The dream of the hero from the film “The Adventures of Electronics”, who enthusiastically sang that “robots are injected, but not people” came true. Many people dream of a smart robot vacuum cleaner cleaning an apartment on their own. It is expensive, and there are many models offered in the shops - it’s hard to understand how they differ from one another. We hope that this material will help the buyer to figure out how to choose a good quality robot cleaner with the desired characteristics.
First, we’ll talk about the technical parameters of the nimble little cleaner - they determine how quickly and our future vacuum cleaner will work effectively. However, this can be said about any technical device. And now - specifics.
The prefix "robot" received this vacuum cleaner due to the fact that it performs all the cleaning work on its own, in accordance with a given program. Reaching to any obstacle or doorway, he deftly and carefully circling him. And when the cleaning is completed, the machine rushes to the base - to recharge. By the way, every decent device has a base - only unnamed Chinese models are deprived of it.
Large debris is cleaned by a vacuum cleaner with a special brush (which it has one or two). In order to reach hard-to-reach places (for example, near the furniture legs, in the corners, near the wall), he has small side brushes in stock.
1 - side brush; 2 - silicone brush; 3 - turbo brush; 4 - a container for dust.
In general, it is not so important what size all these devices have - the determining factor is what material they are made of. If it is of high quality, then the vacuum cleaner can easily be cleaned of such "problematic" garbage as threads, hair or wool.
1. The side brush sweeps up debris along the baseboards and in the corners of the room, then moves it under the main brushes.
2. The two main brushes rotate towards each other and pick up trash from the floor.
3. All collected debris is moved to the dust collector, and the filter retains small dust particles.
We mention again cheap Chinese models, the harvesting part of which was not very well made. This device has to be cleaned for a long time. And the optimally designed vacuum cleaner does not require a long fuss when cleaning it. In addition, he and the details change in one easy movement. And the models of the middle price category and business class are equipped with special brushes that are very convenient to use. The hair or threads that are wound onto them are removed in a few seconds - just press the button.
A small and compact robot vacuum cleaner does not suck the air in such a powerful way as its older brother, an ordinary vacuum cleaner. But he himself is guided in the room thanks to a special touch sensor, and can also perform cleaning according to a specific algorithm. This procedure is set by software, which each manufacturer has its own, patented. It determines the quality of cleaning, sometimes determining a significant difference in price for similar models of the same brand.
During the cleaning of the room, the robot vacuum cleaner can move along one of the standard trajectories: zigzag, spirals, diagonal, perimeter. Sensors tell the instrument when to change one motion algorithm to another. Note that during its random movement, the vacuum cleaner acts in accordance with certain rules. For example, he can clean the middle of the room "without fanaticism", but he cleans the corners of the garbage thoroughly and meticulously. There are models that regulate the force of suction depending on the cleanliness of the room. They themselves are able to choose the mode that will give the best results. Algorithms of action and movement of the vacuum cleaner are set using special software that is equipped with each robot vacuum cleaner. The quality of the vacuum cleaner depends on the quality of this software and the developments on which it is based. Therefore, each manufacturer tries to introduce their innovations and patent them.
You can consider the principle of operation of the robot vacuum cleaner, drawing a parallel between its device and a living organism. Then a variety of sensors can be compared with the senses. They send signals to the controller, which instructs the instrument to turn or go faster. If there are many sensors, the robot is perfectly oriented in any room.
A standard set of sensors includes the following types of sensors:
1. The collision sensors are hiding under the bumper . The bumper is made of rubber and covers the entire perimeter of the vacuum cleaner. If an object is in the immediate vicinity, the sensor signals this. The controller receives the signal and changes the direction of movement of the device.It will be the opposite of the activated sensor.
2. Touch sensors are infrared type . They are located around the perimeter, and their task is to prevent the robot vacuum cleaner from colliding with any large object. Their presence increases the maneuverability of the device, as well as reduces the time of cleaning. They work like this: the infrared beam created by a special radiator is reflected from objects, and then it goes to the receiver. When a large object is dangerously close to a vacuum cleaner, the reflection of an invisible ray occurs too quickly. The sensor instantly responds to this by sending a correction signal to the device’s “brain”. The trajectory of motion changes safely, and no collision occurs.
3. Drop sensors , which are located on the bottom of the vacuum cleaner, are also infrared. Their task is to inform in time that the height of the floor has changed. It helps a lot when you need to cross a threshold or not fall down from a high staircase.
These were the main types of sensors that are certainly present in each vacuum cleaner robot. Business class models that are equipped with a variety of convenient additional functions have an extended range of features.
