Tech corner

An introduction to robot vacuum cleaners


Hoovering can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you find it difficult to lug the vacuum cleaner around the house. Fortunately, over the last few years, technology has found new ways to make getting the carpet clean much easier and less hands-on with the invention of robot vacuum cleaners.

Deciding to buy a robot vacuum cleaner can be a huge investment to make, but if you’re after an easy and effort-free way to keep your house spick and span, then it’s unlikely you’ll regret the money you’ll spend on one of these handy little helpers. The only downside is that even the most expensive models can’t entirely compete with a regular hoover when it comes to suction and power, and they’re not clever enough to climb the stairs, but as long as you don’t expect them to perform miracles, robot vacuums are a brilliant way to get your house looking good as new for when the family come over to visit.


With the help of built-in cameras and sensors, these little robots can easily find their way around your home without being intrusive, meaning you won’t have to worry about them spending hours repeatedly bumping into your sofa. Some of the more expensive models even come equipped with different cleaning modes, and advanced features such as the ability to produce maps of the areas they've cleaned and how long they’ve spent on the task. This means the next time you set it down it will already have an idea of where to zoom off to.


Though most standard robot cleaners have a minimum battery life of 60 minutes, some of the more high-end models are able to last for up to two hours. They tend to come with their own charging dock and are even able to find their way back to it to top up their battery when it’s running low, so you don’t have to search around the house looking a sleeping robot.


The cheaper models of cleaners often have a random cleaning pattern, while the pricier ones are able to use sensors to plan their way around your home and come to a stop when they sense an obstacle. Fortunately, even the most basic type has a “cliff sensor” that ensures it won’t go tumbling down the stairs when you’ve set it to clean your bedroom.


When deciding which brand of robot vacuum cleaner will best suit your needs, there are two brush types you should consider. The more economical ones will come with spinning brushes, which move clockwise and anti-clockwise at the front of the body, and drag the dirt in. If you’re prepared to pay the extra cash, you’ll be able to get a cleaner with only one large rotating brush, making it easier for the vacuum to pick up any and all dirt. Models that have a wider brush are also preferable, as that gives the cleaner the ability to get right into the nooks, crannies and corners of your rooms.


And if you have a smart home device such as Alexa Echo or Google Home, there’s a good chance you can programme schedules or send the sucker off to work simply by giving verbal commands. What an incredible world we live in!

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