Robotic sweepers may not have that strong suction or dust capacity than a standard household unit but they are indeed a convenient means of keeping your home spic and span when you don’t have time to attend to your chores. Some units also have apps which you can use to control them when away.
Different models perform differently. Some follow a methodical approach, some look like they are randomly moving around your house but are actually mapping the room using built-in cameras and smart sensor technology.
There are also some robovacs which have remote controls for you to direct to the exact spots from the comfort of your sofa. If you have pets at home, it’s better to specifically look for a robot vacuum for pet hair like bObsweep as they have brushes which the pet hair doesn’t get entangled in. Consequently, a robot vacuum for allergies is better for those with allergies.
Generally the more expensive units have a maximum of 6 modes for you to choose from, including auto mode, which you can program the robovac to sweep till its battery runs out. Turbo is usually the most powerful mode which picks up most dirt and dust while spot mode focuses and brushes a particular area.
Automatic vacs usually come with accessories like a virtual wall to block off unnecessary areas, and different brushes. The sweeper brushes stick from its sides to sweep and suck up dirt and dust while the brush bars are underneath and suck up dirt from floor surfaces.
So you have to decide what type of machine you want based on your priorities and it will dust your home while you tend to other work.
2.2 Price and Warranty
It’s better to buy a vacuum robot which has a warranty that covers defective parts, just in case if something goes wrong with the unit. Most of them have at least a one-year guarantee for the unit and 6-month warranty for the battery. There are also high-end units which offer 2 or 5 years protection.
The warranty covers defects caused by problems related to the product manufacture or material free of charge, but does not cover normal maintenance issues like replacement of brushes, filters and batteries. Different brands may also have different terms about shipping in its manufacturer warranty.
The prices of these machines vary based on it’s size, brand and features. They are generally divided as:
- Small countertop vacs are relatively cheap robot vacuums that cost under $20 but have minimal dusting and sweeping features.
- The small devices weigh less than 5 pounds but cost about $100. They however hold charge for a shorter time than their larger counterparts, and have to be frequently emptied.
- Standard-size units like iRobot’s Roomba series and iTouchless Automatic Intelligent Robotic Vacuum cost between $200 and $500 where the larger models can sweep carpets and tiled and hardwood floors.
There are various accessories and replacement parts which add to the cost of the devices. Some additional accessories you will need for periodic maintenance and use of your carpet sweeper are replacement batteries, power supplies and charging stations.
Replacement filters come in multi-packs are also a needed accessory. Some models use the slightly more expensive HEPA filter. Some models need strategically placed bumpers and protective strips around the room to help recognize obstacles and prevent scuffing.
There are additional accessories which provide other features like hacking tools for tech-savvy users and Bluetooth interface module which lets the Roomba communicate with Bluetooth enabled devices like cell phone and laptop. While it’s possible to hack the Roomba to play music, work as a mouse or add a camera, remember that doing this voids its warranty.