Kärcher RC 3000 Robot Vacuum Cleaner: Operating Experience

    In my life I have met people who like to vacuum. Yes, that's right, the cleanliness process itself is a pleasure. The reason can be different - from demonstrating one's own need to misophobia .

    However, among the wide range of motives invented by mankind for conducting daily cleaning of the home, I could not find mine. Laziness invariably prevailed both over rational arguments about the need to vacuum every day, and over emotional impulses, whose energy was only enough to curse: " Why didn’t anyone clean again! "

    Having once admitted to myself that it was not a “lack of time” or “tiredness after work”, but a banal unwillingness to pick up this damn vacuum cleaner, I decided that I needed to automate the cleaning process somehow, for example, buy a cleaning robot .

    Durable and reliable cleaning robot, able to function normally in the most difficult conditions:

    My choice fell on the RC 3000 from Karcher , the impressions of the operation of which this article is devoted to.

    Formulation of the problem

    So, I realized that I needed an au pair who would make the floor in the apartment cleaner, preferably myself, completely without my participation. Friends and acquaintances advised me to “get married,” but, firstly, I really can’t afford such a luxury, and, secondly, this action does not solve the problem (I do not consider it the wrong use of my spouse as an electric mop).

    The option of a housekeeper or outsourcing in a cleaning company was rejected for both economic and ideological reasons: even the lowest paid “aunt-cleaning lady”, who takes four thousand rubles a month for her services, will cost me almost fifty thousand rubles a month later, and This is excluding taxes and other social contributions. In addition, the very idea of ​​using domestic workers seems humiliating to me. "Exploitation of man by man," and all that.

    Yes, and, in the end, the twenty-first century in the yard, it’s time to give up household problems to the robots and other household appliances. With this in mind, I began to analyze the offer of devices for automated cleaning. It turned out that there are three types of them:
    • Cleaning robots. These devices work on the principle of an electric mop: they wipe the floor with a special high-tech nano-napkin. They do not know how to clean carpets (for me it is important). A typical representative is iRobot Mint, a review of which was recently presented by nagimov .
    • Scavenger robots. These devices really mop the floor. They have a tank with water (more precisely, with a mixture of water and detergent), this mixture is poured onto the floor, and then sucked into another tank by the robot. They can’t cope with carpets, they require very even flooring. As far as I know, this kind of device is represented by only one iRobot Scooba family .
    • Vacuum cleaner robots. Perform dry cleaning, collecting dust and small debris. Able to move around carpets, some models have the ability to clean them.

    It was decided to focus on robotic vacuum cleaners, since they require the least amount of time and effort to maintain and operate in the widest range of conditions.

    It remains only to choose a specific model, which, on the one hand, would be as reliable as possible, and on the other, would provide the most complete automation of the process. I treat these devices as household appliances, not experiencing the pleasure of reversing, upgrading and other creative and technical operations to research robotic vacuum cleaners, I needed the most complete solution that works on the principle of “ bought, turned on, forgot, and it’s there itself somehow works . "

    terms of Use

    A conversation about the choice of a technical solution for automation of cleaning the premises cannot be constructive without a description of the conditions in which this solution will be operated. In addition, knowledge of the nature of these conditions will allow the reader to more adequately perceive information about the practical experience of using the selected device.

    Let's start with an example: a commercial for the Karcher RC 3000 robot vacuum cleaner with the pretentious name " Future is now " shows us an already clean room (more like an office than a real apartment) in which the robot heroically conducts a stormy imitation of cleaning several specially trained scattered specks:

    Personally, my video provoked outrage: why does the manufacturer show the robot in such a "in greenhouse conditions? "Will he cope with the apartment of an ordinary Zamkadian rogue or does he really need a" European -style repair "?

    To answer these questions ( curiosity became the second motive for buying RC 3000 after laziness), I decided to check the robot in the conditions of my home. It’s about a three-room rented apartment with total area of about fifty-six square meters:

    paint applied on the door panels and window sills during the Soviet era, was the fall off in large chunks, whitewash the ceiling, remaining with the same time showered, PVC tile One of the rooms crumbles, exposing the wooden floor and the kitchen are periodically fall off chunks of cement, in which once held a tile. Leaky windows let air (and hence dust) from outside.

    Under the terms of employment, some furniture and carpets cannot be thrown away. Particleboard furniture periodically pleases with sawdust, and old, semi-decayed carpets spew hundreds of wool daily.

    The apartment is located in an excellent area with developed infrastructure and good transport accessibility, next to the forest (where you can ride a bike perfectly) and the bay, and it is very cheap, so I’m not going to change it.

    Thus, my robot vacuum cleaner has to work in very difficult conditions, and he has little chance of improving them.

    Naturally, the robot must have high structural strength and good mechanical component, so as not to break under such conditions.

    General information about similar devices

    Electric broom

    The first thing I would like to say is the generic naming of these devices. Usually they are called robotic vacuum cleaners, which is wrong, since most of these devices (of the exceptions, perhaps only Neato XV-11 and Ottoro S-100 ) are not vacuum cleaners.

    According to Wikipedia , a vacuum cleaner is “a device for cleaning dust and contaminants from surfaces due to suction by an air stream”. The devices under consideration, as a rule, do not absorb garbage, but throw it into the tank due to the movement of the brushes (suction is also used, but this is only an additional function). It would be more correct to call this technique robots-electric brooms (because, in fact, they do not vacuum, namely sweep).

    We are not talking about a simple dispute about terminology, because the principle of operation of the device determines, ultimately, the efficiency of cleaning in certain conditions. In particular, robotic vacuum cleaners (we will not change the established terminology) are surprisingly effective in carpet cleaning, despite the low suction power (compared to traditional floor-mounted vacuum cleaners).

    This is explained by the presence of a rotating brush that "pulls out" debris (sometimes with a pile) from the carpet. This also explains the relatively poor ability of these devices to remove heavy or sticky fine dust. The suction power is not enough to tighten the dust particles, and the brushes toss them not high enough.

