Oct 1, 2020
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Robot Vacuum Cleaners: The Myths And The Facts

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You have probably heard different or even contradictory things about robot vacuum cleaners. Manufacturers, sales websites, dealers, customers, tech-savvy people, and others each bring their own experience and biases to the table. This might make things confusing for somebody who is looking to get more accurate information about robotic vacuums. 

Once being inexperienced users, we also had to get through the jungles of rumors and tough times of choosing the right device. That’s why, in this article, we have decided to explain some of the most popular myths and facts about automatic cleaners while trying to be as unbiased and informative as possible.

№ 1 Robot vacuum cleaners can forever replace your regular vacuum cleaners

The truth is: NO! at least not yet. There are many different models and brands of robotic cleaners in the market today. But as of yet, none of them has the capability to rid you of the hassle of vacuuming forever. 

That being said, many higher-end brands do a pretty good job of cleaning and can significantly reduce the frequency you need to clean your floors. This makes robot vacuum cleaners a very appealing product for people who prefer to vacuum as little as possible. One good advantage of robotic vacuums is that they keep your house or office clean on a daily basis. So even if you don’t decrease your vacuuming frequency (which is unlikely), you will still maintain a much cleaner house or office during the gap between each vacuuming.

№ 2 Robotic floor cleaners are just expensive toys

This is, at best, a biased judgment. While there are some cheaper robots in the market that don’t really do much, many budget robotic cleaners are truly designed to get their job done at a satisfactory level. 

Moreover, many current models that we know of really provide excellent results beyond the “satisfactory” term for quite affordable money. And in the case of more advanced top-level models, the difference is significant. 

In fact, many consumers who managed to afford only vacs with basic functions find life without their robot vacuum cleaners impossible after using them for a while. Let’s face it: who will go back to vacuuming manually once a robot does it even if it doesn’t do a perfect job of it?! 

№ 3 The robot will automatically find its docking station for charge-up

Many years ago, at the dawn of household robotics, robot vacuums couldn’t charge themselves. And there are still robotic vacuum cleaners that cannot boast of this capacity. 

However, many advanced and even budget vacuum robots come with the feature of self-charging, meaning that the robot can automatically find its charging station and go there to charge up when its battery runs out. 

While many vendors boast this convenient feature, the truth is that none of the existing models is capable of always finding its station. What most sellers hide from you is that your robot vacuum cleaner, as intelligent as it is, can still be pretty dumb. For smarter ones, you can count on your machine to find its station between 30%-75% of the time, which is still not too bad if you think about it. 

This percentage doesn’t only depend on your robot’s model, however; it also depends on the environment in which it is used. For example, if you have a maze-like apartment with multiple rooms and a bunch of furniture and stuff blocking the path, don’t expect your robot to maneuver around everything for 50 feet and get itself back to the charging station! But if you are going to use your robot to vacuum a couple of rooms without a lot of stuff lying on the floor, you are probably fine. 

№ 4 Robotic cleaners are very quiet

This is both true and false. Compared to a regular vacuum cleaner, this is definitely true. However, most people will probably be unable to fall sleep in the same room where their automatic cleaner is working. 

Aside from the noise of the machine, most robots keep bumping into the walls and furniture regularly and create an annoying collision sound. While more advanced models such as Deebot or Roomba use their lasers, cameras, and infrared sensors to avoid bumping into things, they are not always 100% successful. However, almost all Roomba models use collision sensors, which makes them capable of detecting an object before they bump into it. Taking all this into account, we can state that robot vacuum cleaners are still more silent than a regular vacuum or your laundry machine.

№ 5 All I need to do is to hit a button

Not always. Your robot can get stuck at times, and you will have to untangle it and set it back on. This is more frequent with less advanced models, so don’t expect to bring home a genius robot for $200. 

Again, how often your robot gets stuck depends on how many obstacles you place in front of it and how smart your robot is. Leaving loose items on the floor (like cords, socks, large napkins, etc.) is not a good idea if you have a robotic vacuum cleaner. Your robot can also get stuck in a loop and keep going in circles, not knowing how to free itself. That’s because all robots follow some kind of algorithm that might not always work with the layout of your furniture. 

However, the good news is that you will soon notice whether the furniture in your office or home creates a specific maze for your robot. Then, you can usually fix the problem with a very slight adjustment in the position (and without the need for the relocation) of your furniture. 

№ 6 The robot will make the floors spotless

A short answer is: your floor will be very clean but not spotless. Robot vacuum cleaners are definitely useful and convenient. But if you are a clean freak who mops and wipes every day, you might not be 100% satisfied with your robotic cleaner. 

Although the degree of efficiency depends on how advanced your machine is and what features it includes (i.e., sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, UV light, HEPA filter, etc.). You might still have to vacuum or mop once a week if you want shiny floors. For some people, what their robot does is quite sufficient, while for others, it might only decrease the frequency they need to do the hard work themselves. Almost all robots miss a few spots here and there, so if you are not OK with that, chances are you won’t be satisfied with your robot. 

It is important to be aware of the marketing techniques that sellers use concerning the area that the robot can “cover”. Covering and cleaning are two different things! The truth is that you can use most robots in places of any size with any number of rooms, the robot won’t stop working to complain that the area is too big. Often, coverage is nothing but a feel-good statistic. This really depends on the size of the rooms and what degree of cleaning you expect. In general, the smaller the area and the fewer the number of rooms, the better the cleaning result.

№ 7 My robot vacuum can clean hard-to-reach areas

This is true in many ways and is an awesome advantage. The fact is that most robots, due to their small size, can clean the parts of the room you usually can’t reach, like under the beds, cabinets, TV sets, etc. This can become really handy. However, if your robot gets stuck (let’s say under a king bed that is next to the wall), you will have some serious issue to deal with. This is when robots with remote control and virtual wall support become really handy as you can guide your robot out of the trap without having to reach it physically.

Conclusion

Sometimes, it can be difficult to separate true facts, myths, and marketing ploys. Our conclusion is that, despite inevitable drawbacks, robot vacuum cleaners still offer excellent and worry-free cleaning. They are perfect for everyday use, and some flagships have already come close to common vacuums in power. 

So, such an item will be a worthy investment anyway. Only choose wisely.

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