DEEBOT Deep Dive - Everything You Need to Know About Robot Vacuums According to the Experts
Whether you’re a first time robot vacuum owner or a smart-home techy with all the gadgets, the world of robot vacuums is constantly evolving and can be easy to get lost in!
We sat down with ECOVACS Head of Product, Thomas Climer, and ECOVACS Go-To-Market Manager, TC Chang, to get their insights, tips and advice on all the things you need to know about robot vacuums.
Robot Vacuums 101
What are the essential, top features in a robot vacuum?
- 2-in-1 mopping and vacuuming – Ditch the WetJet and purchase a robot vacuum equipped with mopping and vacuuming to give your floors the thorough clean they need! This saves closet space AND time.
- Laser based navigation and mapping – Laser-based lidar is the most advanced and precise navigation tech that scans at the floor level to navigate around furniture and obstacles. VSLAM, an older camera-based technology that points at the ceiling, misses a lot of what’s happening on the floor - which makes for a less precise clean! Robots with advanced laser-based lidar technology enables smart mapping and uses a continuous 360-degree laser scanning to sense depth and create a precise map of your floor in seconds – leaving no corner of your floor untouched. This technology can be found in self-driving cars and drones (so you know it’s the best of the best!)
- Advanced obstacle recognition and avoidance – Maybe not the most essential feature, but for a truly top-notch experience that gets you a lot of bang for your buck, look for robots that use 3D-structured light, the same technology used for facial recognition on phones, for advanced obstacle avoidance – even in the dark. To level up, look for robots with a built-in camera that recognizes obstacles, stores them in their system and intelligently determines how best to clean around them so that you don’t have to waste time babysitting your robot vacuum.
What are undervalued robot vacuum features?
Battery power! You don’t want your robot vacuum to have to pause mid-clean to recharge fully, then come back out unexpectedly while you’re hosting dinner or trying to sleep! Look for a robot vacuum with a minimum of 110 minutes of run-time that can cover at least 2,000 square feet with one charge and one water fill. Pro tip: purchase a robot vacuum that comes with Smart-Charge Continuous Cleaning. With Smart-Charge Continuous Cleaning, the robot is smart enough to determine the battery level it needs to finish cleaning, so it will charge just enough to finish the job if it runs out of battery – saving even more time and headspace.
Brushes. A good robot vacuum should have two spinning side brushes and a main brush to be able to efficiently and effectively clean your floors. The side brushes extend the width of the robot’s cleaning and guarantee any dust in the corners are vacuumed up! And while some robots have just a suction intake cup, those alone do not guarantee to vacuum up all of your floors' dirt and debris, which is why it’s crucial to look for one that also has a main brush.
What should you pay extra for in a robot vacuum?
If you want to level up your cleaning experience and are looking for the best all around experience you can get, invest in a robot vacuum that comes with an Auto-Empty Station.
Auto-Empty Stations make robot vacuums truly hands-free by allowing them to conveniently self-empty the dustbin into the station for months of maintenance-free cleaning. Auto-Empty Stations like ours come with hypo-allergenic dust bags that even auto-seal so no cloud of dust escapes in the air, keeping your allergies at bay!
What separates the good robot vacuums from the great?
While a basic robot vacuum can get the job done, it often will lack precision, efficiency and effectiveness. A great robot vacuum is built with:
- High suction power – Premium robots will have advanced suction power guaranteed to leave your floors and carpets crumb free! Look for a robot with no lower than 1,500 Pa.
- Lidar-based navigation with dToF laser sensors – Robots (like our N8/N8+, N8 Pro/N8 Pro+, T8/T8+ and T8 AIVI) include TrueMapping, a dToF laser sensor which makes for the most advanced robotic vacuum lidar technology and performs with 2x greater range (from 5m to 10m), 4x greater accuracy (detects objects as small as 2mm) and performs better in bright and dark environments so you can clean while you sleep!
- Custom cleaning – Advanced robots equipped with lidar based technologies like dToF will allow you to map your home so you can clean by room and even create no-go zones for times when you want the robot out of sight.
What is an unnecessary feature to have in a robot vacuum?
We may be biased, as we think there are quite a few essential features to have in a robot vacuum! However, a more basic robot model will typically work well for a simple layout (i.e. single room, less furniture, no obstacles), but you’ll benefit significantly more from an advanced robot if the environment is more complex. So if you are like many of us and don’t keep a completely clutter-free home (who does!) it’s worth investing in a more top-notch robot vacuum.