    Types of Motion Algorithms

    Most of the devices available on the market can be conditionally divided into two categories: moving relatively randomly and having a plan to bypass the premises. The robots belonging to the first group move around the apartment, changing the trajectory in a collision with obstacles. Some models also change direction in the absence of obstacles, implementing the algorithms laid down by the manufacturer for optimal coverage of the surface of the room.

    Representatives of the second group in one way or another build a "room map". There are several approaches to solving this problem: using LIDAR , using a video camera that removes the ceiling, using an external navigation system located on the wall, etc.

    As a rule, a person who does not have practical experience in using robotic cleaners prefers to see “elements of intelligence” in his devices, believing that building a map is the key to quality cleaning. Apparently, in this case, a phenomenon similar to empathy is triggered : a person does not evaluate the effectiveness of a particular way of moving a robot, but his ideas about how it would be easier for him, a rational person, to clean the room.

    In fact, robots moving [pseudo] randomly are more efficient (most of the robots from TOP 10 according to Robotsaldetalle.es are moving “randomly”). There is a simple explanation for this, which does not require special knowledge in the field of algorithm analysis and / or robotics for understanding.

    If the moving one is “chaotic” (some models have advanced motion algorithms, and their movements only seem random ), the robot has not removed any part of the floor during the current cycle, it will remove it the next time. Or in two launches. Or even someday. Moreover, the chances that this will happen soon enough, the higher, the more often you start the robot. The made "mistakes" (expressed in the fact that the area accessible to the robot physically remains uncleared only because the robot simply did not go there) do not accumulate.

    In the case of devices using the card, the situation is somewhat different: if the robot “thinks” that it does not need to go under the table, it will ignore this space every time: the same data is sent to the input of the same behavioral algorithm - therefore , the output is the same result. The error is repeated from time to time (until the user updates the firmware of the device, or until the external conditions change - the arrangement of furniture, the position of the doors, etc.)

    The difference between the two approaches can be clearly demonstrated using the following illustration:

    Photo from the article " Saubermänner: 24 Saugroboter von 200 bis 1150 Euro im Test "

    When analyzing these images, remember that the robot most effectively removes the space that is under its main brush (or the hole for sucking debris for brushless models). The denser the trajectory lines adjoin each other, the higher the quality of cleaning. As you can see, “chaotic” movements provide a slightly higher coverage density.

    Of course, manufacturers are trying to improve the motion algorithms of their products, adding an element of randomness to the movement of “deterministic” models, on the one hand, and ordering the “random” movements of “chaotic” devices, on the other.

    As a result, in practice, the described schemes in their pure form are quite rare, but the general trend remains: building a map looks cool and interesting, but impractical in terms of coverage efficiency. Pseudo-random movements allow more efficient cleaning, but reduce the initial attractiveness of the goods in the eyes of an inexperienced buyer.

    Speaking specifically about the RC 3000, its coverage map looks like this:

    Photo from the article " Saubermänner: 24 Saugroboter von 200 bis 1150 Euro im Test "

    At first glance, the result is noticeably inferior to that shown in the previous illustration. But in fact, only one iteration was taken into account, and the RC 3000, unlike most competitors, can make a lot of cleaning visits, gradually covering the entire area of ​​the room. Read more about this below.

    Competitive Solution Overview

    The device discussed in this topic is quite exotic for Russian realities, therefore, before proceeding directly to its review, I consider it necessary to say a few words about its competitors more familiar to the reader, their advantages, disadvantages and reasons why RC was chosen 3000

    iRobot Roomba

    Perhaps the most popular robot vacuum cleaner in the world. For many people, its name has become a household name denoting the entire class of such devices. It is produced by a large respected American company iRobot, which has extensive experience in robotics, including military. Several articles on Habré were devoted to this model, among which it is possible to mark " Year with Roomba " from optemist habrayuzer . A review of the representative of the previous generation of this series, which is still freely sold and has not lost its relevance, the robot of the 500th series, is available in an AbyssMoon article entitled " Overview of the iRobot Roomba 505 Robot Vacuum Cleaner "

    The actual model at the time of writing, Roomba 790, got a remote control:

    The main advantage of robots of the Roomba family, of course, can be recognized as their prevalence. Hundreds of communities have been created for their discussions, many hacks and mods have been developed, the Chinese produce fake cheap spare parts, and merchants from the CIS countries organize repair services. Geeks collect on their basis their uber devices and hack firmware , and ordinary users write thousands of reviews from which you can find out all the data about the device that interests a potential buyer. If you have a problem with such a robot, you can easily find advice on how to solve it on the Web and a specialist who is ready to fix it offline.

    This robot has no fatal flaws - the model is quite mature, the manufacturer’s extensive experience in the field of robotics is affecting. However, there are some features that make it uninteresting and unsuitable for solving the task. First of all, we are talking about the need to clean the robot:

    As to how often this needs to be done, opinions differ. Most of the assessments of Russian users (this is important, in the USA or Europe, the interiors are different from ours) range from "after every launch" to "once every three days." Of course, there are those who need cleaning once a month, but we will not take into account the opinion of these pedants: maintaining such a cleanliness in an apartment is too time-consuming task.

    The second feature that I did not like about iRobot products is a multi-room processing system. The fact is that during operation, the robot determines the area of ​​the room using the Monte Carlo method (travels back and forth many times) and, depending on the value obtained, determines the time required to clean the room. If you run it, for example, in the bedroom, he can vacuum it without having "realized" that the corridor leads from the bedroom to the nursery, and from there to the kitchen. The last two rooms will not be processed (more precisely, they may or may not be cleaned).

    To avoid situations in which part of the premises is ignored by the robot, the manufacturer recommends the use of beacons- special radio devices that allow the vacuum cleaner to determine the boundaries of the premises (and, accordingly, their number) and plan their time correctly. Why are lighthouses bad? Because, firstly, they cost money (they need quite a lot, in my case, five pieces), and, secondly, they work on batteries. Which do not forget to charge or buy.

