We always want what is best for us and those around us, and sometimes this includes buying expensive vacuum machines. But not just any kind, we are talking about the robotic ones that can, according to their advertisers – change the way we look at cleaning. It all sounds very impressive, but how do these tiny hoovers actually work? What makes them so special? Can we really trust them to tidy our houses? To find answers to these and more questions, we have turned to one of London’s best cleaning companies and asked the professionals to share their opinion.
1. What Is a Robot Vacuum Cleaner?
To put it simply – a robot cleaner is a “smart” vacuum that uses different sensors to navigate its way in your home and independently remove debris from your floors and carpeting. In the past 10 years, this piece of tech has improved as the newest models can empty their dust bags, return on their own to the charging stations and memorise the layout of your property. Usually, they have a circular or semi-circular shape that helps them reach thigh spaces and corners of the room.
2. How Do Robot Vacuums Work?
In order to work well, robot cleaners have to have two very important types of characteristics – the ones all conventional vacuums have and the “smart” ones.
The first group includes things like a powerful motor, manoeuvrable shape, rotating brushes, etc. Those are the mechanical parts almost all vacuum cleaners have. However, robots are different, and what makes them so great is the second type of characteristic. These machines are equipped with different kinds of sensors to help them navigate their way around the home, “memorise” layouts and avoid certain areas. Not all robots have the exact same ones, as some have more features than others. The newest models use artificial intelligence and deep learning and are becoming more elaborate each year.
3. What Can a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?
Depending on the brand and model, the robot vacuum cleaner can have many different features. Bear in mind the number of built-in functionalities directly corresponds with the price of the machine. Thus, the more you are willing to pay, the “smarter” your vacuum will be.
- Cliff Detection – This is the main reason why robot vacuums don’t fly down the stairs. Thanks to a set of sensors usually placed in the front part of your machine, it can detect the sudden lack of solid ground once at the edge of your staircase. This essential functionality prevents your robot from plunging onward and damaging itself in the process.
- Evading Obstacles – The robots are equipped with specialised sensors that detect different obstacles that are in their way. From a sleeping dog to a large sofa, the machine “knows” it needs to stop or circle them to avoid damage.
- WiFi Connectivity and Apps – Many models can be controlled using an app that you need to instal on your smartphone or tablet. Once the cleaner connects to your home WiFi network, you can easily “communicate” with it. You can set the cleaning schedule, view past cleaning history and receive notifications from the robot if there is a problem with the machine.
- Room mapping – During its first run, the robot will create a digital map of your floors. It will help the machine navigate its way around your furniture.
- Zoning – Once the map of your floors is ready, you can create different zones and set a cleaning schedule. Additionally, you can create No-go areas where your vacuum is not allowed to enter.
- LED display – This is a very convenient feature that lets you check the condition of your robot with one glance. You can see how full the battery and the dearth bag/container are, what program is running at the moment, the current time, etc.
- In-built mop – Not all robots have this feature. However, the ones that do – can not only vacuum your floors but can also wash them.
- Self-charging – When their battery is running low, some models will return to their docking stations on their own to recharge. This means you don’t have to search for them around the house and worry about whether or not they will have enough power to vacuum your floors.
- Self-cleaning – The “smartest” machines can detect when their canister is full and return to the docking station to unload. Some models can be completely independent for weeks at a time, as they can recharge and clean themselves without additional help.
- Voice over – Here is where it gets really futuristic, the advanced models can actually tell you what they are doing and give you voice reports.
- Video connection – Some models have in-build cameras that allow you to check on your property via the robot’s “eyes.” The machine can also send you pictures on its app.
4. What Are Pros and Cons of Having a Robot Vacuum?
As with everything, robot cleaners have their strong and weak points. Consider all of them and always make an informative decision. This is not a purchase that should be taken lightly, as the level of cleanliness of your home or workspace directly corresponds with your health.
