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How To Make a Roomba Avoid Certain Areas

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Keeping your home clean and tidy is a task that many of us find time-consuming and tedious. Thankfully, with the advent of robot vacuums like the Roomba, this chore has become a lot easier. However, there may be certain areas in your home that you want your Roomba to avoid. Whether it’s a room filled with delicate items, a pet area, or a space with many cables, learning how to make your Roomba avoid these areas can be incredibly useful. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you how to do just that.


To make a Roomba avoid certain areas, you can use the iRobot Home app to set up Keep-Out Zones on your Smart Maps. For physical barriers, you can use the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier accessory. Some advanced Roomba models also have features that allow them to recognize and avoid common objects. Remember to prepare the area before mapping and place the Home Base in an open area with consistent Wi-Fi coverage.

Why Would You Want Your Roomba To Avoid Certain Areas?

There are numerous reasons why you might want your Roomba to avoid certain areas in your home.

  1. Protecting delicate or valuable items: Robot vacuums could potentially knock over fragile objects like vases or delicate furniture. Setting up exclusion zones can help protect these items.
  2. Avoiding pet areas: Many pet owners use their Roomba to help manage pet hair, but you might not want your Roomba knocking over pet bowls or disturbing a pet’s sleeping area.
  3. Preventing entanglement with cords or cables: Roombas can get stuck or tangled in electrical cords, charging cables, or other wires on the floor.
  4. Navigating around seasonal decorations: During holidays or special occasions, you may have temporary decorations on the floor that you want the Roomba to avoid.
  5. Excluding specific rooms or areas: For privacy or personal preferences, you might want your Roomba to avoid certain rooms or areas.

Roomba’s Advanced Avoidance Features

Roomba vacuums come equipped with several features that allow them to avoid certain areas. One of the main features is the use of Keep-Out Zones, which can be designated through the iRobot app. Another feature is the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, an optional accessory that creates an invisible barrier to keep your Roomba out of certain areas. Roomba vacuums also use Imprint™ Smart Mapping Technology, which allows the robot to learn and map your home, adapting to your needs.

Setting Up Roomba’s Avoidance Features

To ensure your Roomba avoids designated areas, you can use Keep-Out Zones or Virtual Wall Barriers.

  1. Keep-Out Zones: Open the iRobot Home app, go to the Smart Maps section, select the floor map you want to edit, and create a Keep-Out Zone by pinching and zooming a box over a specific area of your home map.
  2. Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers: Install two AA batteries in the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, slide the switch to the “up” position to select Virtual Wall Mode, and place the device on the floor in the desired location.

Adjusting The Settings

Once you have set up the avoidance settings, you can adjust them as needed. To do this, create or modify Keep-Out Zones and Clean Zones using the iRobot Home app.

Physical Barriers

In addition to using the device’s settings, you can also use physical barriers like baby gates, moveable fences, or Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers to make your Roomba avoid certain areas.

Advanced Roomba Models

Some Roomba models offer more advanced avoidance features. The Roomba j7 and j7+, for example, are equipped with PrecisionVision Navigation, which allows them to recognize and avoid common objects in their path, such as cords, pet waste, socks, and shoes.

Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Common mistakes when setting up Roomba’s avoidance features include not creating Keep-Out Zones, not preparing the area before mapping, not customizing the map, and improperly placing the Home Base. To avoid these mistakes, familiarize yourself with the iRobot app, tidy up the area before mapping, customize the map by creating rooms and zones, and place the Home Base in an open, uncluttered area with consistent Wi-Fi coverage.

By using the Roomba’s advanced features and following these tips, you can effectively control where your Roomba cleans and ensure it avoids designated areas in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set up multiple Keep-Out Zones?

Yes, you can set up multiple Keep-Out Zones in the iRobot Home app. You simply need to repeat the process of creating a Keep-Out Zone for each area you want your Roomba to avoid.

How do I change the batteries in the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier?

To change the batteries in the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, you need to slide the battery compartment cover off, remove the old batteries, and insert two new AA batteries, ensuring that the battery terminals match the polarity markings inside the compartment.

Can I use the Roomba’s avoidance features without the iRobot Home app?

While the iRobot Home app provides the most control and customization, you can still use the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier to create an avoidance zone without the app. However, for features like Keep-Out Zones and Smart Mapping, the app is required.

How do I move the Home Base if I want to change its location?

To move the Home Base, unplug it from the wall, pick it up, and move it to the desired location. Make sure the new location is in an open, uncluttered area with consistent Wi-Fi coverage.

Will the Roomba remember its map if I move it to a different floor in my house?

Yes, Roomba models with Imprint™ Smart Mapping Technology can remember multiple floor plans. However, you’ll need to manually select the correct map in the iRobot Home app when you move the Roomba to a different floor.

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