Robot Floor Vac
The product: Roomba Discovery.
The claim: "Imagine a robot that will vacuum your floors, cleans as well as a traditional upright vacuum, and is affordable. It seems to be too good to be true."
Test results: One tester found the Roomba useful on many surfaces (area rugs, carpeting, hardwood) and in hard-to-reach spots, like under the bed. And, she said, "anything that can get my children excited about cleaning the house is a wonderful thing."
Take note: The Roomba is best for homes with large, open rooms. Some of those who tested it in small apartments found it difficult to maneuver and use effectively, and one tester warned that it scared her pets.
To buy: Cost: $250, irobot.com and at major retailers. Return policy: There's a 30-day money-back guarantee (check with retailer to confirm), less shipping and handling.