As always, leave it to the Japanese to turn an erstwhile utilitarian tool into a flag-bearer of kawaii. While the Roomba and its ilk are no slouch when it comes to looking sleek, the Mocoro takes it a whole other route, injecting equal doses of cuteness and absurdity while competently cleaning your floors.
Instead of sucking dirt with a vacuum mechanism like most robot cleaners, the "microfiber hop ball" is actually a rolling mop, picking up dust and dirt as it rolls around your house. Like mops, it isn't likely to work on carpets, but it should render hardwoods, tiles and most other forms of home flooring immaculate. The 4.8 x 4.8 x 4.6 inch size should let it get under majority of furniture, too, so it should cover most areas of the house.
Under all the colorful fluff sits a robot that will autonomously send it trundling around the house every 15 minutes, so the house stays clean all throughout the day. The tech is far from the sophisticated brains of modern robot vacuums (no lasers to identify obstacles, no home layout programming, and no custom scheduling), but watching it run around aimlessly with its cute, rotund body should be half the fun. Without advanced tech, it doesn't require a huge load of power, either. Instead, it runs on just three AA batteries that allows it to operate for three hours non-stop.
The sucky part? Cleaning isn't as easy as dumping the contents of the receptacle in the trash. Instead, you'll have to wash the whole thing and pick out the collected dirt using an included specialty brush. Yep, fun to watch, a little tedious to clean.
The Mocoro is available in pink, orange and green, priced at $64.