Most robot vacuums are able to automatically return to their station to recharge. They move into the rooms and change direction when they encounter an obstacle.
The latest models can detect steps, which prevents them from falling. Because of their small size (less than 10 cm in height), they can clean under furniture and under beds, in areas that are difficult to access if using conventional vacuum cleaners.
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Robot vacuum cleaners buying guide
The following points should be considered when choosing a robot vacuum cleaner.
1. Dimensions and weight:
You do not really have the choice of dimensions because almost all robot vacuums diameter discs are between 34 and 36 cm with a height of 8 to 11 cm. Because of their shape, it is hard to clean the corners of rooms (although some are equipped with side brushes for this).
If you want the robot vacuum cleans under your furniture, make sure it is still not too big and compare its size with the space available.
Weight is not the determining criterion because robot vacuums have a weight of between 3 and 4 kg, and you will not have to carry them or pull them as for a conventional vacuum cleaner.
2. Cleaning Efficiency
Robot vacuums clean the floor by using the combined action of one or more rotating brushes and a small suction (30 to 40W). The latest generations have more powerful aspirations, which are effective on carpets and rugs.
Some robot vacuum cleaners are equipped with HEPA filters or even UV lamps to eliminate allergens and ensure a high level of filtration.
3. Tank Capacity
The capacity of dust container is limited: between 0.25 to 0.6 L in general. The higher this value is, the more it will require you to empty it regularly. It is therefore very important to ensure that the maintenance is not difficult.
Choose a model with a dust container which can be removed and emptied easily.
Special “pets” versions of robot vacuums have a larger tank (up to 1 L) to store the collected hair.
Accessories are numerous according to the range of the robot vacuum cleaner.
One of the largest is the virtual walls that serve delineate areas of displacement. There are generally 1 (entry level) to 3 (high-end), and it is possible to buy more. Some brands offer more tape to fix the floor, playing the same role but are more difficult to move.
The remote control can be useful, it allows you to program and operate your vacuum without having to bend down.
Finally, the supply of filters and replacement brushes, extra batteries or cleaning tools are very significant.
5. Movement system
Most robot vacuums have a preprogrammed movement system: they roam the rooms, sometimes in a spiral trajectory, and change direction when they encounter an obstacle.
This is not very effective because it repasses several times in the same place.
Others (like Samsung Navibot or Neato XV) use a camera or a laser to record the dimensions of the room, and thus optimize their movements. Therefore, they clean more area with the same autonomy.
On most models, you can place “virtual walls” (from 1 to 3 general) that the robot vacuum cleaner will not cross: it is convenient if you want to limit the action of your robot vacuum to certain rooms.
Some virtual walls (lighthouse type) can be raised to As: This is useful if you want the vacuum cleaner cleans your house room by room and do not go back if unnecessary.
A robot vacuum cleaner is normally equipped with sensors that allow it to slow down when approaching obstacles and avoid damaging furniture and walls.
If you have stairs, it is highly recommended to take a robot vacuum cleaner can detect steps not to fall (although you can use a virtual wall for the same result).
Programmable robots vacuum cleaners can be set to clean your home at set times on certain days of the week, in your absence, for example.
For example, you can schedule them for cleaning from Monday to Friday at midday, and when you come home, you will find them on their base and will just have to empty it.
Some vacuums entry Robots allow a delayed start.
7. Sound level
The noise level is a point that should not be overlooked, especially if you intend to be present during vacuuming.
That said, almost all robot vacuums generate less than 70 dB, which places them at the same level as the silent vacuum sleds.