The mess the 5 kids leaves is really no mess so far for this poor little guy. He had amazed me with how well it cleans.. AND YES he's like a little pet. He went under the couch the other night and sounded like it was having fun, when it came out from under the couch pushing and chasing a ball one of the kids lost. As for durability we haven't had it for very long but it does seem to be solid. The out of the box appearance was just as you'd expect a futuristic robot to look like. But I tell ya after about the second night, he looked like he'd been cleaning a dirt road. We are gonna start taking a baby wipe to him every couple days. I did find him this morning dead in the middle of the room, he didn't make it back to the charging station. OH AND DID I MENTION IT IS MESMERIZING TO WATCH... I hope the new wears off soon I'm loosing sleep.