How To Block Robot Vacuum?


robot vacuum cleaner  detecting virtual boundary

There’s no doubt that robot vacuums have revolutionized home cleaning. However, for popular architectural styles in the US like Colonial and Cape Cod homes, which often feature multiple floors and stairs, using this device can pose some risks. This also applies to other sensitive zones around the home, such as cluttered children’s play areas, pet feeding stations, or rooms with delicate decor. Knowing how to block your robot floor cleaner from going into these areas is crucial to keeping it on track and avoiding potentially damaging falls.

But worry not, there are effective measures you can take to prevent mishaps. Physical barriers, like baby gates or strategically placed furniture, can keep the vacuum cleaner out of off-limits areas. Many modern auto vacuums also come with virtual wall features or no-go zones that you can set up for precise control. With these solutions, you can enjoy its convenience while ensuring your home remains safe and tidy.

Why Do You Need to Block Your Robot Vacuum?

As efficient as smart robot vacuums are, they’re not always equipped to avoid every obstacle in your home, especially when stairs, low furniture or clutter are involved. This can cause issues such as incomplete cleaning and damaged items, but this can usually be solved by blocking the auto vacuum.

One major risk is the potential for robotic vacuum cleaners to fall down stairs. Homes with multiple floors or split-level designs can pose a hazard and lead to costly repairs.

Auto vacuums can also get stuck under low furniture or wedge themselves below couches or beds which can interrupt the cleaning cycle.

Cords and wires present another challenge. Robot vacuums can sometimes fail to avoid electrical cords, causing them to stop working and possibly damage the cords. This can be especially problematic in high-traffic areas such as home offices or entertainment rooms with electronic equipment.

Kids’ play areas can also confuse a smart vacuum cleaner as they are often filled with toys and small objects. The machine could get stuck or even damage your child’s favorite toy.

Pet bowls are another area of concern. Spilled water or food can create a mess and cause the device to malfunction. Delicate furniture, with intricate patterns or fragile parts could also be knocked over or scratched by a robot vacuum cleaner.

How to Block Robot Vacuum Access with Physical Barriers?

Toddler climbing up baby gate near stairs

Physical barriers are objects or tools that you can use as robot vacuum stoppers so that it only cleans the areas that you want it to. Anything from furniture risers to baby gates can be used as physical barriers.

One common issue with these auto vacuums is that they get stuck under low furniture. This not only interrupts their cleaning cycle but can also cause wear and tear on both the machine and your furniture. In this case, you can use furniture risers or blocks to elevate your furniture just enough to allow a robot floor cleaner with a slim design to pass underneath without getting trapped.

Baby gates are another versatile option that can be used as a barrier for a robot vacuum in larger areas like doorways or the top of stairs. They’re relatively easy to set up and move around as needed. Plus, they come in various sizes and styles to fit your home decor. Some baby gates are pressure-mounted, which means they can be installed without drilling holes into walls which is perfect for temporary setups. But if you’re looking for more permanent security, opt for the ones with hardware-mounting.

Some models come with magnetic stripsthat you can lay down on the floor to create no-go zones. These strips are detected by the device's sensors, and they prevent it from crossing into restricted areas such as pet feeding stations or children's play areas.

When choosing the most suitable robot vacuum blocker, consider your specific needs. If you need to cordon off a large area or an entryway, baby gates are your best bet. For smaller, more specific zones, furniture blocks or magnetic strips might be more appropriate.

How to Restrict Robot Vacuum Movement Using Virtual Walls and No-Go Zones?

Virtual walls and no-go zones are digital boundaries used to restrict the movement of smart vacuum cleaners. The primary difference between physical and virtual barriers is the way they are set up. Physical barriers, such as baby gates, furniture blocks, or magnetic strips require manual setup, while virtual barriers take advantage of the advanced mapping technology, navigation and remote control via an app.

To set up a virtual barrier or no-go zone, you will have to create a map of your home using the app associated with your robot vacuum cleaner. Through the app, you can r emotely designate areas telling the device to avoid specific spots. In this way, virtual barriers are more flexible and convenient and allow you to customize restricted zones without cluttering your space.

Robot vacuum cleaner detecting stairs

If you have a DEEBOT, setting up no-go zones can significantly enhance its cleaning efficiency and prevent it from entering areas you want to keep off-limits.

To set up no-go zones on your DEEBOT,

  1. Download and installthe ECOVACS HOME app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  2. Start a cleaning cycle and allow DEEBOT tomap your home. This is a necessary first step for creating no-go zones. Once mapping is complete, the layout map of your home will be displayed on the app.
  3. Find the map section within the app and tap “Map Management”
  4. Select the option to create no-go zones by tapping the ‘virtual boundary’ icon.
  5. Use your finger to draw shapes on the map where you want to restrict access, for e.g., doorways, delicate furniture and other high-traffic areas.
  6. Save your settings by clicking the confirmation button.
  7. Start a new cleaning cycleto ensure that DEEBOT avoids the designated no-go zones.
  8. If you need to change the boundaries, you can return to the app to modify the zones.

How To Troubleshoot Robot Vacuum Obstacle Detection?

Robot vacuum cleaner obstacle detection in living room

If your smart vacuum doesn’t detect your no-go zones or other obstacles in its way, it might be because its sensors need to be cleaned. While these sensors are important in detecting obstacles and navigating your home, they can encounter issues such as blockages, battery malfunction or navigation errors which can significantly impair their performance.

First, dust or debris can block the sensor which could cause the machine to move in circles or miss spots. To fix this, turn off and unplug the device. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe all the sensors, especially those on the underside and front of the device.

It could also happen that the cliff sensors that usually prevent the automatic vacuum from falling down stairs or off ledges malfunction and cause the machine to avoid certain areas unnecessarily. Cleaning these sensors with a soft cloth can often resolve this issue.

Another reason why your auto vacuum may be malfunctioning is due to issues with the wheel sensor, which may cause it to get stuck. In this case, you will need to inspect the wheels for any trapped debris or hair and clean them thoroughly.

Lastly, the performance of sensors can also be impacted by battery issues. Check that the battery is fully charged and not nearing the end of its lifespan. If the vacuum shows signs of diminished battery capacity, consider replacing the battery.


Do all robot vacuums support magnetic boundary strips?

Most smart vacuums that have sensors to detect magnetic fields will respond to magnetic boundary strips. If this feature is important to you, check with the manufacturer and model if it supports boundary strips before purchasing.

Why is my robot vacuum ignoring the virtual wall/no-go zone?

If your device is ignoring virtual walls or no-go zones, it could be due to dirty sensors, weak or failing batteries in the device, interference from other infrared devices, improper placement or hardware malfunctions. To fix this, try cleaning the sensors, checking the battery and look for other infrared devices that may be present in the area.

How do virtual walls work on a robot vacuum?

Robot vacuums have virtual walls that prevent the vacuum from entering certain areas. These boundaries are established by using devices that emit infrared signals, which the robot sensors detect and interpret as a wall. When the machine encounters this signal, it changes direction to avoid crossing into the restricted area.

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