    In other words, a tool designed to facilitate the life of the user makes him, firstly, regularly service himself (not a very pleasant process, I must say), and, secondly, remember about himself, which, in my opinion, is outrageous: so I and I can vacuum myself, I just need not to forget and not be too lazy .

    Neato XV-11

    Perhaps the second most popular robot in the States. It is interesting in its unusual shape (according to the manufacturer, it allows the robot to process corners more efficiently), and a navigation system. This robot, unlike the previous one, does not travel in a pseudo-random way, but builds a map of the room: first, it passes through the apartment, "looking" into each room to draw up a map. Then, on this map, he paves the way. The system guarantees that, firstly, the robot will not let a single piece of the floor surface pass, and, secondly, it will not vacuum the same area twice (in the strict sense, of course, you cannot give such guarantees, but more about that - later. But the trend is indeed that). The network has repeatedly expressed the view that the purchase of Neato XV (in this series several robots,

    In addition, the model XV-11 is distinguished by the complete absence of brushes : there is no main brush, no side “helicopters”, as well as an increased (compared to analogs) suction power.

    Instead of a brush , such a contraption is used:

    Photo from an article by Neato XV-11 (XV-12 / XV-15) review

    As rightly pointed out in the comments by wersoo , the Neato XV-21 has a brush.

    The main disadvantage of this robot is that almost all of the declared characteristics are not confirmed in everyday operation: the “heavy duty” turbine actually copes with debris worse than a brush, and the navigation system, due to accumulated inaccuracies, leads to the formation of areas that the device does not vacuum. And he makes a lot of noise.

    upd : Lipskiy’s Habra- user in the comments expressed a different point of view , according to which, RC 3000 is significantly inferior to Neato robots .

    Samsung Navibot-S

    One of the few robots that have a full base into which garbage can be dumped as the tank inside the moving unit is filled. In this regard, it is close to the RC 3000, but, unlike the latter, it has a more advanced motion algorithm: this robot builds a room map using a video camera aimed at ... the ceiling.

    In my opinion, it’s a very elegant solution - on the one hand, the problem with visibility is eliminated (usually there are less obstacles above the robot than next to it), and on the other, the map is quite accurate (after all, the ceiling plan almost always coincides with the floor plan).

    If such a robot comes under the bed, he “realizes” this fact and will not perceive the space under the obstacle as a separate room. Well, in order to go around objects located on the floor, the robot has special algorithms for "avoiding obstacles." I don’t know how the system will work in a domed room :)

    It would seem to be an ideal solution, but, like everything in this world, this device has its drawbacks. In the case of Nabvibot-Sthe main problem is the weakness of the mechanical and, in fact, “vacuum” component. Numerous reports that the robot cannot move over a forgotten sock, become entangled in wires, cannot collect large pieces of dirt, etc., as well as insider information from a representative of a large home appliance store that describes the imperfection of the running gear of this device, has led to the formation of Opinions about the impracticality of this robot.

    Ecovacs Deepoo D-76

    Like Navibot-S, this robot has a fully-fledged base capable of removing accumulated debris from the main tank of the robot. Moreover, unlike its competitors, Ecovacs offers a modular solution: the robot base transforms into a separate full-fledged mini-vacuum cleaner for furniture cleaning (unfortunately, none of the robot vacuum cleaners on the market can wipe a cabinet or clean a chair). Initially, I considered Deepoo D-76 as the main candidate for the purchase - " the same Karcher, only cheaper ."

    However, upon closer examination, it turned out that this option is not as good as I imagined. Firstly, despite the fact that the base can pick up excess garbage, the robot itself does not continue cleaning after unloading the contents of the container until the next automatic start (no more than twice a day). Those. if the container is full in the first room, the rest will simply not be removed. Secondly, the battery lasts 40 minutes for real work, and the robot also does not know how to recharge and continue working. Thirdly, the base is equipped with a cyclone type filter, which needs to be washed regularly (which is rather laborious), otherwise the suction power drops greatly, and most of the garbage remains in the robot container.

    One of my colleagues bought this model and gave me the opportunity to test. It turned out that in my conditions the base would have to be washed after each launch. In addition, the robot body is made of glossy plastic, which is completely unsuitable for such devices, on which the smallest scratches are perfectly visible and which, moreover, is very poorly cleaned. Speaking of cleaning: the robot has a huge number of sinuses, "corners", "squiggle" and other extremely difficult to clean places. Washing it after testing was a real punishment. Another argument against this is a terrible, in my opinion, implementation of the rotation mechanism of the main brush with guides from ... felt.

    In practice, after just a few starts, the felt “bearings” either grind off, crumple, or are cut by coiled threads. And completing all this flight of engineering, an open belt drive of the main brush drive, constantly collecting hair, wire, etc. In general, the " cheap Karcher " will not work.

    But if you buy it after all, it will be able to mitigate your grief from wasted money a little by singing a song for you or dancing a dance :


    The vacuum cleaner was purchased at the KÄRCHER Shop & Service Schreiber in Germany. At the time of purchase, this was the easiest and cheapest way to purchase this device: in Russia it cost about 50,000 rubles, it cost me about 32,000 rubles, including shipping. Now it makes no sense to order from abroad: the official representative of the manufacturer sells the RC 3000 for 30,000 rubles .

    Delivery was carried out by the Russian Post, the parcel, contrary to the prevailing prejudices on the Web against this organization, arrived without any problems in 15 days:

    Contents of delivery

    Most of the boxes are occupied by a base station designed for charging the robot and cleaning the on-board garbage collector:

    The robot itself is packed inside in a separate small box:

    Freshly unpacked RC 3000, bottom view:

    In addition to the base and the robot, warranty documents, instructions, several additional bags were included in the package and a lottery ticket from the store.

