Companies that make popular self-propelled vacuum cleaners include iRobot, makers of the Roomba, a vacuum that operates fully independently, and Hoover, which markets the WindTunnel upright cleaner that requires a person to monitor and guide it. German manufacturer Miele also makes several self-propelled models.
Self-propelled vacuums are popular because they make the vacuum process easier and less physically demanding for the person doing the vacuuming. Fully independent vacuums, such as the Roomba, operate on a user-designated schedule, covering areas specified by the owner. They start themselves, vacuum the area to be cleaned and return to their base stations for storage and charging without any human involvement.
More traditional upright vacuums still require a person to guide them, but their self-propelled wheels make vacuuming easier and quicker for people who are physically limited, or for those vacuuming a large area or doing so frequently. Hoover and Miele each produce a range of such cleaners.
Hoover's WindTunnel line is a bit more price-conscious than Miele's offerings, and varying levels of cleaners are available at differing price points. Miele's machines, sold under the model names Swing, Twist and Jazz, are considered higher-end equipment. Miele also sells a robot vacuum cleaner called the RX1 Scout.