How a Robot Vacuum Can Improve Your Life
How do they clean?
The robo-vacuum first gets a lay of your home. Either through laser technology, sensors, cameras, or a combination of any of the above, it maps out the floor space, and makes sure to avoid any furniture — or it cleans under it if your items are high enough from the floor. Many newer models feature Wi-Fi connectivity, so users can trigger and track their vacuum from an app.
Suction levels vary from surface to surface. The machines adjust based on its floor surroundings, although most work best on hardwood floors. Sometimes, your vacuum may get caught on area rug, cords, or other obstructions.
Underneath, dirt gets sucked up via rubber roller and side brushes, which help get debris out of corners.
On short carpet, the vacuum is sufficient at picking up larger bits of debris and pet hair, though it doesn’t get as deep a clean as the traditional stand-up vacuum. Longer carpet fibers can get tangled in the rollers and brushes and can stall the cleaning cycle, which isn’t ideal for when it’s running while you’re away.
The vacuum will rove around your house until the cleaning cycle is complete, or until its charge runs low. Then, it’ll return to its charging dock, though some models may die mid–cleaning cycle without making it back to their homes.
Who are robot vacuums for?
People who live in apartments with hardwood floors would get the most utility out of these gadgets. Pet owners also stand to gain a lot from robot vacuums.
Some brands have models that pair with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Where do they excel?
These gadgets are great at preventing large messes from building up on hard surfaces. Just make sure the room is clear of any shoes, clothes, toys, and other clutter.
There’s an element of mindlessness when it comes to cleaning, too. Set them off and they’ll return to their docks when finished. Many models have a scheduling feature.
Where do they fall short?
Despite being an item to make your home smarter, these robots aren’t the most intelligent. Their mapping and navigation system technology sometimes gets a little wonky on dark floors, around various furniture setups, or the machine will get lost throughout the house, trapping itself in a closet or bedroom.
Frilly rugs and blankets, shoelaces, and extension cords can be debris fodder for robot vacuums, causing it to either get stuck or drag objects like lamps and shoes around a room. Longer carpeting also tends to challenge robot vacuums, since they can get caught on the fibers and don’t clean as deeply as upright vacuums or steam cleaners.
If you own pets that aren’t completely house trained, or prone to having accidents within your home, you may want to avoid a robot vacuum. Some robot vacuum owners have found that their robot vacuum will run over pet feces or urine on their floor and track the mess all over the house which can ruin carpets and the vacuum.
The shape of these things can be a little limiting. Because they’re designed to be compact, the dustbins fill rather quickly depending on the amount of hair or debris it sucks up. Their round shape can make corner-cleaning tricky, too.
A robot vacuum doesn’t replace an upright vacuum or a deep housecleaning, but it does help pick up things like food crumbs, cat litter, hair of all types, dust bunnies and every other dense particle we leave behind on the floors when we’re living in a house. They’re suited for office spaces, too, because the last thing you want to worry about when you’re on deadline is why the floor is covered in sprinkles. Many robot vacuums can be scheduled to run as often as once a day or several times a week, and some are available with companion apps. If you’re concerned about allergies or dust, you can also find models with built-in HEPA filters.