Thread Number: 37952  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Robot Vacuum Cleaners - Novelty or Useful Tool?
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Post# 404516   1/24/2019 at 13:52 (438 days old) by niclonnic (Pacific Northwest)        

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I have a Eufy RoboVac 30C Wi-Fi connected robotic vacuum cleaner that my dad got for free from the Amazon Vine review program a few months ago. It would've normally cost $250.

I thought a robot vacuum would be a gimmick, but once we got the RoboVac charged up and started using it, it was very fascinating to watch! Not only that, but it actually cleans. It runs around the downstairs and picks up pet hair off the laminate floors and area rugs. It also picks up dust under furniture such as the entertainment center which doesn't get cleaned very often. One neat thing is that the RoboVac can figure out how to break free if it gets stuck on something, such as the edge of a tall rug. It's persistent, and even tries to "learn" a room, boundaries and all.

I should talk about my cat's reaction to the RoboVac. She's a Bengal named LucyFurr, and she love to stalk it as it's running. Sometimes she reaches out to touch the top, but most of the time, she's intimidated by it and runs away. I'm hoping that someday she'll try to ride on the RoboVac, but I highly doubt that.

However, there are some small issues with the RoboVac. The dirt container is small, and thus fills up quickly, especially if you have pets. The brushroll on the bottom gets tangled VERY quickly, so be prepared to untangle it after every use. In addition, the vacuum can get tangled on loose cords on the floor, but there are cable ties included for that reason.

Overall, it's a really cool piece of technology, and I enjoy the concept, as it cuts down on manual labor. However, after a week or two, the wow factor of it wore off, and now it's a novelty that collects dust. I just went back to a regular old upright vacuum.

Now my dad is talking about selling this vacuum on Facebook Marketplace, since we don't use it anymore.

Do you think robot vacuum cleaners are a novelty or a useful tool?

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Post# 404525 , Reply# 1   1/24/2019 at 15:38 (438 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

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Good for touch up work but not a replacement for a full sized vacuum. They're great for those who want to keep a clean appearance but they're not meant to be used as your main vacuum, which, unfortunately, is what the average consumer will assume it's suppose to. My only real experience with one is with a Roomba 500 series I stopped using it due to it running into and spilling my cat's water dish constantly I tried creating barriers for it but it'd ram into them and knock them over. I'm not about to invest money into one of their virtual walls as for me it's a novelty and the floor is rarely clear enough to run it. As I seem to often be working on things.

Post# 404530 , Reply# 2   1/24/2019 at 16:11 (438 days old) by bryan1980 (Texas)        

With the way our German Shepherd sheds, we'd have to empty out the bin every 10 minutes!

Post# 404535 , Reply# 3   1/24/2019 at 16:55 (438 days old) by got2bjennyg (Brunswick, Ohio, USA)        
Beware the "pooptastrophe" potential

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There are a number of videos that happen to catch this event taking place..... and even one on how to clean the robotic vacuum after the fact.

Post# 404537 , Reply# 4   1/24/2019 at 17:01 (438 days old) by dysonman1 (Rolla, MO)        

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To me, they are a very expensive carpet sweeper. When they come with a hose and attachments for above the floor use, I might buy one.

Post# 404582 , Reply# 5   1/25/2019 at 13:22 (437 days old) by relhall ()        

Nothing's perfectly designed for everyone, but there are certainly those that love their robot vacs.

We service a bunch of them. All brands. People that love them will spend money on them regardless of their pitfalls. Others move on when realizing it's not for them. That is ok, too.

As previously stated, it is not for primary use. That said, I know a guy that lives by himself will all hard floors and no pets and it is the only vacuum he owns. When asked about above floor cleaning, he stated that the furniture was leather and everything else he can wipe... I suppose it works for him.

They are hella cool to watch as they run around figuring things out. The range available now means anyone can get one. Even the little cheap ones have their place.

Just another tool to add to the arsenal ... and there are some really cool ones out there now ... getting fancier every year.

If it's not working out for you/him I say get rid of it. Someone out there wants to watch it run around a few times, too.

Post# 404616 , Reply# 6   1/26/2019 at 01:59 (437 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Cleaning the Robot vacuum after the "poopotrastophy"--The owner "executed" the vacuum with his shotgun and bought a regular vacuum.This happened out here!

Post# 404632 , Reply# 7   1/26/2019 at 12:48 (436 days old) by S31463221 (Frenchburg, KY)        
Robot Vacuums

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I canít speak from personal experience, but I too have seen the videos of robot vacuums coating the whole house in roverís ďaccidentĒ. On a comical note, letís hope you donít have one of ďtheseĒ carved into your floor!

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Post# 404644 , Reply# 8   1/26/2019 at 15:31 (436 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        
Really depends on which one.

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In terms of whether it's a novelty or a tool?
I would say it definitely depends on the brand/Model and whether it has navigation and a vacuum motor to things that a lot of them don't have.