    Operating Impressions

    At the time of writing, the RC 3000 has been working with me for more than a year. During this time, he never broke down and did not require serious maintenance. Some of its features disappointed me, others, on the contrary, liked me. Consider the most important, in my opinion, the characteristics of this device.

    What did you like

    Let's start with the properties of the RC 3000, which are traditionally considered its strengths.


    One of the key benefits of the Karcher solution is its compact robot size. Its diameter is 285 mm, and the height (including the "horns") is 105 mm. For comparison, the "default robot vacuum cleaner", iRobot Roomba has the following overall characteristics: diameter 353 mm, height - 91 mm.

    The following illustration can give a clear idea of ​​the size ratio of popular modern models of robotic vacuum cleaners:

    The design is reduced due to a shift in emphasis during cleaning: the robot does not need to have time to clean the entire room on one charge (i.e. it does not need to carry large heavy batteries), it does not need to store all the garbage in itself (therefore, the on-board garbage compartment can be greatly reduced ) This in itself makes it possible to reduce the dimensions of the device, and a decrease in size also reduces weight, which allows you to put smaller relatively weak engines in size.

    In practice, the smaller size of the robot means that it is easier to penetrate into hard-to-reach areas of the room - behind furniture (or under it), between the legs of chairs, into various niches, etc. In my case, no other robot would just squeeze into the kitchen.

    In the upper part of the case, the RC 3000 has flexible rubber “horns” (or “ears”, as they are sometimes called) that allow it to move out from under low furniture items: the robot, catching on “horns” begins to creep in the opposite direction, the horns are slightly bent , and allow him to leave without getting stuck:

    Possibility to continue cleaning

    Unlike most competitors, for whom running out of battery power or filling up a garbage container is tantamount to completing the cleaning cycle, the RC 3000 can recharge and empty the container: it goes to the base, unloads the garbage and charges the battery. After that, he continues cleaning.

    Here it is necessary to clarify: he does not go to the very place where he graduated (he does not know anything about the topography of the room), but he continues to clean up while many other robots do not.

    This approach allows you to serve large and / or very dirty rooms. Yes, the total cleaning time is increasing, but what's the difference if it happens automatically and does not require your participation?

    Build quality and materials

    I am not a specialist in the field of plastic assessment, so I will describe my subjective feelings, according to which, the build quality and materials of the RC 3000 are very high. Matte plastic, strong, scratch resistant. Without smell. Fingerprints are not visible on it (unlike, for example, Deepoo D76). The case gives the impression of a solid monolithic design, there are no backlashes, there is no creaking, the fitting of parts is very accurate.

    Rubber wheels are soft enough to provide good grip on any surface. At the same time, the rubber is very durable and practically does not wear off during operation.

    The mechanism for fastening the lid of the garbage container is very conveniently arranged - two snap-on clamps provide ease of removal and, at the same time, reliability of fixation of this element:

    Photo from article "Tip of The Month: Karcher RC3000 Maintanance "

    Compare with the Deepoo D76 plastic bolts (imagine what they will turn into after dozens of cleanings.):

    Low noise

    Unfortunately, I could not find data on the noise level of the robot on the Web. But it is noticeably lower, at least compared to iClebo, Ecovacs Deepoo D76 and Chinese NoName robots. Offhand, it is one and a half to two times quieter.


    The chassis of the robot is made at a very high level. The bottom of the robot is movably connected to the upper part of the body. This connection allows you to absorb shock when a robot collides with obstacles: the body of durable plastic takes up the bulk of the energy, much less comes to electronics / mechanics.

    The device has an independent suspension, which allows you to effectively overcome fairly high obstacles:

    Bearings and gears providing brush movement are installed in closed cases, which prevents hair and dust from entering the brush assembly.

    Unlike, for example, Rumba:

    Hair in gears of iRobot Roomba

    Base availability

    Of course, the main advantage of this model (compared, for example, with Roomba) is the presence of a full-fledged base. By "full value" I mean its ability to perform both of the main tasks of servicing the robot - recharging batteries and cleaning brushes / garbage containers:

    In fairness, I note that in practice the second task is solved worse than the first, but more on that later in the section on disadvantages.

    In my (obviously biased and subjective) view, the presence of a cleaning base is a mandatory property of a robot vacuum cleaner suitable for realoperation. Otherwise, the solution is “half-hearted": we automate daily cleaning, but instead we generate the need for daily (in the case of a really polluted environment) manual cleaning of the robot.

    I don’t know how to explain this from the point of view of psychology, but I had a great desire to get rid of “ daily life ”, from this unpleasant crushing feeling that I should get out (or clean the robot) today, and tomorrow I will have to do the same. Yes, let him serve himself, it's a robot!

    Of particular note are some RC 3000-specific features of the base implementation, primarily the garbage collection mechanism. Unlike competing models, the RC 3000 does not have a separate opening for garbage collection. Instead, the base sucks the contents of the container through the same hole through which debris enters it.

    On the one hand, this is bad, because the free movement of the air flow is prevented by the robot brush. On the other hand, this is very good, since the brush itself is also cleaned during unloading (part of the adhering debris is blown from it to the base). To increase the efficiency of the process, the brush rotates in the opposite direction, pushing the contents of the container into the base.

    The robot independently determines the moment when it is necessary to go to the base (there are two criteria: either the battery is running out of charge, or the garbage container is full), it is found and parked:

    What did not like

    Like everything in this world, the Karcher RC 3000 robot vacuum cleaner is not without some drawbacks. In this block we will consider those features that are unambiguously assessed as negative. Technical solutions that cause mixed assessments and conflicting feelings - made in a separate section.

    Parking at the base is not always successful

    Sometimes a robot cannot park on the first try. Sometimes - and from the second too. Rarely, he does not have time to call at the base before the battery is completely exhausted:

    In fairness, two facts should be noted:
    • In the example shown in the video, the robot will successfully return to the base, having rolled before that for half an hour through the rooms;
    • This situation happens quite rarely, not more often than once or twice a week (subject to the correct location of the base, see below)

    Of course, the developers could provide the robot with some kind of track-back system, but this would lead, firstly, to a departure from the KISS principle , and, secondly, to a significant increase in the cost of the device.

