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Gear: Keep a vacation rental home clean by unleashing a mopping robot

Gear: Keep a vacation rental home clean by unleashing a mopping robot
IRobot's Scooba 450 is a take-along for your vacation rental. The docking stand (pictured) is $79.99 more. (IRobot)

Whether you've tracked in snow, mud, dirt or sand, there's no reason you should trouble yourself with scrubbing the floors of your weekend getaway or vacation rental.

Just let loose the new Scooba 450, a little robot floor mopper from the same folks who created the popular do-it-itself iRobot Roomba carpet vacuum.

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The Scooba 450 is a 14 1/2 -inch-diameter rechargeable disk that automatically propels its 9-pound self across wood, tile (or any uncarpeted floor), spinning and spiraling around the room, its sensors gauging the size of the floor, and redirecting its efforts when it bumps into a wall or other obstruction.

Just fill the Scooba's tank with water and cleaning solution, press start, and it independently performs a three-stage cleanup: vacuum, presoaking and scrubbing. Finally, it circles round again, squeegees the floor dry.

Your job is to empty out the exhaust tank that has sucked in the dirty water. The Scooba 450 sometimes misses scum hard up against a wall, and it can become wedged under a narrow chair.

It's a pricey little servant, but over time may earn its keep wherever it roams.

iRobot Scooba 450 costs $599.99; optional DryDock Charging and Drying Stand, $79.99.

Info: IRobot

— Judi Dash

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