Thanks to their modern technology and innovative features, it is obvious that a robot vacuum could save a lot of time in the sense that, unlike a normal hoover, you don’t need to put any effort in for it to operate. Robot vacuum cleaners have their own intelligence and are smart enough to operate themselves. But while they are clearly very good at navigating a room, are they any good at cleaning? Do robot vacuums work they way we hope?
While robotic hoovers pretty much all look the same, there’s a wide variety in their specifications. Some have powerful motors, some have great battery life, some have seriously nifty features like the ability to respond to voice commands. (Read our guide to the top 5 available in the UK if you’re looking to buy one.)
So bear in mind that the model you find for 30 quid on Gumtree might not work the same as a top-of-the-line Roomba…
Do Robot Vacuums Work?
This American news show did a slightly weird test, but it does show two expensive models in action and does show how well they perform in a real world situation.
If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s a summary – the Dyson model cleaned well but missed some bits and had all sorts of trouble with the fireplace and the tassels on a rug. The ‘homeowner’ had to give it some help. The Roomba went about its business with no help and did a great job on the floor.
So clearly robotic vacuum cleaners DO work, but with caveats. They work best on the plain floors or neatly fringed carpets (and they won’t harm the furniture or pets). They can switch from hard floor to low level carpet without causing any issue to you. These vacuums come with an infrared sensor system to guide them where they can move to clean and which areas needs to be avoided.
Robot Vacuums contain dirt-detect functions which enables them to determine which areas got more dusts and need more cleaning. There are also robot vacuums with a “lighthouse” feature to enable the vacuum to correct its own positioning and navigate itself when close to an object during going back to the docking station. Almost of these robot vacuums have docking stations, where it gets charged during or after the cleaning.
If you are about to run a regular cleaning on your floor and carpet, then robo-vacs are fine. But it is not capable of cleaning the stairs or any area which is beyond 30-35 degree slope. Also, no mechanisms have been discovered yet to enable robot vacuums to clean right into corners. So, sometimes you will need to use your manual vacuum cleaner.
In summary, the answer to the question “do robot vacuums work” is yes, but for now you can consider robot vacuum as a “maintenance cleaner” only – a big help and timesaver but not the be-all-and-end-all.