Quick Reference Guide for 2018 Robot Vacuum Cleaners

Published on September 11, 2018

Quick Reference Guide for 2018 Robot Vacuum Cleaners

    Choosing a robot vacuum cleaner, I went through many sites and I want to leave a short summary of the basic parameters taking into account the results of several tests.

    1. Type of cleaning
    2. Navigation
    3. Manufacturers
    4. Control from a smartphone

    1. Type of cleaning : vacuum cleaner, polisher, vacuum cleaner with wet cleaning

    Most robots are vacuum cleaners, but with low engine power (up to 100 W compared to conventional vacuum cleaners from 1500 W). Therefore, almost all of them are equipped with a cylindrical rotating turbo-brush, which rakes garbage, helping a weak vacuum cleaner to suck it. There are models without such a brush, but they collect dust worse, especially on carpets, but the brush does not need to be cleaned. Also, the classic robot vacuum cleaner has a rotating antennae, which rake up large dust under the brush. There are models that refuse to antennae in favor of a wide brush, they more quickly process the same area, but it is more difficult for them to clean along the walls.

    There are robots polishers. They look similar, but do not absorb anything, but only drag a damp cloth (there is usually a wetting system). Not very popular due to the narrow scope of application (must be fairly clean and smooth floor). There are more sophisticated models with a complete washing system, but they are expensive, noisy and in general are not very common.

    Wet vacuum cleaning robots - a combination of the previous two. Did not see reviews that someone actively used wet cleaning. Manufacturers of the first echelon of such combines almost do not, but they are loved by the Chinese. There is a suspicion that the function is unsuitable for real life. But if you have a smooth floor, then a rag can additionally rub fine dust. If you want direct wet cleaning, check that the model provides not just fixing the cloth, but also a system for moistening it.

    2. Navigation : chaotic or with a map

    The simplest algorithm for the operation of a vacuum cleaner robot is as follows: I travel in a straight line until I meet an obstacle, then turn at an arbitrary angle, and travel further in a straight line. This provides a chaotic movement that allows you to somehow go around the room, but almost certainly there will be uncleaned zones along the wall, especially in the corners. To solve this problem in such vacuum cleaners they also add a perimeter bypass function. But in any case there will be places that the robot will travel around many times, and places that it will miss. The larger the room, the more acute the problem. A completely different approach: map the premises and methodically go around all the zones, remembering where it has already been removed. Thus, the cleaning time is significantly reduced and there are no uncovered zones (except for those that are physically inaccessible to the robot). Of course, in 2018 there were no more stupid robots left, who are wasting time on chaotic movements, I thought, and turned out to be wrong. Until now, most robots move erratically: almost all robots up to 20 m. (a huge number of cheap Chinese), but many robots are more expensive (including from first-tier brands, and even with the word smart in the name).

    Taking into account the development of technologies, it makes sense to overpay a little for building a map, than to get upset that the robot is stupid, vacuums for a long time, but still leaves uncleared zones. The map is especially important if you plan for it to clean the whole apartment, rather than a separate room.

    3. Manufacturers : famous brands and Chinese products

    iRobot (USA), Neato (USA), iClebo (Korea) - brands that specialize in the creation of robots. Judging by the tests, their top models really clean much better than the Chinese ones (while the layout is about the same). But even they have a wide variation in functions (for example, low-end models without building a map).

    Samsung, LG, Philips - well-known brands, make vacuum cleaners on average worse than specialized ones. And here, too, a large variation in models: some have negative reviews.

    Panda, Clever & Clean, Kitford, Ecovacs, XRobot, Genio, iBoto, GUTREND, UNIT, iLife and many others (including promising that they are from Japan, Europe or the USA) are Chinese with characteristic overpriced promises.

    Xiaomi is a separate category of Chinese. A very large brand (like Samsung, only Chinese), is doing everything that is possible at a fairly high level. Their vacuum cleaners are very popular for good quality and low price. The only drawback is that they are not officially shipped to Russia, which means there is no official guarantee, all the inscriptions are in Chinese (you can switch to English in the application), you need an adapter from a Chinese outlet. According to the tests, it is slightly inferior to the leaders in the quality of cleaning, but it costs 2 times less.

    So, if you want to be reliable and expensive - we take the older models from well-known manufacturers. If we want to save, then Xiaomi (not Light). If you want to save extremely, then three times to double-check promises manufacturers of Chinese vacuum cleaners, reading reviews, reviews, video tests.

    4. Control from a smartphone : the most interesting thing here.

    More and more vacuum cleaners have WiFi, which allows you to connect to them directly or through the cloud. Most manufacturers simply duplicate the usual dust control in the application (switching on work and switching modes), for example, through the cloud you can start cleaning while away from home. But you hardly want to do it all the time: there is a timer for this. Again, it can be configured through the application - it will be more comfortable than poking into a vacuum cleaner (even with the remote control).

    Separately, you can play in the vacuum cleaner, moving it like a machine on the remote control (rather useless, but fun). Next on this issue was the Panda i5, which also has a built-in video camera, offering to use a robot vacuum cleaner for video surveillance; the truth here is vacuuming badly.

    Well, for dessert, some manufacturers allow you to see the map of the premises and the trajectory. In addition to curiosity, it will help to better understand what items and furniture limit the cleaning area. At the moment, I found confirmed data on the Neato Botvac Connected, iRobot 9xx series, Xiaomi first and second generation (but not Light).
    Directly on the map Neato Botvac Connected D7 allows you to draw "virtual walls", limiting the cleaning area. Xiaomi (not Light) allows you to set a cleaning zone in the shape of a rectangle (or several) on the map. Separately for habr, I note that Xiaomi allows its vacuum cleaners to get into the brains, and there will be linux. So you can not only reflash to your desired language, but also go for deeper processing.

    Links

    Many tests and reviews on iXBT . True, they are testing vacuum cleaners on rice (rather large debris), in the case of sand the results can differ dramatically.
    Video test of top vacuum cleaners : good results for iClebo Omega, iRobot Roomba 980, Neato Botvac Connected
    Video testshows the variation between cheap and expensive models
    → An even shorter summary