Why Won't My Robot Vacuum Go Straight & Keep Going In Circles?


deebot robot vacuum scanning 360-degree

As time goes by and your robot vacuum tirelessly cleans day after day, it's inevitable that signs of wear and tear begin to show. When it starts zigzagging, or worse, keeps going in circles instead of moving in straight lines, such unpredictable behaviour leaves us feeling frustrated. The good news is, these navigational hiccups often have straightforward solutions. Manufacturers including ECOVACS don't just sell you a robot; they're committed to ensuring it works flawlessly in your space. So, if your smart vacuum seems to be dancing to its own tune, don't worry, help and simple fixes are at hand.

Why Your Robot Vacuum Gets Lost And Goes In Circles?

There are several common reasons why robot vacuum cleaners may not go straight, such as dirty sensors, wheel problems, glitches in the navigation system, outdated software, as well as physical obstacles and flooring types that aren't compatible with your device.

Dirty or Obstructed Sensors

Robotic vacuum cleaners utilise advanced sensors, such as DEEBOT's dToF sensors paired with LiDAR, and anti-drop sensors, to scan and navigate spaces with precision. The 3D sensors in AIVI 3D technologyfurther refine this, enabling the device to dodge obstacles with ease, even in dark environments. When sensors are dirty, the vacuum may mistakenly detect non-existent blockages and attempt to navigate around them.

Wheel Issues

Wheel damage can throw your auto vacuum off its straight path. Picture this: a piece of hair or debris lodged in the wheel, throwing off the vacuum's balance and steering it off course. And let's not overlook the heart of the matter: the motor. When it's running low or malfunctioning, smooth navigation turns into a clumsy dance.

Navigation System Glitches

A robot floor cleaner relies on its navigation system to plan a systematic and efficient cleaning route, ensuring no spot is missed. However, a sudden glitch in the system can cause the device to start weaving erratically, as if its internal compass has been thrown into disarray.

Outdated Software

Just as we need our morning coffee to function, your smart vacuum requires the latest software to navigate with grace. Software awaiting updates can lead to a communication breakdownbetween its brain and wheels, resulting in an unexpected dance of circles.

Physical Obstacles & Inappropriate Flooring Types

Our homes are not always an open field for the robotic vacuum cleaner to roam around – often, they resemble a minefield where obstacles act as gatekeepers. A stray sock, a forgotten toy, or the sudden shift from hardwood to high-pile carpet can send it veering off course, blocking its original path and resulting in circles when it finds no way to escape.

3 Best DEEBOT Robot Vacuums That Go Straight

ECOVACS actively employ cutting-edge technologies to elevate the DEEBOT automatic vacuums, ensuring they deliver peak performance and convenience in the automated cleaning experience, which includes seamless navigation to keep the devices on track, avoiding the all-too-common pitfalls of getting lost or going in circles.


deebot x2 omni robot vacuum

Pioneering with the ECOVACS AINA mode, DEEBOT X2 OMNI stands out as the first model within the series to integrate deep learning with reinforcement learning. This innovation supports a faster, more agile pathfinding, alongside sharper obstacle detection and avoidance. Whether it's navigating around swiftly closed doors or running children, this model adeptly maintains its course without hesitation. Its enhanced AIVI 3D 2.0 and Dual-laser LiDAR technologies further refine obstacle avoidance, ensuring it doesn't get trapped in loops by unexpected barriers.



deebot t20 omni robot vacuum

DEEBOT T20 OMNI, with its TrueDetect 3D 3.0 system, navigates obstacles with millimetre precision. With real-time 3D scanning, it identifies and sidesteps potential ground hazards like cords, minimising the chance of blockages or disorientation. The improved TrueMapping 2.0 technology boosts detection finesse for even the tiniest of objects, enabling quick, accurate mapping even in a dark environment.



deebot n10 plus robot vacuumShop DEEBOT N10 Plus Now

To ensure it stays on its cleaning path, DEEBOT N10 PLUS employs TrueMapping with sophisticated laser-based LiDAR navigation, complemented by industry-leading dToF sensors. This combination allows comprehensive 360° scans, guaranteeing the most effective cleaning route and readily adapting when the original path is obstructed. Besides, like its counterparts, DEEBOT N10 PLUS recognizes and goes over thresholds into other rooms, reducing the risk of getting jammed or aimlessly circling when unsupervised.