    Not the most efficient spot cleaning algorithm

    All modern robotic vacuum cleaners have the so-called. “Enhanced cleaning mode” (“spot removal mode”, “spot mode”). Despite the difference in the names used by different manufacturers, its essence remains unchanged: the robot is equipped with pollution sensors (in the case of the RC 3000 it is an optocoupler that registers dirt particles in the incoming air stream, but there are other designs that determine that it is dirty here.

    Realizing that this area is very littered, the robot begins to intensively clean it. A classic is the spiral spot cleaning algorithm, when the robot takes its current position as the center of the spiral, and begins to gradually “unwind” it. Sometimes spiral movements are supplemented by maneuvers to circumvent obstacles:

    Image from Rakuten.co.jp related to a device unknown to me branded under Hello Kitty.

    For some reason, which I could not find an explanation, the developers of the RC 3000 abandoned the spiral algorithm, preferring repeated movements back and forth with some bias:

    The manufacturer describes the rules for the treatment of contaminated sites as follows:
    The selection of the driving program is carried out automatically using sensors located in the garbage tank, depending on the recognized degree of contamination. The robot has four movement programs with which it adjusts itself to various degrees of floor contamination. The dirtier the floor, the more intensive the robot is cleaning it. If the degree of pollution is insignificant, the program of movement No. 1 is established.
    1. Программа движения №1 — обычная уборка:
    работа с проходами по принципу случайности на обычной скорости,
    2. Программа движения №2 — отдельный загрязненный участок поверхности:
    медленный проход через загрязненный участок,
    3. Программа движения №3 — отдельный, более сильно загрязненный участок поверхности:
    медленный проход вперед/назад через загрязненный участок,
    4. Программа движения №4 — сильно загрязненный участок значительной площади:
    медленные звездообразные, расходящиеся лучами проходы в виде звезды через загрязненный участок.

    In my opinion, the spiral algorithm is better (allows you to quickly eliminate pollution):

    Picture from the description of the Chinese NoName-robot.

    However, nothing but a reference to my own observations on the operation of the RC 3000 and Deepoo D76, I can not confirm this thesis.

    Controversial technical solutions

    In this section, we consider technical solutions regarding which the community has not developed a uniquely defined canonical opinion: each of these features will have both supporters and opponents. I will express my subjective attitude on each issue separately, without claiming, however, to approve the final solution of essentially holistic disputes.

    Cleaning approach

    Most robotic vacuum cleaners have to do a full cleaning of an arbitrarily complex room for a while until the battery runs out (or until the garbage container clogs).

    Obviously, this is not always possible, and manufacturers take various tricks to bring the real result closer to the ideal: increase the capacity (and cost) of the batteries, increase the speed of the units (complicating the mechanics and the control part), and introduce systems for evenly distributing the efforts of the robot between rooms (requiring the user to purchase and maintain additional devices - “beacons”), etc.

    In RC 3000, the problem is solved, in my opinion, much more elegant. He was simply given an “endless” cleaning time. Not enough charge to clean in the third room? No problem, charge the battery and clean the whole apartment again. Once the ill-fated room number 3 will be cleaned.

    The apartment is too dirty and the container is filled through two square meters of area? Ok, unload the garbage and continue cleaning. Sooner or later, the entire area will be cleared.

    The RC 3000 is like a Chinese worker or a dumb student: starving and diligent. Where Roomba segments the apartment so that it can be cleaned in an hour and a half, the RC 3000 simply removes three, six or nine hours. Without requiring the installation and configuration of “beacons”, powered by batteries, which must be changed regularly .

    I recommend this model, first of all, to those who regularly leave their home for a sufficiently long time (for example, the classic situation: children to school, parents to work). Or for those with a room area that allows you to run quite far from yourself (otherwise it will make noise and get confused underfoot). Or those who have iron nerves, and who can be friendly to a device crawling nearby.

    For users who need to clean quickly, I recommend that you think carefully before buying this model: with an equal cleaning time, the RC 3000 will most likely lose to the same Rumba. Well, or at least she won’t be able to reveal her advantages.

    Lack of helicopter

    “Helicopters” are called small side brushes. It is assumed that with them the robot will remove debris from hard-to-reach places, to which the main brush does not reach. Examples are usually given floor sections along baseboards, around furniture legs, etc.:

    Proponents of this structural element argue that without it it is impossible to achieve effective cleaning, as garbage from inaccessible places will not go anywhere, and over time, space along the walls will turn into a landfill.

    Their opponents (including Karcher) use less obvious arguments that the helicopter is unnecessary or even harmful. As a justification of the meaninglessness of this constructive solution, the thesis that “dirt will not accumulate in the corners, because it simply will have nowhere to come from, because most of the robot will remove . "

    The damage to the side brush is usually illustrated by two examples: “the robot got stuck on the carpet ” and “the robot wrapped the thread / tulle / sock and stopped moving ”:

    In practice (everyone remembers that I immediately warned about the subjectivity of the conclusions in this section?) in the following way. The RC 3000 has no “helicopters”. But there is a nozzle from which he blows air:

    There is an opinion that the air flow pumped by the internal turbine will blow debris from hard-to-reach locations to open spaces where the robot can pick it up with the main brush. This idea was most fully implemented in the Ottoro S-100 with its “Air brush” technology:

    Hanool Robotics (manufacturer of Ottoro S-100) applied a trash lifting system to the main cleaning element, even refusing the main brush:

    In real life, this idea works, but not always. Light garbage is really blown away, heavy (in my case, pieces of paint that has fallen off) remains to be in place. The cleaning process takes quite a long time, but, in the end, the robot manages to collect almost everything:

    The manufacturer says the following about this:
    Through continuous cleaning, the process of pollution of the room is greatly slowed down. Thus, the accumulation of garbage in the corners of the premises is effectively inhibited.

