iRobot Looj 330 gutter cleaner review

Clogged rain gutters are probably not a known problems for those who live in an apartment building or in a family house without deciduous trees. But there are houses where this is a returning problem every single year, and this is not as rare as some might think. iRobot’s Looj 330 seems to be the perfect tool to aid this tiresome and sometimes dangerous task.

Design and Technology

When everything is in place, iRobot Looj 330 is a 52.5 cm (20.7 in) long, 7 cm (2.8 in) wide and 4.7 cm (1.9 in) high device. Size matters because the previous models of the Looj family were approximately 1 cm (0.4 in) wider and higher, therefore they did not fit properly into some European gutters. This new model was designed internationally used gutters in mind.

iRobot Looj 330

The orange parts on the fully black robot are not simply decorations, but serve a useful purpose. This color indicates all those elements that can be pushed, slided, or where something has to be attached to. Everything else on the robot is black.

iRobot Looj 330

The rubber treads that run along both sides of the robot remind us that iRobot is heavily involved in the military robot business as well. It is obvious that this drive mode is coming from those defense and security robots that the company sells to the military. It seems to be a smart choice for a robot that has to work in a such hostile environment as a gutter. The treads are removable for cleaning, and driven by the back wheels. The robot does not need to (and due to its shape it is unable to) turn in the gutter both treads are driven by the same electric motor.


iRobot Looj 330 is readycommunication is lost with the remote

The power button sits on the right side of the Looj's body, hidden behind a waterproof rubber cover, while the flip out battery holder is on the other side. The door is secured by the orange door latch, and also comes with a watertight sealing. The orange li-ion battery looks like a bullet magazine of an automatic weapon, but instead of bullets it holds 18.72 Wh power (7.2 V and 2600 mAh).


iRobot Looj 330 flip out battery draweriRobot Looj 330 battery in compartmentclosing the iRobot Looj 330 battery compartment

The metallic gray handle slides onto the orange colored mount on the top of the robot. The handle provides a grip when placing the robot into the gutter and when it needs to be removed from there, but it has to be detached before the robot is started. This handle doubles as a wireless remote control, what is definitely a smart design idea.


iRobot Looj 330 handle / remote controliRobot Looj 330 remote control battery compartmentiRobot Looj 330 remote control uses two AAA size batteries

The four rubber coated buttons on the handle allow us to fully operate the robot from up to 13.7 m (45 ft). The three stages tilt button on the top controls the rotation direction of the auger (left, no rotation and right), the CLEAN button starts the automatic cleaning while the up and down buttons drive the robot forward and backward in manual control mode. The battery compartment is the inner side of the handle and holds two AAA size non-rechargeable batteries. iRobot discourages the use of rechargeable batteries in the remote control.

The bottom of the Looj 330 holds nothing but the product identification label.


scraper of the iRobot Looj 330

The auger attachment point is naturally on the nose of the Looj 330, but before we install the auger the scraper has to be attached to the nose. This is one of the new features of the third Looj generation, making the scraping the fourth stage of the cleaning process. Of course this accessory is only needed in square shaped gutters, while it is completely useless in rounded gutters.


iRobot Looj 330 fully set upiRobot Looj 330 auger without the ejectorsflexible auger of the iRobot Looj 330

The auger has evolved a lot since the first Looj generation. The auger is now connected to the main robot body with a very flexible but still durable rubber element that allows the auger to tilt when necessary without lifting the robot from the gutter.


auger with the shorter ejectorsauger with the longer ejectorsiRobot Looj 330 without the scraper

The content of the gutter is first hit by the breaker on the tip of the auger. This piece is orange because it has to be removed to allow the ejectors to slip in. The Looj 330 comes with two sets of ejectors, one 4 cm (1.6 in) the other is 8 cm (3.1 in) in length, but iRobot offers two other kinds as optional accessories. The breaker piece disrupts the harder blocks of debris before the ejectors try to lift them out. The remaining pieces are swept out by the 7 cm (2.8 in) long sweeper brushes.


irobot_looj_330_08.jpgirobot_looj_330_07.jpg

iRobot includes a separate charger to charge the battery of the Looj 330, so the robot can be used with a spare battery while the other one is charging.


The last accessory that comes with the Looj is a belt clip to hold the robot the user’s belt while he or she is climbing on the ladder. While it doesn’t seem to be an important piece, it is a very cool, and useful part of the set.

The review is not over yet!

Next page: In practice

Next page »
  1. Introduction
  2. Design and Technology
  3. In practice
  4. Conclusion

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