Can Roomba Be Programmed? All You Need To Know

Can Roomba Be Programmed?  Although their design may be slightly different, the Roomba programmable models have “Clear” “Clock” and “Schedule” buttons that will come in handy when planning cleaning sessions.

Can Roomba Be Programmed?

You can program the Roomba to vacuum the entire floor of your home, and its new sensors and mapping capabilities mean it knows when to finish a room and can orient itself to move on to the next one without any help from you.  If it runs out of gas halfway through cleaning (you must have a very big and / or very dirty house), it knows how to get back to its home base, where it can dock and recharge.

Roomba uses its piezoelectric sensor to detect excessive dirt and debris.  When enough fine dirt particles enter the sensor, electrical impulses trigger the built-in Dirt Detect program, which prompts the device to make a second pass through the same area for more thorough cleaning.

How Does Roomba Vacuum Work?

Roomba is a compact, computerized vacuum cleaner that automatically guides itself around your home. Like a conventional cleaner, it picks up dirt with spinning brushes and a vacuum. There’s a side-mounted, flailing brush that pushes dirt underneath the machine and, once there, two more counter-rotating brushes (turning in opposite directions) pick up the dirt and direct it toward the powerful vacuum, which sucks it away into a little storage bin.

Unlike a normal cleaner, Roomba moves itself around your room with two large tractor-style wheels, each one independently driven by a separate electric motor.

Roomba 805 vs 860: head to head review

What Is The Best Roomba You Can Program?

You can now program the Roomba 980 to vacuum an entire floor of your home, and its new sensors and mapping capabilities mean that it knows once it’s finished a room and can orient itself to move to the next, without any help from you.

The Roomba 980 has updated navigation and localization features, meaning it can map your house more accurately, learning there’s a table here and a chair there, or that it already vacuumed this spot, but not that one.

How To Program A Roomba Vacuum Cleaner With The Buttons

Set the right time

Before you can schedule cleans, you first need to set the current day and time. To do this, press the Clock button on the surface of the robot, then, while still holding the button, choose the day, hour and minute using the respective buttons. This will set the correct time. Once you have inputted the time, release the Clock button. The vacuum will produce a beeping sound indicating that you have set the time.

Select your desired cleaning time

Programmable Roombas let you choose the exact time and day you want the robot to clean. You can set the vacuum to clean once a day for up to seven days. The robot will clean an entire level of your house. The only downside is that you have to manually select the cleaning day and time for each day of the week.

What this means is that you cannot set a time, say 9.00 with the expectation that the vacuum will clean at that time every single day. That being said, you can choose to schedule cleans only for some days and perhaps skip those days when you will be at home and would rather not contend with the sound of a robot waltzing around.

With other newer and smarter Roombas, you can select the rooms you want to have cleaned only on certain days. For example, if you want to have the kitchen cleaned every day but your bedroom just once a week, you can schedule that.


Press and hold the Schedule button. Then, use the respective Day, Hour, and Minute buttons to choose the preferred time. For example, if you want the robot to vacuum on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, press the Day button repeatedly until the desired day displays on the screen.

Next, choose the time you would like the robot to start cleaning. While still holding down the Schedule button, press the Hour button repeatedly until the desired hour displays on the screen. Repeat this same process with the Minute button, if you wish for the cleaning session to start at a certain minute of the hour.

You can now release the Schedule button following which the robot will beep to indicate that you have set the schedule. Remember, you will need to repeat this same process for each day of the week you want the robot to clean.

How To Change The Cleaning Schedule On Roomba

Sometimes, you want to change the hour and minute you had previously set. To do this, simply hold down the Schedule button and then repeatedly press the Day button to view the scheduled cleaning time.

  • When the cleaning time you would like to change appears on the screen, press the Hour or Minute button to input a new cleaning time. Release the schedule button. As usual, a beeping sound will follow indicating that the changes have been made.
  • To delete a cleaning schedule, hold down the schedule button and repeatedly press the Day button until the day you want to delete appears on the screen.
  • Then, press and hold down the Day button to remove a certain cleaning time from the robot’s schedule. The robot will beep to indicate the schedule has been deleted. Release the schedule button.

How To Program A Roomba Vacuum Cleaner With Wi-Fi Support

One of the biggest perks of a wi-fi enabled Roomba vacuum is being able to schedule cleans from your smartphone even when you are away from home.

  • To get started, you will first need to download the iRobot HOME App. Next, open the app and select your robot. To schedule daily cleans, select Schedule—this should be at the bottom of your phone screen.
  • From there, you can use the controls to choose the day and time when you want the robot to clean. The controls will turn green indicating a schedule has been set. Repeat these steps for each day you would like to schedule the bot to vacuum. Your robot will automatically start cleaning on the pre-scheduled days.
  • To turn off a day, simply toggle the respective control button, which will then change from green to grey.

How Do Roomba Sensors Work?

Roomba’s most innovative features are its sensors, which help as it navigates around a house. How do all of these sensors work to let Roomba operate smoothly and efficiently?

  • Infrared waves, also known as infrared (IR) light, are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Though humans can’t see IR light, we can sense it as heat. Common uses of infrared include night vision (the ability to detect objects in dark environments), as a tool for predicting weather patterns, and as tracking technology.
  • A photoelectric cell (or photocell) emits a visible or infrared light beam from its light-emitting element. A reflective-type photoelectric sensor can then detect the light beam that the target reflects. Another sensor measures the change in light quality.
  • A Roomba contains both infrared sensors and photocell sensors, which work in combination to clean a room. The infrared sensor at the very front of the Roomba allows the vacuum to bounce light off an object to detect its presence, even if it’s cleaning after dark and there’s limited natural light.
  • A Roomba measures how long it takes for an emitted infrared beam to bounce back to the photocell sensors, which provides more precise object detection. In essence, the photocells measure changes in light levels, while the infrared sensors can detect changes in motion.

Can Roomba Be Programmed FAQs

Why Does My Roomba Continue To Clean The Same Area?

this can be caused by dirty or defective bumper sensor as well as dirty cliff sensors. Clean the Roomba with compressed air and “slap” the front bumper. Apparently, the front bumper mechanism can get stuck with any contact with a wall etc.

How Does Roomba Know To Dock?

When the battery power is running low, the robot uses its infrared sensors to locate the charging dock, which also emits infrared beams. The Roomba then follows the beams’ path toward the dock where it can recharge before resuming the cleaning session.

Does Roombas let you choose the exact time and day you want the robot to clean?

Programmable Roombas let you choose the exact time and day you want the robot to clean. You can set the vacuum to clean once a day for up to seven days. The robot will clean an entire level of your house. The only downside is that you have to manually select the cleaning day and time for each day of the week.


Can Roomba Be Programmed? Just as humans have values we live by, there are set rules of Roomba. These rules determine how the Roomba functions. For example, the robot vacuum might start in the middle of a room, vacuuming in an outward spiral pattern to clean a concentrated area, rather than moving in a straight line. It then heads to the walls of a room.

Additionally, Roomba will adopt patterns as it cleans. The two main patterns: wall following vs random bounce. As its name suggests, the wall following pattern cleans the perimeter of a room. Roomba will navigate around or under furniture as it cleans. Roomba can also use a random bounce pattern, where it will move around the room until it hits an object. When it does, it changes directions and moves elsewhere, ensuring the entire room gets cleaned.

Though newer Roombas can function without WiFi, the iRobot Home app available on the iPhone and Android app stores adds extra convenience for newer models. After connecting to your home network, you can program a cleaning schedule through your smartphone, as well as learn more info and set up behavioral rules for your Roomba, such as actions to take when the dustbin is full.

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