There are distinctly two different Robot vacuum types, random & mapping.
Robotic vacuums are generally similar by their shape and size, they nearly always have a small vacuum motor and a spinning main brush ( similar to a power head brush that may be available for a conventional vacuum) and they usually have one or two spinning side brushes. They generally have two drive wheels & one free spinning wheel usually at the front. The cleaning ability of a robot vacuum cleaner comes down to the efficiency of the design of that combination of vacuum & brush systems. A Robot vacuum with virtually no suction power or poor design will still pick up some dust, as will a Robot vacuum with better suction power, though that does not mean they will be as good as one with a better total design.
Though suction power really only is a part of how the robotic vacuum performs, and no robot has high suction power anyway, it really is the quality of the total package that will give you the best results, and therefore it’s wise to not focus on one or two points. That said, one point you need to consider is that it runs on a battery, & that battery not only powers the vacuum motor, it has to also power drive wheels, main brush & side brushes, usually five or six motors in total. So it is important to look at the vacuum robot battery type, capacity, & cleaning time. Robot vacuums are usually bagless & only have small dustbins, the average size being 0.6 litre, but when used regularly is an adequate size and is easily emptied. If a Robot vacuum has a bin larger than 0.6 litres it should not really be a deciding factor. Robot vacuum cleaners have varying types and quality of filters, some being very basic, another area to consider. Noise levels also vary, the louder models do not necessarily have better suction, possibly just poorer design, but some quieter models have virtually no suction power, again you need to consider the whole package. Don’t just consider what the promotion material tells you, you should consider what it doesn’t tell you also.
Too often in the market today companies wanting to promote their models will make out that their models are as good as any, or people who have had no previous experience with robotic vacuums write reviews saying how they are impressed by the results because they see some dust in the bin.
Another consideration should be the way the robot cleaner navigates the area, and by that I mean not only the method of movement around a floor area, but also what you can expect from different types. There are two distinctly different Robot floor cleaner model types available on the market, what we will call “Random Path” models & “Mapped Path” models.
Random Path Robot vacuum cleaners were the original, or first type of Robotic vacuums, and still are the most common, even though they certainly are not all the same! The market is now being flooded with many cheap models from companies mostly from China, who do little or no R&D, that are mostly poor quality copies of earlier Roomba and other models. Random path means the Robot vacuum cleaner does not know where it has been or hasn’t been, and some are very erratic in their movement, hammering walls & furniture, turning maybe only 5 or so degrees only to impact the wall or furniture multiple times before finally moving on. Now, even for the best, by the nature of its randomness, if left to try to clean a whole home as an open maize the Robot may do a little here there and everywhere, not doing a thorough or completed job anywhere. This means a Random path model is best used in defined or set areas and for best results should not be expected to clean your whole home as one area. This is easily achieved by shutting doors to contain the robot to one area so as to let it concentrate on that area. For some models this can be done by what are deemed as ‘Virtual walls’ which need batteries regularly & have varying degrees of success.
A well-designed Random Path Robot with a well written algorithm should ideally, and for iClebo ‘Home’ is likely to cross the majority of the area it is set in more than once & from different directions (as long as it is confined in a set area, and not a very large area) (for iClebo ‘Home’ model up to 80 square metres is probably most ideal, though it can cope with larger areas) but for many other brands even a 60 square metre or smaller area may still see the machine going over one part of a room numerous times while missing other areas completely. If you read the real reviews between the glowing (we think mostly fake!) reviews you will find on various cheaper models, you will read complaints saying exactly that. That their cheap robot stays at one end of the room, never getting to the other end of the room at all, and that it continually gets stuck.
Mapped Path Robot vacuum cleaners are less common than random path Robot vacuum cleaners. They are a less hands on Robot vacuum that mostly use cameras along with various sensors to move methodically through the home from room to room. For a lot of people this is considered more acceptable as they can see that the Robot is covering their given area that they want to clean. This also makes them a more automatic vacuum cleaner able to go from room to room. But, a Mapped Path Robot though more Autonomous in its ability to move from room to room, may actually be slightly less efficient at cleaning, by the fact that it only does a single pass over most areas (think about how a lawn is mowed, row by row) This means that though more autonomous, the mapped Path method is really best suited to hard floors. Here we should mention that both iClebo ‘Arte’ & iClebo ‘Smart’ have the ability to be used as both Mapped Path and Random Path robotic vacuum cleaners, and also with the ‘Arte’ model having “Max mode” which means it will first complete a given area by mapped navigation, then continue cleaning randomly until its battery is low.
At the time of this writing other than iClebo ‘Smart’, & now iClebo ‘Arte’ there is only two other brands available ( officially sold ) in Australia which have camera based mapping technology, these brands are Samsung & LG which as you are probably aware are both Korean companies. We would like to point out that Yujin Robot, is a dedicated robotics company who have produced and sold Robotic Vacuums in the Korean market since 2005, and we dare say it was through their success in that market that brought LG & Samsung into this arena. Unlike Yujin Robot Company, who are well respected and recognized internationally within the robotics industry, Samsung & LG are not dedicated Robotics companies, and have only produced Robotic vacuums for a few years.
There are very few dedicated Robotics companies offering Robot vacuums, you should at least check where it is made, what battery type it has and how long it will clean. A $100 – $200 Robot vacuum will most likely only work for 30 – 40 minutes per charge (when new) which would only clean maybe 2 bedrooms if your lucky. We also don’t think you need to pay $1200 for a random path Roomba, or a mapped path Samsung or Lg.
A brand that is big on marketing is not necessarily big on results or quality.
For a truly impressive result take a look the impressive quality of Yujin Robot models.
Read below, it is one of our feedback letters..
I am interested in buying the Iclebo Arte. My business partner Olivia bought one in May, and we have decided we need one for the office too!
By the way, we already have an LG RoboKing robotic cleaner, and when Olivia got hers, she brought it to the office and we compared them. The iClebo was much better at getting over rugs, (Roboking usually gets stuck and gives up) iClebo was more thorough, and managed to find its way back to the charger. The Roboking just wanders aimlessly hoping to encounter the home charging base signal when its battery is low, and as the size of the house is large, Roboking usually fails to make it back!
Roger C. Burpengary Qld.
Yujin Robot models bought from outside of Australia have NO Australian Warranty! You will have to pay for parts, repairs & service.