Robotic vacuum cleaners take care of “vacuuming” for you, without having to travel to track down dust and dirt. Manufacturers are beginning to offer several dozen models of this device. To choose it correctly, deciphering the main characteristics to be taken into account.
Maybe, you should have one in your house as well doing the cleaning job on behalf of you…?
That being said, here is the ultimate vacuum robot buying guide that you need to read to choose the best vacuum robot in 2019.
Robotic vacuum cleaners are recharged on a charging station on the ground. Allow between 1 h 15 and 8 h depending on the models for a full charge.
Some robots, such as the Philips EasyStar, do not have a station. It is therefore necessary to manually connect a charger to the robot. The best designed ones can easily find their station on their own.
Once charged, a robot placed on its base continues to consume electricity. An on/off button turns it off, limiting its standby consumption. The same goes for the charging station, which consumes as long as it is connected. Some are equipped with an on/off button to avoid having to disconnect them. Practical.
A robot vacuum cleaner handles one to several brushes:
one or two side brushes, placed on the side of the robot, to clean along the walls and in the corners, bringing the dust back to the center of the robot;
the main brush, located under the robot, to collect dust and other fibres. Hair or animal hair tends to wrap itself around it and should be cleaned frequently. It is more or less easily removable depending on the model.
Other robot vacuum cleaners, such as the Rowenta Extrem Air Motion or the Philips EasyStar, have opted for direct suction, similar to a sled vacuum brush.
All robot vacuum cleaners operate without bags and collect dust in a tank, directly accessible either from above or below the robot, which is much less convenient. The capacity of the tank is limited by the need to design devices of a reasonable size, since the robots circulate independently in the room.
You will therefore have to empty and clean the tank frequently, as well as the filters (Hepa or not) associated with it. What’s more, you may need a sled vacuum cleaner to clean its many corners! A point to review.
Programming robot vacuum cleaners is relatively simple. Simply choose between one of the cleaning modes, such as :
“auto”, “normal” or “cleaning”, for the complete cleaning of a part;
“Spot” or “localized” to vacuum on a specific area (a carpet, for example).
Some models, such as the Rowenta Extrem Air Motion, offer different suction power levels to be adjusted according to the type of floor (hard floor, parquet, carpet).
Some robots allow you to program a delayed or periodic start (daily, weekly…). The most basic models, such as the Philips EasyStar, have only a simple on/off button.
The robots move around the room and change direction as soon as they encounter an obstacle, the aim being to cover the entire area. The most sophisticated models boast of using cameras, ultrasonic or infrared sensors, gyroscope and other advanced navigation systems. We have not identified any technology that is clearly more effective than another.
The important thing is that it works! In practice, this is not always the case. Robots often stumble (without brutality) into obstacles, such as chair legs or vases placed on the ground. On the other hand, they do detect the void, which prevents them from falling down the stairs.
Another positive point is that the entire room is well covered (even if it means going through the same place several times). But you don’t have to be very careful about the result in the corners, along the walls or around the furniture legs.
Virtual walls, small blocks to be placed on the floor, constitute an obstacle visible to the robot and allow the user to limit the robot’s evolution to a part of the room.