    As an illustration of the [non] effectiveness of such a constructive solution, I can cite the following information: earlier (before the purchase of a robot vacuum cleaner) by the end of the working week, clouds of dust and carpet wool accumulated along the walls). Now they are gone.

    Replaceable bags

    Replaceable paper bags are used in the robot base:

    Very convenient, according to the manufacturer and most users, the thing: you can clean the base without seeing (important for especially sensitive noble maidens) garbage and not touching it (really important for allergy sufferers).

    However, such a decision also found opponents who criticized it, firstly, for the high cost of consumables, and secondly, for its low technology.

    In practice, it is possible to reuse disposable garbage bags for the base - it is enough to make an incision in the side wall of the bag to remove garbage through it. You can do even easier and unload the garbage from the bag using a conventional (large) vacuum cleaner through a regular hole. Well, for those who are not squeamish, the method of manually removing garbage is available. A disposable bag is enough for 3-5 times.

    Regarding the construct, we can say that the bags are easier to maintain than cyclone filters, and more efficient than most devices with a dust container. In general, Körcher engineers developed a reasonably reasonable and efficient robot cleaning system at the base station.

    Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

    Unlike most modern robotic vacuum cleaners equipped with lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries, the RC 3000 uses old-school NiMh batteries. This fact is simultaneously the object of attacks from critics, and an argument in favor of this model from well-wishers.

    The fact is that NiMh batteries lose to their lithium-ion and lithium-polymer counterparts in terms of capacity / weight ratio. In addition, the batteries used in the RC 3000 are much more susceptible to memory effects. Naturally, this is bad.

    On the other hand, the mode of operation reduces both the battery requirements and the load on it. Indeed, unlike other robots, such as Roomba, for the RC 3000, a drop in battery capacity of even 35% will not be critical. With such a degradation of the battery, Roomba simply cannot manage to clean the apartment. The RC 3000 will simply ride on a recharge more often. And regular battery training (almost completely discharged during cleaning - charged at the base) allows you to level the memory effect.

    In addition, lithium-ion batteries degrade over time, even when not in use . Their NiMh-assembled are devoid of this drawback. They say that RC-3000 batteries can last four years or more.

    Motion algorithm

    According to the description from the manufacturer, the RC 3000 uses the following motion algorithm:
    Управление движением робота осуществляется по принципу случайности. Когда робот наталкивается на преграду, он под произвольным углом меняет направление движения.После этого он движется прямо, пока не натолкнётся на новую преграду.

    The robot does not perform [pseudo] random changes in the trajectory during movement , only reacts to obstacles, therefore, on average, tends to corners and walls, paying less attention to the middle of the room. UPD : Habrauser OLS in his comment refutes the latest statement.

    Critics argue that the motion algorithm does not provide optimal floor coverage (the robot is much more likely to vacuum near the walls than in the center), and the lack of modes does not allow you to efficiently clean during the time until the battery runs out. Karcher advertisers claim the opposite.

    In reality, the robot does not need to have time to complete the cleaning before the end of the battery charge, so the question of the effectiveness of the algorithm does not matter: even if it goes somehow “wrong” due to the long cleaning time, it will have time for everything.

    Answers on questions

    In this section, we will try to consider the questions that usually arise from readers of reviews of robotic vacuum cleaners.

    Are the wires stopping him?

    One of the most frequently asked questions relates to the ability of the robot to overcome congestion of wires. All habrayuzers know that there shouldn’t be such clusters, that the wires should either be neatly packed in cable channels, or replaced altogether with wireless data and energy transmission devices. However, in real life, things are not always good and for some potential users, the issue of wires is still relevant.

    RC 3000 excellently overcomes congestion of wires. In real conditions, I have never seen a robot stuck in a ball of wires - it either moves them, or does not drop there at all (if we are talking about very thick power cables). The twisted pair pieces and power cables of household appliances implied by default in such matters are not difficult for this robot:

    Of course, you can choose a configuration of wires that the robot can’t overcome, but I haven’t seen references to wires becoming a real problem for someone when using this device.

    What about scattered things?

    Another object of great public interest is the question of how this robot will behave if it stumbles upon the scattered things of the owners. We’ll leave the questions of upbringing, discipline and the admissibility of the presence of clothing on the floor beyond the scope of this article and try to answer the question in its most common wording: “ And if my socks are scattered across the floor? What will happen to the robot in this case? ” The

    tests showed whatsocks are for the robot much more serious obstacles than wires:

    However, the robot for socks is also not useful:

    How badly is the body plastic scratched?

    Subjectively, not very much. At least much less than the glossy Ecovacs Deepoo D76 plastic. This is what the robot looks like after sixteen months of daily operation in a rather complicated (cast-iron batteries, old furniture with protruding bolts, etc.) environment: The

    glossy strip is scratched a little more (I think this is not so much about the properties of the plastic as the location: after all often the robot touches the obstacles with this ledge):

    What happens if there are more than one room

    In short, nothing bad will happen. The network came across user reviews of this robot - the owners of complex apartments with many (five to six) rooms up to two hundred square meters. According to them, RC 3000 copes with the cleaning of such premises. The manufacturer claims that in nine hours the robot manages to clean a room with an area of ​​one hundred thirty-five square meters.

    Honestly, before the purchase, I myself was not sure whether the robot would cope with a three-room apartment. It was especially hard to believe that he would squeeze into the kitchen: There

    were doubts about the ability of the RC 3000 to clean the space behind the bed in the bedroom:

    However, my fears were in vain: due to a very long time of work (usually I turn it on before leaving for work), the robot manages to visit all or almost all rooms. Yes, he does not build a map of the area, he can go to the bedroom three times and only once to the entrance hall, but in the end he will visit the whole apartment.