4.1 Pros of Owning a Robot Vacuum Cleaner
To keep your house tidy and your family healthy, you regularly need to clean the floors and carpets. It may be easier than you think if you own a Roomba, for example. The London cleaning professionals revealed the following pros of these little helpers:
- Maintaining a strict cleaning routine. The majority of robotic vacuum machines are programmable, which is convenient for creating a regular schedule. You can plan when you need it to switch on and start vacuuming. Even if you are not home, your floors will be taken care of.
- Simple to use. Robotic cleaners are very low-maintenance. The newer models can be left on their own for long periods.
- Almost no noise pollution. Regular vacuum cleaners are extremely noisy, as even the expensive ones can be heard in the next room. In comparison, robots emit almost no working sounds. They are designed not to disrupt the normal household dynamic while silently doing their job.
- Time-saving. There are two major pluses when it comes to saving time. First, your floors and carpets will be vacuumed daily without your involvement. Secondly, and most importantly, according to our London experts, this regular maintenance will minimise the spring cleaning time. Since your little helpers deal with all the spills right away, there will be fewer stains on your floors and carpets to worry about.
- Small and compact. You no longer need to find a place to shove the big vacuum machine with all of its attachments. Your tiny robotic helper can fit into the drawer of your bedside table.
- You don’t have to break the bank. Altho the high-tech models are indeed expensive, nowadays, you can find pretty good machines for under £300.
4.2 Cons of Having a Robot Vacuum
Let’s look at things from another point of view and find out why not everything is perfect. There are some things you need to think about before purchasing an expensive robotic hoover.
- Everything they stumble upon is considered rubbish. You will lose the convenience of finding your earrings, bracelets, coins. Not to mention the robotic cleaner will suck in small toy pieces and basically everything that can fit into its suction. Meaning you need to carefully check the floors in every room before switching on the vacuum.
- Cleaning disadvantages. Robots are made to clean only flat surfaces, which is quite limiting when you think about it. They can’t vacuum stairs or go across raised thresholds. If your home is not robot-friendly, it will be a waste of money and time to purchase one.
- Bagged or bagless, you still need to clean them. You can’t avoid changing the dust bag or emptying the dirt container. And since robots don’t have a large capacity (max 1 L), you need to do that quite often. Even if your machine dumps its load at the docking station, you still need to physically clean the docking station.
- They are one-dimensional cleaners. With regular vacuum cleaners, you can use the different attachments to remove dirt and dust, not only from your floors but also from your upholstery, walls, ceilings. Robots can only clean the surface they are moving on, so in that sense are a little impractical.
- You have to pay for perfection. The more advanced a model is, the more expensive it can get. If you are dead set on purchasing the most intelligent, all-features included robot you need to prepare a minimum of £1000.
5. What Should You Look for When Buying a Robot Vacuum?
The topic of choosing the ideal machine and which are the most useful models is quite broad. With the help of our London cleaners, we have created an in-depth comparison of the best robot vacuums currently on the market. You can check out a list with over 10 different features and characteristics and pick the most suitable machine for your needs.
A robot vacuum can be a serious investment, and it’s not a purchase you can take lightly. Here are some of the things you need to consider when looking for your future robotic helper:
- In-built features – Take some time to research and make a list of all of the functionalities you want your robot to have. Then compare them with your budget and leave only the ones that you need.
- Bagged or bagless – There are two methods in storing the dirt – in containers or bags. This piece of information will help you choose which is the more suitable option for you.
- Shape and size – We already mentioned robots usually have a circular or semi-circular shape. However, there are also a few models that are in the form of squares and triangles. Moreover, not all robots weigh the same. Some are heavier, others can be easily picked up by a toddler. Consider carefully what suits you best.
- HEPA – The HEPA filtration system is very important as it helps cleanse the air surrounding the machine. Some models even come with a few spare filters, so you don’t have to purchase new ones, at least for the first year.
In conclusion, if you want to buy one of these smart self-sufficient gadgets – go for it. But keep in mind that they are not a universal cleaning solution. You will still have to do a lot of the chores. However, the majority of cleaning companies in London still advise you to do at least two professional deep-cleansing of your home a year. Leave the easy day-to-day work to the robots, but entrust the heavy lifting for the experienced professionals.