I have been using a robot vacuum cleaner for exactly one year now, so decided to summarize my thoughts.
Generally I’m not a fan of all this ‘smart home’ stuff, definitely very far from being a fanboy by all standards.
But at the same time I’m a huge fan of automating everything, and thus was always interested in trying a robot vacuum cleaner. If anything, washing machine and a dishwasher already immensely help with other house chores, why not automate cleaning too?
Last year, my lovely wife gave me a ECOVACS T8 AIVI as a present for my birthday, and I’m happy to report that it exceeded my wildest expectations.
From hardware perspective it’s designed just like I would do it - LIDAR + camera. As one might reasonably expect, the combination works really well when software uses it properly.
And luckily for me as a user, the software is quite sophisticated and stable. It was able to correctly map (yes, robot vacuums now create virtual maps of the area they operate on) of both floors of the house, quickly identify the floor when placed there, and generally avoid all the obstacles like slippers or loose cables during the normal operations.
It is by no means perfect, and couple of times it still managed to get stuck on some cable, but couple of times over a period of one year is acceptable for me.
From my experience having a vacuum cleaner on schedule for 3 days a week really makes a huge difference in keeping the ground floor clean, and being able to schedule quick cleanup of the kitchen area after some messy cooking is just plain awesome.
The rest of the features are also well implemented, like reliable smart speaker integration or how well designed the cleaning of the vacuum itself is. Together, it all combines in a wonderful experience.
And since we got ourselves a
headache puppy, robot vacuum instantly moved from ’nice to have’ category to ’essentials’.
Given that the price of the unit was 400 EUR, and you can get slightly less advanced robots well under 200 EUR, I would definitely recommend getting one to pretty much everyone, unless you have a tiny or very cluttered space.
Of course it won’t replace a proper big powerful vacuum cleaner completely, but it saves so much time by reducing the frequency of vacuuming manually that for me getting it is a no-brainer now.
P.S. Speaking of classic vacuum cleaners - I’m a huge fan of Henry by Numatic. By far the best vacuum cleaner I used - very powerful, reliable, cute. After trying various makes and models, including battery-powered ones, Henry quickly became our favourite. We recently did a lot of DIY in our house, and Henry with all its might was indispensable in cleaning all the dust and debris.