How to choose a robot vacuum cleaner and not get into a slump?

A robot vacuum cleaner is no longer a mere lavish gadget, it substantially simplifies the arduous process of cleaning. It proficiently vacuums and cleans, requiring only a simple power-on. With laser navigation and a self-cleaning station, the intelligent vacuum cleaner exemplifies autonomy at its finest. However, as with any technological device, it is crucial to select the optimal apparatus to avoid disgruntled reviews on online marketplaces. We alleviate this challenge by meticulously scrutinizing all the features and proposing several elite models of robot vacuum cleaners.

What do we choose from?

Firstly, let us explore the bountiful market of household robotics. There exist two classifications of these innovative gadgets to select from: robot vacuum cleaners and robot floor polishers. As the nomenclature suggests, one serves the purpose of vacuuming floors whilst the other aims to cleanse them. However, the boundaries between the two domains are becoming increasingly blurred, with robot vacuums now exhibiting an equal level of competency in the domain of floor cleansing. Therefore, the crux of the matter lies in meticulously examining the technical characteristics and functions before making a choice.

Take, for instance, the renowned robot floor cleaner HOBOT Legee-7. The gadget satisfactorily accomplishes its intended function. However, it can only be classified as a floor cleaner, since it merely sprays water to moisten the microfibers. On the contrary, robot vacuum cleaners perform an almost identical function, albeit feeding the water directly into the microfibers. Hence, the disparities are negligible. Moreover, column cleaners often lose their edge due to their inadequately powerful motors and lack of a turbo brush, rendering them unable to clean carpets.

The market boasts popular brands such as Okami, Xiaomi, and Roborock for robot vacuum cleaners, and HOBOT, Dreame, and Ecovacs for their counterparts.

Read the article Roomba j7+ vs i7 –

Technical indicators of the robot vacuum cleaner: from A to Z

First and foremost, it is crucial to ascertain the vacuum cleaner’s suction power. Vacuum cleaners with suction power that falls below 2000 Pa cannot be deemed reliable, as they can only collect dust and not larger debris. When it comes to cleaning carpets, these vacuum cleaners are simply inadequate. It is more advisable to go for vacuum cleaners with suction power of around 2500 Pa. However, if you come across a vacuum cleaner with slightly more suction power, it would be unwise to let it slip away, as higher suction power results in better cleaning quality.

Next, let us consider the types of navigation systems. The cost of the robot vacuum cleaner is directly related to its navigation system. Vacuum cleaners equipped with SLAM sensors, gyroscopes, or cameras are comparatively cheaper. Conversely, those fitted with lidar (laser rangefinder) usually belong to the mid-range or premium segments. There are exceptions to this, however; the Dreame D9 model, for instance, incorporates lidar technology yet is still relatively inexpensive.

The type of navigation system has a significant impact on two aspects: the robot’s ability to recognize obstacles and the accuracy with which it creates a map of the room. Vacuum cleaners that only use SLAM sensors tend to move haphazardly and do not follow a predefined route. By contrast, a gyroscope greatly enhances cleaning performance by allowing the robot to determine its own coordinates and move along a set route (usually in a zigzag pattern). With a camera, the robot can scrutinize the surroundings more thoroughly and create a more precise map, thereby navigating based on objects within the camera’s field of view.

Currently, the optimal navigation method for robotic vacuum cleaners is a laser rangefinder, commonly referred to as lidar, which is particularly advantageous for owners of larger living spaces. With the ability to scan the room within seconds and upload a completed plan to the app, robots with laser navigation have the added advantage of being capable of cleaning in the dark – a feature other devices lack.

The question arises whether purchasing a vacuum cleaner with lidar for a smaller apartment is worthwhile. While it ultimately depends on the buyer’s preference, more budget-friendly options are better suited for smaller spaces. Overpaying for functions that may not be fully utilized does not seem practical.