    Over time, I discovered an unexpected (for myself) pattern: the less often a robot enters a room, the longer it spends in it. If you think about it, this is quite logical: the room into which the robot rarely enters most likely has a complex passage configuration (narrow doorway, obstacles, etc.) that impedes the passage of the portal in both directions .

    For example, if the entrance to the kitchen is partially obscured by the dishwasher (as I had at one time), the robot will call in there relatively rarely, but once it arrives, it will clean up this room until the battery runs out (or the container is full ), because the probability of leaving the room is rather small (but enough to get to the base located in another room).

    With a sufficiently long cleaning time, difficult and easily accessible rooms are cleaned approximately equally well, but in different ways: the first robot rarely, but carefully, the second often, but not too long. The effect, I repeat, is the same.

    To illustrate the movement of the robot in a room with a lot of obstacles, I’ll give a record of the trip of the RC 3000 along a deliberately cluttered entrance. As you can see, it pushes fairly evenly into walls and doors, if they were open, the robot would also drive into other rooms:

    In general, during the operation I met the robot in the most seemingly unexpected places, in which he, as I thought, would definitely not go. So with the "penetrating ability" in the robot everything is in order.

    Does the robot work under furniture, do the legs interfere?

    If the robot is placed under furniture, it cleans under it. If it does not fit, it does not clean. Everything is simple here. Difficulties begin when the clearance under the furniture (in my case it was a cupboard and a nightstand in the kitchen) is approximately equal to the height of the robot. Sometimes a vacuum cleaner drives in and gets stuck, while not being able to drive back.

    A few months after buying this device, I lifted all the “problematic” furniture to its legs. Now the difficulty for the RC 3000 is only the space under the bed where the leg, carpet and skirting board are very unsuccessful: the robot rests on the leg, hands over and feeds onto the baseboard with stern:

    In the video, he successfully left the bed, but in life he does not always succeed. Not too often, not more than once every two weeks, but it happens.

    I have stairs in my house. Would he fall?

    The robot is equipped with height difference sensors. As soon as the surface ends under the sensor (for example, in the case when the robot moves off the step), the motors stop and then the vacuum cleaner changes direction. In other words, he himself will not fall:

    The problem may be children or animals dropping the robot from the stairs, but this is no longer relevant to the design of this device.

    And one more remark about the operation in a house with several floors: I came across several stories in which the authors bought one RC 3000 per floor. According to them, this is easier and cheaper than making a smooth descent, along which the robot could ride.

    What does the cleaning process look like / how effective is it

    Under normal conditions, the operation algorithm is as follows:
    • Перед уходом из дома вы открываете все двери, собираете с пола все вещи, запускаете (да-да, вручную, RC 3000 не имеет таймера запуска) робота;
    • Робот пылесосит до тех пор, пока не сядет батарея (или не заполнится контейнер), после чего едет к базе, там заряжается и освобождает контейнер, а затем — продолжает уборку;
    • Если вы выбрали бесконечный цикл, робот будет пылесосить, пока вы не выключите его. В противном случае — закончит уборку, когда истечет отведенное на неё время.

    From my own experience I know that such a description does not satisfy the curiosity of a person choosing a model of a robotic vacuum cleaner for purchase, so I consider it appropriate to offer a small visual illustration.

    For testing purposes, a small area of ​​the carpet was fenced (carpets are a difficult surface to clean, all the more interesting), intentionally contaminated with rice (imitation of medium-sized debris), wet flour (imitation of sticky / greasy dirt), AA batteries (imitation of large objects, for example , parts of children's toys) and threads (not quite a complete imitation of hair / wool), coins:

    Then, Karher RC 3000 was placed in this area and turned on in endless cleaning mode. The cleaning lasted about fourteen and a half minutes, after which it was interrupted. During the cleaning, the robot several times broke the restrictions, breaking free of the arena organized for him, but, I think, this did not affect the result:

    As you can see, it has become noticeably cleaner. Flour and coins removed completely, threads - almost everything. There is a certain amount of rice

    left (especially at the borders of the plot) and batteries: Rice not harvested by the robot and the only remaining string:

    I am sure that if the robot was given more time (offhand, five to seven hours), it would clean everything except the batteries.

    How efficiently cleans the base?

    Firstly, it should be noted that the real effectiveness of the base is much lower than the manufacturer claims. Manual brushing and the unit itself is sometimes necessary, despite the presence of a base.

    Self-cleaning of the robot can not cope with the following types of pollution:
    • Strong threads wrapped around the brush (long hair can also be included here, but they are much less delayed on the brush)
    • Down from old carpets (sooner or later, he gets stuck between the bristles of the brush)
    • Sticky mud (once my RC 3000 drove into a puddle of Movil , I did not follow it).
    • Large objects (for example, pieces of PVC tile or tile)

    Everything else, in principle, cleans up well. The general rule is this: the main thing is that the brush is clean, then the garbage will be removed from the main container by the base in the normal mode. Unfortunately, it is the brush that gets dirty first.

    In practice, approximately every two weeks I have to clean the robot manually. Without this, it is removed for a very short time (the container is full), more often being at the base than on the floor.

    Why, for all the shortcomings of the RC 3000 self-cleaning system, did I choose this particular model? Basically, for two reasons. Firstly, I would have to clean every day without a base (which is much more often than once every two weeks), and secondly, competitors' self-cleaning works even worse (I personally compared it with Deepoo D76, I read about Navibot-S).

    To illustrate, let us turn to the data obtained as a result of the previous experiment. After the cleaning was completed, a certain amount of garbage appeared in the robot: the

    Robot was admitted to the base, successfully loaded the garbage into it, but it was noticeably cleaner in the tank:

    However, after ten cleaning cycles (this is approximately eight to nine hours in normal mode), almost the entire contents of the robot container went to the database:

    Is it true that the RC 3000 is maintenance free?

    Not. This robot, like all similar devices, needs regular maintenance: cleaning the main brush of threads, hair, lines, wire, etc.

