Do You Really Need a Robot Vacuum?

2022-06-04 02:31:11 By : Ms. Grace Chow

There are a wide variety of robot vacuums for any home. We'll examine if the technology is for you.

Smart robot vacuums can perform the tedious task of vacuuming for you.

Available in a wide variety of price points, smart vacuums may be worth the price depending on your cleaning goals. They're good for routine cleaning, not so much for deep cleaning.

Robot vacuums join a growing list of convenient smart technologies. With smart technology these days, you can do everything from getting help in the kitchen to tracking your health and wellness.

Robot vacuums add automation to the list of smart technology benefits. They use sensors to navigate your house and clean the carpet, hardwood, linoleum, etc. Some models include a mopping capability. The gadget is one way to help make your home healthier and cleaner.

They're pretty good at moving around the house on their wheels that rise and retract, pushing the device along in an impressive ability to avoid getting stuck.

Robot vacuums will try to get into any room where the door is open, and they can go over small obstacles such as thresholds between carpet and hardwood—even under a bed. The vacuums can also avoid going down staircases, sensing when they're about to go over the edge and cleaning only the area above the drop.

You can control the technology using your voice and a home assistant such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. And using a smartphone app, you can take advantage of their smart features. The app can map your house to help you focus on specific rooms during cleaning.

You can also create custom schedules, to have the vacuum work only at night for example (they don't need the lights on to work.) Or they can clean when you know you'll be out of the house.

Some models, such as the iRobot Roomba i3+ include a battery charging station. The charging station doubles as a receptacle for the vacuum to empty its dirt. There's a traditional vacuum bag inside the station, which you can replace when full.

Robot vacuums get the job done, but not as well as you might hope. Smart robot vacuums have been around since 2003. The technology has probably come a long way since then, but the vacuums of today still have limitations.

They're not as powerful as a traditional vacuum. Most models are only about the size of a large dinner plate. So it's no surprise that such a small device doesn't pack much of a punch when it comes to suction power.

Some models aren't particularly smart. Lower-cost models don't use sophisticated visual sensors to navigate, apparent in the clumsy, slow way they move. They pretty much keep trying a new direction until they find a clear path.

Sometimes, the vacuums can get stuck under furniture and on obstacles such as power cords. The app can let you know, and you'll need to find and free the vacuum.

The software on some models can be buggy, For example, sometimes the vacuum will have trouble resuming after you've helped it get unstuck.

You also need to prep an area before it's cleaned. For example, clear objects under the bed that might block the vacuum. Some models can't clean within a few feet of the charging station, so you'll have to clean that area yourself.

And they are also somewhat loud. If you're sensitive to noise you may not like the whirring motor, bumping into walls, and spinning around. It may not be practical to have the device run at night while people are trying to sleep or while you're trying to get work done.

If you don't need deep cleaning, and you have patience a robot vacuum is worth it. A smart vacuum might take several hours to clean an average-sized home that would require only about 20 minutes with a traditional vacuum. The apps do have the capability to limit the vacuum time, but you might not get as deep a clean with less time.

Robot vacuums sometimes have trouble cleaning carpet, which tends to collect more stuff like pet hair and dirt. The lack of power may not be as much of an issue on surfaces such as hardwood or linoleum.

Robot vacuums can be a lot of fun to watch as they navigate your house. If you have kids, they may think this is a reason alone to get one. But your pets may not agree—dogs or cats might be frightened by the device.

If you have a small space to clean and not a lot of dirt or pet hair to pick up, a smart robot vacuum may be worth the price. The technology can help keep your floors touched up and are helpful for cleaning spaces you may never clean otherwise, like under your bed.

Otherwise, you may want to wait. The technology, speed, power, noise level, and software will likely improve with time.

Josh Dollaghan is passionate about home improvement, especially when it comes to learning about and setting up next-gen, smart home products. He's often found spending time with his family and exploring the great outdoors. He's also an avid reader, movie-enthusiast, and musician.

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