How To Fix a Robot Vacuum Keeps Going In Circles?

When your smart vacuum starts doing its own version of a merry-go-round instead of cleaning in straight lines, there are several simple fixes you can try at home. However, if the issue continues, a visit to the manufacturer for repairs might be in order.

Clean the Sensors

Sensors are the eyes of your robot vacuum, guiding it away from stairs, around obstacles, and through your home without getting lost. A simple wipe down with a soft, dry cloth, preferably microfiber or cotton, can clear away the dust and debristhat might be blinding its sensors.

Check & Repair the Wheels

If your vacuum is running in circles, tangled wheels could be the culprit. These are the workhorses of your device, and keeping them clear of long hair and debris is vital. A regular wheel check-up, removing entanglements and debris, can keep your vacuum cruising straight and avoid other wheel-related troubles.

Reset the Navigation System

Think of this as a quick reboot for your vacuum's brain, especially when it starts "forgetting" its way around. For any DEEBOT model, first disconnect the base station from the power supply. Then remove the robot's cover, switch it to "O" to power it off. Wait for 5-10 seconds; when you move the DEEBOT or turn it off and on, it needs to relocate its position on the map. Next, you'll need to recreate the map. Simply delete the old map in the app and create a new one.

Meanwhile, don't overlook a sticky bumper rail; give each side of the bumper rail a press to ensure it's rebounding as it should.

Update the Software

Fixing the compatibility issue between the automatic vacuum and its software is easy: head to the app store to check forupdates. For DEEBOT owners, look for pending ECOVACS HOME appupdates, and here’s a useful tip: Charge your DEEBOT for three hours before an update to ensure it goes smoothly. And, for the best connection, keep your device and its station where the Wi-Fi signal is strong.

Proper Use of Cleaning Solution

If your smart vacuum doubles as a mop, then you're likely harnessing the power of cleaning solutions to combat stains and germs. But did you know incorrect application or dosage could make your floors too slippery for the device to clean in straight lines? Always check the instructions for the proper way to use cleaning agents to keep your robot vacuum with mops on track.

How To Prevent A Robot Vacuum To Go In Circles?

deebot x2 omni robot vacuum avoiding obstacle

To prevent your robotic vacuum cleaner from going in circles, taking regular care goes a long way, alongside ensuring your docking station is easily accessible and keeping the software updated.

Embracing a regular maintenance schedule, from gently wiping the sensors to untangling the wheels and clearing the filters, to improve your robot floor cleaner performances and prolonging its lifespan.

However, let's be real, if your space is too cluttered for the smart vacuum to navigate smoothly, like a post-party battlefield with toys scattered all over the floor, your vacuum might just throw its hands up, struggling to find a cleaning path through the chaos and ending up keep going in circles. In such scenarios, a quick tidy-up before starting the cleaning session, or using the virtual barrier function via the app to guide your vacuum away from trouble spots.

Furthermore, ECOVACS is committed to improving the performance of your automatic vacuum and fixing software glitches. Stay alert to software updates and adjusting the user settings can sharpen your vacuum’s navigational skills, ensuring it's always ready to tackle your floors with grace.


Are certain surfaces more likely to cause robot vacuums to go in circles?

Yes, certain surfaces, such as high-pile carpets or wet, slippery floors, may cause auto vacuums to go in circles due to their sensors mistaking these textures or conditions for obstacles.

How can I improve my robot vacuum's navigation?

To improve your robot floor cleaner's navigation, regularly clean its sensors and wheels, update its software, remove physical obstacles before cleaning sessions, and use virtual barriers to guide it through complex areas.

Could sensor malfunctions cause my robot vacuum to not go straight?

Yes, sensor malfunctions can cause your smart vacuum to not go in a straight line. Dirt or damage obstructing the sensors may lead to incorrect navigation and erratic movements.

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