What does a robot vacuum cleaner do? It’s a question that may have popped into your head as soon as you learnt about these little devices. Below we are going to take a whizz through what a robot vacuum cleaner is typically capable of doing.
From seemingly nowhere robot vacuum cleaners have gone from being a cool tech gadget for those brave enough to spend the money to now being widely considered as an excellent way to reduce work around the home. There are many different types of brands available and the prices which once may have been considered prohibitive have also spread with many highly rated budget options available on the market.
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What Does A Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?
So, what does a robot vacuum cleaner do? We’re going to take a look at 10 things that a robot vacuum cleaner can typically do.
Note these 10 things we identify below do not necessarily apply to all vacuum cleaners however, this should hopefully give you a sense of what kind of features are available with vacuum cleaners when considering what you might want or need. When searching for your own robot vacuum, be sure to check that it has the features you want or need.
#1 – Vacuum Your Hard Floors
The first thing to note that robot vacuum cleaners can do is vacuum your hard floors. Typically robot vacuum cleaners are most adept at picking up dust, dirt, and debris on hard floors. This is usually done with some side brushes as well as the main brush in the middle of the unit backed up of course by the vacuum suction itself.
Usually, robot vacuums will need larger items collected off the floor before they can get to work, similar to cordless stick vacuums and most regular vacuums though typically they’ll not be able to handle the same size of the item.
#2 – Vacuum Your Carpets
As well as vacuuming your hard floors, robot vacuums can often also handle low and medium-pile carpets. This is definitely something to pay close attention to if you are in the market for a robot vacuum as some are specifically designed for hard floors rather than carpets.
There are some units on the market that are designed to automatically bost their suction power when they detect they’ve moved from a hard floor to a carpet to make their cleaning more effective.
#3 – Some Can Mop
In addition to carrying out the task of vacuuming floors, there are some robot vacuums that can also do a decent job of mopping your hard floors.
These robot vacuums typically come equipped with water tanks that can be used to house the appropriate solution to wipe down surfaces as well as vacuum them.
Though many users often note that the mopping function is more of a wiping feature than a traditional mop, they do often state that it does make a difference to the appearance of their floors even if it doesn’t completely do away with the need to mop manually. As can often be the case with robot vacuums according to many users, those with a mopping feature help to reduce the overall effort you would need to put into the task.
#4 – Automatically Schedule Cleaning
Something that robot vacuum cleaners do that could make a real difference to many in terms of time saved is the fact many can be set to automatically clean to a schedule. This may be for example once a day at a particular time where the robot will go around the designated room to clean up and then return to its charging station when it’s done.
This is usually at any time of your choosing so whilst you are busy doing something else or just sleeping, the robot vacuum could be taking care of cleaning your floors for you.
#5 – Clean Via Different Modes
A useful thing that a lot of robot vacuums can do is clean your floors via different cleaning modes. For example many have an “auto” cleaning mode which will set off around a given room and clean as it sees fit, adjusting the suction as required in some cases between hard floor and carpet.
Another typical cleaning mode may be one designed to focus on edges e.g. the skirting boards/walls of a given room to make sure they are cleaned sufficiently.
A mode suitable for taking care of a particular area e.g. spilt flour in one spot is also a common feature. This “spot” cleaning mode will typically see a robot vacuum go around a particular area in concentric circles with the radius getting bigger each time as it attempts to clear up a quick mess.
#6 – Automatically Re-Charge
Robot vacuums are typically powered by a battery unit and will have a charging station to juice them up.
Whilst some units will need you to manually return them to their docking station with a remote control or by pressing a button on the robot, there are many that will automatically return to their base when their battery power gets to a certain level. Once they are done some have the ability to go back to what they were doing and recall what’s already been cleaned to avoid having to start over again.
With most robot vacuums you have the option to call them back to their charging station whenever you deem it necessary usually via a remote, on a smartphone app or via the unit itself.
#7 – Automatically Empty Its Own Dust Bin
In addition to automatically returning to their charging station, there is a particular type of robot vacuum that can actually empty its own dust bin.
Most robot vacuums have a dust bin capacity of around 0.4 to 0.7litres. Whilst this can compare to cordless stick vacuums at the high end, it does typically mean that most need to be emptied out after every clean to keep them at their best.
If this sounds too tedious then there is one particular model, the iRobot Roomba i7+, that we are aware of that will do this job for you and empty its bin into a much larger dust bin at its charging station. Once it is done with a clean it will automatically return to its base and then hook itself up to the larger dust bin. A vacuum will then run and collect the dust and debris from the robot bin into the larger container.
#8 – Be Controlled Via A Smartphone App
One of the perhaps coolest things about robot vacuums is that some of them can be controlled via your smartphone and an app.
These typically give you the option of setting a cleaning schedule as well as being able to locate the robot vacuum and find out what it’s up to.
For those that can be operated with a smartphone, it typically opens up more options for the user including in some instances being able to control the robot vacuum when you are outside the home.
#9 – Be Activated Via Google Home and Amazon Alexa
Another cool control function for some robot vacuums is the ability to activate them using Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
In addition to setting them off on a cleaning task using a smartphone or remote control, there are some that be voice-activated as well using these home assistants.
#10 – Map Your Home
At the higher end of the market, there are many robot vacuum cleaners that have the ability to create maps of your home. This then allows them to clean in a more efficient manner as they can know which areas have been covered.
This differs from robot vacuums which do not have a mapping feature where you’ll typically often see users note that some can end up cleaning in random patterns and sometimes repeat areas as they do not know which sections have already been cleaned.
Though mapping usually means the robot vacuum costs more, it can often mean the robot vacuum ends up doing the job of cleaning faster.
Conclusion: What Does A Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?
So, what does a robot vacuum cleaner do? As we’ve seen there are many things that a robot vacuum cleaner can potentially do that could make your life a bit easier when it comes to domestic chores. Keep in mind that not all robot vacuum cleaners will be able to do everything and they’re certainly not all the same. When looking for a robot vacuum cleaner be clear on what is important to you and keep a look out for those features.