I love mine, but have to admit I don't have Palo Verde needles... It might be best to find a friend with a robot, or see if a pool store will loan you a test model, and make sure it works for you before investing in one.
I have been using robots for about 12 years and find it the best way to keep my pools clean..
My Active 30i has a slot in the bottom that is rectangular a few inches long by about 1 to 1.5 inches wide.
If the debris is not relatively flexible, it may not fit through the opening.
I have bamboo in my back yard and the robot will pick up the leaves but not the bamboo branches.
For me, the great value of Tony (the robot) is that it picks up the finer dirt that accumulates at the bottom but is hard to see.
It even picked up some earth worms I didn't know I had, sand, and stuff that is blown into the pool daily.