    Like other models, the RC 3000 needs to be cleaned: remove debris from it, wipe the case from the outside, monitor the cleanliness of the wheels, etc.

    Unlike, for example, iRobot products that do not have a base for unloading the robot, with regular use of the RC 3000, you will also need to service the base, for example, change bags in it.

    How long is one bag? Is it possible to save on bags?

    In conditions of quite severe pollution (old shedding carpets, bicycles, etc. - see description), one bag is filled in about 1.5 - 2.5 months. On the network there are terms from two weeks to six months.

    Where to install the base?

    Choosing the location of the base is very important for the RC 3000. The ratio of the time spent by the robot on cleaning / recharging and the likelihood of a successful parking (and hence the continuation of cleaning) depend on where you put it.

    The fact is that the robot in question does not have any means of orientation in space. He can neither "see the base on the map" nor "remember where he went and return back the same way." Instead of these (undoubtedly better) actions, the robot moves randomly in search of a base.

    To facilitate this task, the base sends an infrared beam. As soon as the robot crosses this beam, its actions become much more meaningful. It stops moving chaotically, is guided by the beam and moves to the base:

    The general rule of thumb for locating the base is as follows: position it in such a way that the robot

    will not be able to cross the beam: If you do not follow this advice, the robot will look for the base for a very long time (the probability that it will not find it at all is small enough, the energy supply in the batteries that the robot leaves for itself to search are very large, and sooner or later they can find the base in even the most inaccessible places).

    An exception to this rule is operation in a room with a simple layout (for example, in one large room). There, on the contrary, the beam should be directed so that the robot searches for it longer in the susceptibility mode (see the next paragraph), thereby increasing the cleaning time. However, since even “guest rooms” have several pronounced sections (entrance hall, room, bathroom), in practice it is better to use the rule formulated above.

    How long does the cleaning take?

    The robot has four cleaning duration modes:
    • Three hours;
    • Six o'clock;
    • Nine o'clock;
    • Endless cleaning (until the user stops or the device itself does not break);

    Modes are set on the base (and not on the robot, as in other models). If the cleaning time has expired, then after the next cleaning / recharging, the base will send a signal to the robot, and it will not go anywhere, staying next to the base:

    During operation, the RC 3000 acts as follows:
    • The robot removes the first twenty minutes after leaving the base anyway;
    • The second twenty minutes, the robot continues to clean, but becomes sensitive to base signals. If it crosses its beam, then the cleaning stops (the brush and turbine turn off), and the robot goes to the base;
    • If before the expiration of the second twenty minutes the robot has not yet been at the base, it enters the economical mode of energy consumption (the brush and turbine do not work) and begins to randomly move in search of the beam base. Once the beam is found, the robot tries to park at the base;
    • If at any of these stages the garbage container is full or the battery charge drops significantly, the robot will go to the base regardless of how long it has been there;
    • At the base, the robot spends 15 - 25 minutes.

    In practice, my RC 3000 takes about forty minutes, after which it spends about fifteen to twenty minutes at the base. Thus, during the absence of the average office worker at home, the robot will make 8-12 flights around the apartment.


    Despite all the shortcomings of the RC 3000, I am very pleased with this robot, and I consider it the best option for users who are more interested in the “vacuum” rather than the “robotic” component in robot vacuum cleaners.

    In general, this model is much closer to household appliances in the form in which we know it, and not to the Lego designer (like iRobot) or a toy for adult geeks (like Neato XV-11). We can say that this device is boring: there are no upgrade options, no remote control, no entertainment functions in it. This robot simply cleans your apartment (or office) every day, without requiring attention. In this regard, it is similar to Unix system daemons: it travels in the background, does not interact with the user, rarely requires maintenance, and does something useful.

    It seems to me that such and should be home-helpers robots - easy to use, minimal in design, reliable in operation. And the function of satisfying the needs for creativity and entertainment, in my opinion, is better to transfer to completely different devices.

    The following can be said about the effectiveness of robotic cleaning: the RC 3000 cleans worse than you. A person with a rag (vacuum cleaner, paragenerator, flamethrower, who likes more) will leave behind a much cleaner floor. RC 3000 will not move the cabinet, will not wipe the dust on the shelves, will not throw the dried flower out of the vase, will not restore order to the desktop.

    But he will collect dust and debris from the floor. When cleaning the robot (or changing the base bag), you will be surprised at how dirty you had.
    Under the spoiler - photos of garbage that may be unpleasant to you
    The robot is caught when returning to the base:

    After three weeks of operation:

    Package contents : By the

    way, I also thought that I had clean. “ Where does he find all this? ” Is a standard question that all (well, or almost all) newly-made owners of robotic vacuum cleaners ask themselves.

    The RC 3000 does just one thing, but it does it well. With him, there really is no need to take any actions to maintain a clean floor every day. And that I like him.


    • The official page of the RC 3000 on the site is available from the manufacturer.
    • Instruction manual RC 3000 is available on the manufacturer’s website
    • RobotReviews. Наиболее информативный, на мой взгляд ресурс, посвященный роботам-пылесосам. Рекомендую изучить и сайт, и форум;
    • Saubermänner: 24 Saugroboter von 200 bis 1150 Euro im Test. Тест алгоритмов движения различных роботов-пылесосов;
    • Robotsaldetalle.es. Один из лучших сайтов о роботах-пылесосах. Содержит большое количество видеозаписей тестов движения и эффективности различных моделей уборщиков. Основная ценность заключается в том, что все тесты проводятся в одних условиях по одной и той же методологии. Это позволяет корректно сравнивать различные модели роботов-пылесосов между собой.
    • Forum IXBT. The topic dedicated to iRobot Roomba in three parts ( 1 , 2 , 3 ) contains a lot of information about other models. His first review of the RC 3000 (with reference to the views of other users), I leave it the same.

    Ps Thank Nitatunarabe for helping me illustrate this article.

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