Moreover, lidar models operate with the highest level of autonomy, allowing them to identify and avoid obstacles well in advance of contact. With that covered, let us now discuss the battery. Nearly all robotic vacuum cleaners now use lithium-ion power modules for their longevity and lasting charge. The capacity of the battery determines how long the robot can clean before requiring recharging. Therefore, the general rule of thumb is that higher battery capacity leads to longer cleaning times without interruption.

For example, the Okami U110 Home Station robot with a self-cleaning station boasts a 5200 mAh battery, allowing it to operate continuously for up to three hours.

However, there is an exception to this rule: if the robot is capable of cleaning after recharging, then battery life is not as critical. The device will clean the entire apartment regardless, only requiring recharging at some point. Nonetheless, it is still recommended to select a device with at least 2500 mAh battery capacity to avoid frequent trips back to the charging base.

Turbo brushes are a crucial component of robotic vacuum cleaners, as they collect the majority of debris and hair. Turbo brushes are available in silicone and bristle-brush varieties. Although bristle brushes may accumulate more hair, they function more effectively than silicone brushes. Some brands, such as Atvel, include both types of brushes with their robotic vacuum cleaners. The vast majority of devices come equipped with a turbo brush.

So what’s the deal with wet cleaning?

Not all autonomous vacuum cleaners are equally effective at removing dirt and stains from floors. While they can maintain a clean house if you are regularly damp clean, they may not be able to remove stubborn stains. Recognizing this limitation, manufacturers have devised novel features to enhance the quality of their cleaning capabilities.

The Okami U100 Laser from the Okami brand is a fine example of this. Employing a unique movement pattern that resembles the letter Y, it meticulously cleans the floor with a back-and-forth motion with a lateral shift, passing over each spot multiple times.

Another high-performing robot vacuum cleaner is the Roborock S7 from the brand Roborock. Although it does not move back and forth, it vibrates its microfiber nozzle up to 3,000 times per minute, making it an excellent cleaner of dirt and grime.

Advanced wet-cleaning models also include the iLIFE W450, Midea S8+, and Ecovacs Deebot OMNI X1. But beware, an important aspect of any wet-cleaning vacuum cleaner is its adjustable water supply. While mid-range and high-end models offer this feature by default, it is rarely included in budget models.

Without the ability to control the water flow, robot vacuum cleaners can leave puddles or unevenly distribute water over the floor, producing unsatisfactory results.

How to control the robot vacuum cleaner?

There exist three distinct modes of control for the robot: manual operation via the buttons on the top panel, remote control, and a mobile application. The mobile app option is by far the most convenient as it boasts a multitude of features.

Through the vacuum cleaner’s physical buttons, you are able to power the unit on and off or redirect it to its docking station. The remote control, on the other hand, grants you more control options, such as the ability to adjust suction power and activate the local cleaning mode.

Now, regarding the mobile application: you may initiate the robot’s operation remotely and select your desired mode. The app showcases the maps created by the robot, which you may interact with. For instance, you can rectify any mistakes or set up a virtual boundary to keep the robot from bumping into objects such as pet bowls or getting tangled in curtains.

These virtual walls, or forbidden lines, are beneficial for all. Simply add a virtual wall to the map and the robot will circumnavigate it, avoiding any potential disruptions. In addition, the app permits you to establish a cleaning schedule, allowing the robot to activate and clean the entire house or specific rooms autonomously. With a weekly cleaning schedule in place, you won’t need to manually power on the vacuum cleaner frequently.

Instead of the bottom line

Rather than settling for mediocrity, elevate your expectations when selecting a robot vacuum cleaner as it can be an invaluable asset in streamlining household maintenance. By prioritizing important features such as suction power, quality of wet cleaning, navigation type, and battery capacity, you can ensure that your device effectively serves its purpose without any unwarranted complications. Don’t settle for less and experience the convenience and satisfaction of a well-chosen robot vacuum cleaner.


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