Posted: 7 December 2018
If you’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to have your own personal robotic maid like on The Jetsons, you may want to give robot vacuums a try. Twenty percent of the world’s vacuum cleaners being sold worldwide are robotic models, and their technology has actually come a long way since the first iRobot Roomba was introduced in 2002.
The benefits of owning a robot vacuum cleaner depend upon the make and model, but in general here are the pros of owning one.
They Offer Convenience
Robot vacuums are great for anyone that dislikes the hassle of vacuuming as part of their cleaning routine. Instead of having to physically push a vacuum around a room they do the job for you, allowing you to relax or tend to other chores. In this way, they help save time and energy and offer a convenient way to help clear dust, debris, and animal hair from a room.
Many models are now programmable with a phone app which means you can actually set a cleaning schedule with your vacuum with just a few finger taps. Some also contain mapping technology so they can tell one room apart from another. They are also designed to return to their charging or docking station when their job is done to recharge their batteries.
They’re Small and Lightweight
The small size and weight of robot vacuum cleaners makes them easy to store and tote to other parts of the home. They take up very little space in a closet or other storage space and are convenient to carry to other rooms.
They’re also easy to empty and clean. Their smaller size does have some drawbacks; they cannot suck up as much debris as a regular-sized cleaner and need to be emptied more often. However, iRobot’s Roomba i7 model comes with a Clean Base automatic dirt disposal bin so the vacuum can actually empty itself.
They’re Quieter Than Traditional Vacuums
One of the downsides of using a traditional upright vacuum is their noise level. The average full-size vacuum cleaner puts out between 70 and 80 decibels.
By comparison, many robot vacuums have a noise level between 53 and 60 decibels. This makes them a great choice for people with babies and pets that may become disturbed or stressed out by the loud noise of a traditional vacuum. Their quieter noise may also help keep your stress levels down as well.
They’re Great For People With Limited Mobility
A robotic vacuum can help the elderly, those confined to a wheelchair, and other people with limited mobility tidy up more easily. While it can’t completely take the place of an upright vacuum, it can certainly help keep floors and carpeting relatively clean.
Many robot vacuum models are also programmable so they can be instructed to clean an area with just a phone app. They’re definitely one great way to make a home more senior-friendly.
They Can Sense Stairs
If you’re worried about your robotic vacuum tumbling off and down a flight of stairs, have no fear. Nearly all modern models have built-in “cliff detection” technology so that they automatically stop when they come to the edge of an elevated area.
Some models have also been designed to change direction and move away from cables, cords, and other obstacles that their rotating brushes could get tangled in.
This feature provides added convenience when using one as part of your regular cleaning routine.
They’re Getting Smarter
Robot vacuum technology is giving many models the ability to map out areas of a home, empty their own canisters, and even detect especially dirty areas that require more attention. Some newer models can also do double-duty as a mop on floor surfaces. They are a perfect example of a product that helps with home automation.
This technology is likely to become more enhanced to meet the growing needs of consumers. It will be exciting to see what the next few years bring to robot vacuum models!
The Downsides of Using a Robot Vacuum
Before you run out and buy a robot vacuum, you should know that there are some disadvantages of owning one.
For starters, these vacuums cannot get into corners and all of the nooks and crannies of a room like a traditional vacuum cleaner with an attachment can. Nor can they vacuum steps or go vertical. They cannot reach the ceiling, where a lot of cobwebs tend to lurk.
They can also get jammed underneath low furniture and many are designed to power down or alert you to assist them. While many are designed to be gentle on hardwood floors, some models may leave nicks or scrapes in wooden furniture and doors.
Because their dustbin is on the smaller side, they also cannot do an in-depth vacuum job as an upright vacuum can. Then there’s the matter of recharging the batteries. Most models will run for about 90 minutes on a charge before they need to be juiced up again.
To determine if a robot vacuum is good for you and your cleaning needs, do your research. Today’s models vary in price and features, and it’s not uncommon for two models from the same manufacturer to show a jump in price but not much difference in features. The Roomba 980 vs Roomba 960 robot vacuums from iRobot are a perfect example of this.
As great as they are, robot vacuums cannot fully take the place of human-operated vacuum cleaners, at least not yet.
Is a Robot Vacuum Right For You?
As you can see, a robot vacuum offers a lot of benefits. They help make cleaning a snap, are quieter than upright vacuums, and are easy to store. With some research, you’re sure to find a model that is just right for your budget and cleaning needs.
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