Yes, Toby lives!
Disclaimer: I apologize if anyone reading this knows someone (or, in this case, something...) be it pet or person named "Toby" that has passed on, or stopped functioning. My proclamation that Toby lives is limited only to our little Roomba.
Now that that's out of the way, let me introduce you to Toby. Toby is the nickname given to our Roomba motorized floor cleaning system given by Toby's previous owners.
A few months ago my wife and I seriously considered buying a self-propelled robot vacuum unit. We were looking at new models, and boy--are they pricey! We weighed the pros and cons and ultimately, we decided not to get one. It was hard to justify the cost. We have a perfectly-operating vacuum.
And like other things we've once wanted but changed our minds, the shine on the item faded with time, and we realized we really didn't want it that much after all. That is, until I just happened to stop at a yard sale in our little town about three weeks ago.
"Hey, you've got a Roomba," I said to the family selling their things. "My wife and I were looking to buy one of these, but we never did."
"That's Toby," the woman-of-the-house told me. She then explained that Toby was a gift given to her family by a friend named Toby. They had Toby for eighteen years, and a few years ago, Toby just stopped working.
"And how much are you charging for us to give Toby a new home?" I asked.
"Oh, everything on that table's free."
"Yeah, we're just getting rid of this stuff. You can have it."
"Okay, we'll take Toby," I told them. I gathered up Toby in my arms (complete with his accessories...) and put him in the car. We now had an early-model Roomba. I brought him home, plugged him in, and waited for the battery to charge. Once the Power button changed from Red to Green, I crossed my fingers and pushed the Clean button.
We got nothing. It appeared Toby had given up the ghost. We tried it a few more times with the same result. I almost took Toby and put him in the bin. That is, until I googled replacement batteries and found them rather reasonable. I PayPaled $30 for a new battery and a week or so later, it arrived. Once again, I charged the battery, waiting for Red to change to Green, then hit the Clean button.
This time, success!
We watched transfixed as the little unit criss-crossed our front room and kitchen, gobbling up unwanted stuff along the way. Yes, if you want a robot floor cleaning system, but are a little gun shy about pulling that "buying new" trigger, you too may be lucky enough to happen upon a free IRobot that only needs a new battery. I mean, it could happen again...maybe.