650, coming to a floor near you for $289.99

iRobot

The latest, all singing, all dancing robotic vacuums are expensive. New models like the Dyson 360 Eye or the Samsung Powerbot VR-7000 will cost you upward of $800 or more. However, if you look around, there are some bargains to be had in automating your floor sweeping. The real bargains with these devices are with older and refurbished models. While a state-of-the-art new Roomba 980 will cost you about $800, you can pick up a refurbished Roomba 650 for $279.99 through Amazon. The difference between the two models are that the newer one is smarter: the 980 can be remotely triggered over WiFi and has better navigation around your furniture. It doesn't seem to clean much better, though: Reviewed.com found that the 650 cleaned better because it was more aggressive about getting up against walls and furniture. Other older models are also on sale: Jet has the Bissell Smartclean 1974 on sale for $199 with free two-day shipping, a price that Amazon is matching.

Xiaomi is a new name in the robotic vacuum world, but the Chinese manufacturing giant is already making an impact. We found its impressive-looking robotic vacuum for $345 at GearBeast, a site where Chinese companies can sell directly into the US. Don't forget shipping with sites like that: that will add $12.90 to the cost, and may take some time to get to you. But for less than half the price of many Roombas, it might be worth it.

Mop it up

If you have wood or tile floors only, there is another option that can save you big money: a mopping bot. These are rather like the old-fashioned mop and bucket, except the stick that pushes it around is a bit smarter. Because they are a lot simpler than a robotic vacuum, they are also cheaper. Target has the iRobot Bravva Jet for $169.99, $30 off the typical price. The larger iRobot Bravva 380t (which has a larger mop and more cleaning modes) is available for $254.99 from Amazon or Walmart, which is $45 off the usual $299 price.

Oh, and one personal note on these things. Avoid them if you have pets that sometimes leave accidental... gifts around the house. These "presents" are beyond the ability of robotic vacuums or mopping bots to handle, and they generally end up just spreading them all over the place. Take my word for it.