You have to remember that robotic things are from the electronic industry.
electronic industry has different standards they expect things last 2 years then be thrown away.
Then when you mix the vacuum industry generally the appliance industry idea that something should last and work properly for years to come.

What we've gotten for the most part are not appliances so let's not hold them to the appliance standard just yet.

I will say I think there are a great tool for daily maintenance! But never a replacement for a full-size plug-in vacuum.
However it is a replacement for a quick broom aka stick vacuums .
I've enjoyed having a robotic vacuum! I definitely say I've had my fill of repairs with my own personal unit.

A brief news interview years ago at an old place of employment.

Post# 404755 , Reply# 9   1/28/2019 at 17:12 (434 days old) by SubieGuy (Alabama)        

I am personally a big fan of robot vacuums for maintenance cleaning. I have a Neato Botvac D5 upstairs, and a Roomba i7+ with the self emptying clean base downstairs.

I run it 1-2x a day downstairs because our dog tracks in grass. I have hardwoods throughout the main level, and it picks all the dust and debris up just fine.

Post# 404848 , Reply# 10   1/30/2019 at 22:15 (432 days old) by myles_v (Fredericksburg, VA)        

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I've owned about a dozen robot vacuums throughout the years, they're really handy to have. I have two cats and a dog which all shed constantly. I currently use a Samsung Powerbot and I'm happy with it, but it isn't as methodical as the Neato that I used to have. I do believe the Samsung cleans better, however.

The worst robo vac that I've used was a Roomba. I've owned a few earlier ones that were acceptable at the time, but I recently tried one from the 800 series and it kept getting stuck within 10-15 minutes of starting a cleaning cycle, in areas that the Samsung and Neato have had absolutely zero issues with. The i7 looks good, I'd like it try it sometime. It would solve the biggest issue I have with the Samsung, which is that the dust bin fills up very quickly. It isn't so bad if I have it scheduled to run every single day, but skipping even one day means I'll have to stop it halfway through a cleaning cycle to empty it.

Post# 404952 , Reply# 11   2/2/2019 at 06:42 (429 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        

I had a couple of robotic vacs, the original Electrolux Trilobite, and the first model of Roomba.

Problems with the Roomba:
- very much a 'hasher and basher' of a machine - it kept bumping and knocking furniture.
- removed hair from carpet well, but the brushes clogged up requiring regular cleaning.
- the cheap plastic body allowed electrostatic attraction of dust.
- the bin and filter were rubbish.
- the separate infrared 'wall' beacon had been sitting on vinyl flooring for several months. When I went to pick it up, the rubber feet stuck to the floor and the force was sufficient to detach the two parts of the beacon bodyshell! The screws were all present, each surrounded by a column of plastic. The plastic was cheap and nasty and brittle.
- then the battery died/wouldn't hold a charge.

The Electrolux:
Supremely elegant, and generally much less hassle, but:
- once, a drive wheel error was detected. It never occurred again.
- the bumper sometimes flashed up an error. Unplugging and reseating the connector fixed that.
- the charger developed tarnish on its internal spring-loaded copper contacts. I had to take the charger apart to polish them.
- the agitator motor started playing up and finally a control microchip decided to burn itself out. I tried to replace the chip but the circuit board seemed to be of a multilayered internal conductor array. I had suspicions that the agitator motor might have caused the chip to blow.

Whilst the idea of a robot vac seems like a good idea, in practice they could be made a tad more robust, have more reliable electronics and motors, and have better programming.

Post# 404965 , Reply# 12   2/2/2019 at 14:24 (429 days old) by SubieGuy (Alabama)        

I donít think itís really fair to judge robot vacuums based on old technology. They have really changed in the most recent iterations. The previous Roombas for example IMO were junk, I would never have purchased one before the i7+ because they lacked suction and smart navigation. Now the Roomba i7+ has 17 CFM of auction and smart navigation. The best feature is that it auto empties the bin.

Post# 405002 , Reply# 13   2/3/2019 at 02:34 (429 days old) by dartman (Portland OR)        

We just recently bought a Deebot N78 from Woot as a experiment seeing how it was only 90 shipped. Very basic machine with just the rotating round brushes and the suction port with a soft rubber port edge. It isn't designed to do low carpets and doesn't have room mapping but it eventually gets most of the carpet here clean enough and does a really nice job on hard floors. It gets hung up on any cables or high floor edges or area carpets but it seems to run way over a hour when it's fully charged even on the carpet. It did a great job cleaning up the vinyl entry way our parrot drops all his food and treats on though it scares him silly so he has to go with me into the computer room if I use it on his area. I'm happy enough for the money I'll get the upgraded unit that has a actual actual carpet powered brush when a deal shows up on it someday. Yes it wont deep clean or get everything but it cleans the surface well enough to make it look good without breaking out one of my other power head vacs. If it gets stuck it beeps 3 times and stops till it gets resued. The better units map rooms and better scheduling and timer cleaning and all that. Mine is very quiet too which is nice as it can be randomly running around doing its thing and it doesn't interfere with talking, TV, music, etc.

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