do Roomba virtual walls work with all models

Wondering do Roomba virtual walls work with all models? Keep reading to find out!

The virtual wall is a very helpful device when users need to keep their robots out of certain areas and dangerous environments.

The barriers can be positioned anywhere and the robot will not pass the IR barrier. 

Let’s now answer if ALL models of Roomba work with a virtual wall.

ALL models of Roomba will work with the virtual wall but the non-supported robots will behave weirdly around the invisible barrier. When the model is not compatible with a virtual wall, the barrier limitations might be ignored by the robot or exaggerated.

How Do Roomba Virtual Walls Work?

how does roomba virtual wall work

The Virtual Wall Lighthouse’s main purpose is to direct the Roomba robot from one room to another and also block certain areas.

The virtual walls are invisible infrared signals that can be adjusted where to point by the user.

The invisible wall keeps the Roomba robot away from off-limit areas and items on the floor and also helps the robot navigate to the next room once the cleaning is ready.

The IR signal of the virtual wall spreads like a flashlight toward the facing direction, creating a complete barrier.

There are two general modes:

1.   Virtual Wall Mode

This mode is designed to keep the Robot away from dangerous areas such as the staircase, uneven floors, or rooms that you wouldn’t want the cleaning robot to enter.

By pointing the virtual wall toward a solid object in a way to create a barrier, the Robot will not be able to cross.

  • The length of the barrier can be up to 7 feet.

You can also turn on the virtual wall before the Roomba cleaning session, which will automatically turn OFF after 135 minutes.

2.   Virtual Wall Lighthouse

the virtual light house

This virtual wall mode is designed to let Roomba know that there is more space to be cleaned.

This mode allows adding mode areas to the Roomba robot cleaning session and when ready, it also helps the robot navigate to the home base.

With the Virtual wall lighthouse, you can separate rooms in two and configure how far your Roomba robot reaches within the environment.

Note: The Virtual Wall Lighthouse mode might not work with ALL Roomba robot models.

Are Roomba Virtual Walls Interchangeable?

are virtual wall interchangeable

The short answer is Yes. The long answer, however, contains many “ifs”. The Virtual Walls are designed for a number of Roomba models and might not align with some cleaning robots.

The best way to know is by testing whether your Roomba model will work with the virtual wall.

For example, some “non-compatible” virtual walls might still work with unsupported Roomba models but the functionality might not be as expected.

Sometimes Roomba might completely avoid the IR barrier and not even go near it and in contrast, other models will go straight through.

Knowing this, let’s next learn whether virtual walls work with ALL Roomba models:

Do Roomba Virtual Walls Work With ALL Models?

virtual wall work for all models

The Virtual Wall is compatible with a selection of Roomba models. By “compatible” we mean that the devices will align and work together with 100% accuracy.

Since there are two types – Virtual Wall Lighthouse and Virtual Wall Barrier, let’s check out the compatibility.

Virtual Wall Lighthouse:

  • 564,570,571,572,580,581,599
  • 610,611,625
  • 780,790,785,799
  • 877,880

Virtual Wall Barrier:

  • ALL 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 series
  • ALL “e” series
  • ALL “s” series
  • ALL “i” series

In case you’ve recognized your Roomba model here, then you can be confident that the model will work with the virtual wall.

However, in case your model is not among the listed above, don’t get discouraged yet. Proceed to learn about new Roomba models with old virtual walls.

Will Roomba Work With an Old Virtual Wall?

roomba work with old virtual wall

In general, the Roomba robots will have some sort of compatibility with the older virtual walls. However, it would seem like they aren’t made for each other.

They will work, but in a weird way that might not be suitable for the user’s needs.

For example, the Roomba robot will not be able to clean the area near the virtual wall, regardless of where the IR beam is facing towards.

The cleaning robot will completely avoid the surroundings of the wall and never get even close to the virtual wall.

If your goal is to simply block a room for Roomba not to go to, it will work!

In contrast, if you want to create an invisible barrier to guide the cleaning robot to another room, with devices that are not factory compatible, this might not work. It depends on the environment.

Note: New Roomba models will work this way with any virtual wall, even if not compatible.

How Long Does Roomba Virtual Wall Last?

how long virtual wall lasts

The Virtual Wall is a device that uses replaceable 2x C alkaline batteries.

The virtual wall battery lasts about 6 months!

Users set the virtual wall to “auto” so the infrared barrier only works when Roomba is cleaning, thus, increasing the battery life.

When the battery is low, the LED lights blink twice periodically as an indication. The virtual wall turns OFF when the battery is dead.

Tip: Replace the virtual wall batteries every 5-6 months.

Do Roomba Robots Come With Virtual Walls?

roomba comes with virtual wall

Unfortunately, the Roomba robot does not come with a virtual wall in the box. By using the smart mapping feature you can create invisible walls on your own.

In case you still need a virtual wall as a separate device you’ll need to purchase one for about $60 for one unit.

What’s In The Box?

When you purchase a virtual wall you’ll find the device and 2 x alkaline batteries. Then you’ll need to insert the batteries and flip the switch upwards.

The LED ring on the top will flash 5 times and then turn OFF, which indicates that the virtual wall is now active.

Even when the LED is OFF, the virtual wall is active.

The last part is to position the virtual wall in a suitable place and choose an operation mode.

Roomba Virtual Wall Is Not Working. Why?

the virtual wall not working

It would be an extremely rare case if your Roomba robot ignores an activated virtual wall.

Even when the devices are not compatible, the cleaning robot should still avoid the invisible barrier like plague and won’t even go near the device.

The functionality will not be perfect, but it would still keep the Roomba away!

In the set of thoughts, the problem is coming from something else. Let’s learn why:

Virtual Wall is Not Turned ON

The Virtual wall device can be turned on by pressing the power button. The indication of an activated virtual wall is 5 consecutive blinks on the LED ring at the top.

Virtual Wall Battery Low

It’s easy to determine when the virtual wall is low on batteries.

When you press the power button the LEDs will not blink, therefore the invisible barrier is not turned ON.

Invisible Barrier Is Not Positioned

the invisible barrier not positioned

The infrared signal will be pointed away from the virtual wall device. You can recognize the face of the device by looking at the labels.

You should see “iRobot Roomba” right beneath the opening from where the beam is coming out from.

The face of the virtual wall device should be pointed towards the wall and across the area you want your robot to keep away from.

Reposition the wall and test again.

Wrong Virtual Wall Mode

You can switch between the two operational Roomba virtual wall modes.

You can toggle the different modes on the side of the device so make sure to check and test.

Quick Recap:

Hence, almost all Roomba robot models work with a virtual wall. Even the non-supported models of Roomba will avoid getting close to a virtual wall, but the functionality will not be perfect. The robot will not pass but not be able to clean the areas near the wall.

Wrapping Up

Now that we’ve answered the question “do Roomba virtual walls work with all models?” you can decide for yourself whether you’ll get a virtual wall for your cleaning robot setup.

Keep in mind that if your goal is to only keep the robot away from certain areas, any virtual wall and Roomba robot models will align.

For a virtual wall lighthouse mode, we recommended getting compatible models.

We hope that this post was helpful and for more relevant topics, check our blog!

Nicole B