The year 2000 was meant to bring in a wave of technology, artificial intelligence, and robots which will make our lives easier. We were meant to be on hoverboards, talking to housekeeping robots, and making friends with robotic pets.
Not much of this happened, but one innovation that has been growing in public awareness recently is the robot vacuum cleaner.
These little guys can drive around your floors, sucking up all the grime it passes over, allowing you to do other chores…..or relax.
As with all emerging technology, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to research all the features these robots come with. Some robot vacuums can be controlled from your smartphone, and some come packaged with laser based sensors to help your robot navigate around furniture and obstacles.
Prices for robot vacuum cleaners vary from $50 to well over $1000. You need to decide whether you are wanting a novelty that may leave your floors dirty after vacuuming, or a super-sucker that will suck up all dirt and allergens from your carpet and the thickest of rugs.
The Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners Revealed
|iRobot Roomba 870||iRobot Roomba 650||ILIFE A4||Dyson|
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Firstly, a quick history of robot vacuums…
Robot vacuums were first seen commercially in 1996, when well known Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux released the Trilobite. It’s of little surprise that the innovative company Dyson built and demonstrated the DC06 robot vacuum cleaner soon after, in 2001. The Dyson attempt at a commercial robot vacuum cleaner was however not released to the market as the high price restricted mass uptake.
The first mainstream manufacturer was iRobot, who released the Roomba in 2002. The Roomba robot became so well known that later models, by different manufactures, were often referred to as Roombas despite not being manufactured, or endorsed, by iRobot. The popularity of the Roomba robot meant that by Christmas 2002 50,000 units were produced to meet the holiday demand, and major retailers such as Target and Kohl’s began stocking the Roomba.
Since the success of the Roomba, vacuum robots have been frequently seen in all good appliance stores, and are available online from all leading retailers, including Amazon and eBay.
What to think about when buying a vacuum robot.
No robot vacuums are yet at a level that will do a better job of cleaning than a human-driven alternative. There is always going to be nooks around your furniture that a robot can’t get to, or doesn’t detect.
If your house has stairs, you are going to have to move the vacuum to different levels in your house if you want a complete clean. Unless of course you find a great deal and get multiple robot vacuums to cover all areas of your house! The stairs, as you would expect, will have to be done manually with a handheld vacuum if you find they are gathering dust and grime.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners & Allergies
If you or anyone in your family has asthma or allergies, you may also want to consider an alternative that provides more sucking power, and gets right into the rugs and carpets and pulls all sorts of allergy-inducing material out. Jump on over our vacuum cleaners for asthma guide if this sounds like you!
Robot Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair
Not to be forgotten is the all-important pet hair score when it comes to measuring vacuum cleaners. Vacuum robots are smart, but still much dumber than humans. If you personally attempt to vacuum up cat hair, and it remains stuck to the carpet, you will no doubt go over it a few more times until you can see it has been successfully removed. If our robot friend goes over a bit of cat fur, and doesn’t pick it up because it is clinging too strongly to the carpet, he is just going to keep on going until he bumps into the next piece of furniture. For households with pets, this can become frustrating after a few weeks with a vacuum, and perhaps you should be reading our reviews of vacuum cleaners for pet hair!
To overcome the above problem, there are some models of robot vacuums that offer handheld controls, much like a remote control car! If you see your vacuum do a particularly poor job on a piece of flooring, you can always get the remote, and drive it back over to where it missed. Much like telling a naughty dog off! I have to wonder however, if you’re buying an automated vacuum cleaner to free up time, is it really convenient to have to second-guess all the work it does, then take over manually in the end?
— Aunt TT (@tt_boro) June 27, 2016
You will want to pick a model that automatically recharges itself when its batteries are low. Most robot vacuum cleaners come with a docking station, that plugs into the wall, where the vacuum lives when it’s not out and about cleaning your lounge or kitchen. Picking a good robot vacuum will mean when its batteries run low, it automatically navigated back to its home (docking station) and recharges itself, before heading back out and resuming its job. It can be quite entertaining to watch!
Finally, the size of small robot vacuums means if you have a particularly messy house you may be emptying the dirt canister quite frequently. Perhaps if you live on a farm, have messy kids, or just keep dropping your food over the floor, move on to our reviews of other types of vacuum cleaners!
If you are still looking for a robot vacuum cleaner, be sure to shop around before choosing a model. There are so many available in 2016 that it will make anyone’s head spin! Read our reviews, and ask us questions, and we will ensure you get the best bang for your buck!.