In addition to the basic kit, they can have the following useful additions:
1. Ultrasonic sensors operate on the principle of echolocation. The emitter (now not infrared, but sound) transmits a high-frequency sound wave that a person does not feel. Reflected from the object, the wave returns to the receiver. Depending on the type of wave returned, the distance at which the object is located is estimated. Based on this, the robot can adjust its speed: where it is empty, it rolls faster, and where there is a lot of furniture, it is slower. Thanks to the ultrasonic device, the vacuum cleaner cleans the corners and the floor near the baseboards more thoroughly.
2. Pollution sensors help to choose the optimal cleaning mode and trajectory of movement. Depending on how clean the room is, the robot vacuum cleaner can move faster or slower, make cosmetic or general cleaning.
3. Laser sensors is a whole system of scanners, which with the help of lasers inspect the room, detailing its outline and sending it to the intellectual system. Due to the presence of such a terrain plan, the robot will be able to bypass obstacles in advance, and also not to get out carefully where there is enough clean.
Some more additional "chips", such as the front wheel speed sensor, are not so important. Their presence does not affect the efficiency of the device.
In order to freely ride around the house, inducing cleanliness, our vacuum cleaner needs an independent source of energy. To do this, it was equipped with an integrated battery, the main characteristic of which is capacity. The larger it is, the longer the device can work without requiring recharging. Accordingly, the larger area will be the harvested area. As an example, take a decent-sized room - 60 m 2 . The robot vacuum cleaner, working diligently and efficiently, will cope with it in two hours. But if its built-in battery lasts only an hour, you will have to interrupt the cleaning in the middle for recharging.
The robots of the premium segment are recharged "to the eyeballs" in just 20 minutes, and more inexpensive models require much more time - from 3 to 8 hours. And sometimes it can happen that an apartment consisting of two rooms is cleaned during the whole day. Perhaps for some it doesn’t matter, but for many people this slowness will not be to their liking. Therefore, it is preferable to purchase models with a large battery capacity.
Now let's talk about the charging method. It is very convenient when vacuum cleaning robots are supplied with the base - a special charging station. As soon as their powers are exhausted, they themselves look for this station, and then automatically recharge. Very little is required from the landlord of the apartment to be cleaned: put the unit in the center of the room and ask him the desired program. Well, and if necessary, throw garbage out of the container. The rest of the vacuum cleaner will do their own.
So that the robot does not get lost and can easily find the charging station, it constantly emits an infrared signal. Due to this, a small cleaner finds the right direction to his base, even from a remote corner of a large house. Some charging stations have a handy extra - a large garbage can into which to fit all the garbage collected.
Mopping floors of a robot vacuum cleaner in one of two ways:
Method 1. If there is a built-in container with water, the device makes a good wet cleaning absolutely independently.However, as with working with a conventional washing vacuum cleaner, you will have to periodically change the dirty water in the tank to clean.
Because of its autonomy and mobility, cleaning machines cannot be rigidly connected to a plumbing system, like a washing machine. Cleaning-type vacuum cleaning robots usually do not have an automatic recharge function, as you still have to change the water more often than you charge the battery.
Before cleaning the floor, the robot collects all large garbage from it. Then he carefully scrubs the floor covering with water. The third stage - cleaning dirty water. There is a special scraper for this, which supplies water to the suction device. The result pleases the housewives, and it is even more pleasant to use automation than rags and mops. However, not every floor covering is ready to withstand such treatment. In particular, a washing vacuum cleaner is not suitable for laminate and parquet (except waterproof marks), brushed wood and wooden flooring with open seams, porous stone tiles and long-pile carpets.
Method 2. This is how most vacuum cleaner robots work. In this case, a damp cloth is attached to the bottom of the device, with which the floor is wiped. Naturally, this piece of cloth requires periodic rinsing in clean water.
In general, it looks like a standard wet cleaning, just crawling with a wet rag instead of a contented hostess will be a hard-working and diligent robot vacuum cleaner.
The main features and principles of the design and operation of a vacuum cleaner we reviewed. But before we consider the criteria by which you can choose your robot vacuum cleaner, you need to debunk some myths and outline its possibilities.
Myth 1 . Do not think that the automatic assistant will take all the homework on their shoulders. After all, in the apartment there will be many places where he still can not penetrate. So be prepared for the fact that once every fortnight or three weeks you will need to arm yourself with an ordinary vacuum cleaner. The robot, of course, will keep the apartment clean by collecting rubbish and dust, but the owners will have to do a monthly general cleaning.
Myth 2 . Now one ticklish moment associated with cleaning the corners. Even the special form of the device does not help to clean them well. For example, square models from LG and Neato VX-21 are produced, however, they are not able to cope with the insidious dust in the corners of the room. Moreover, the Neato VX-21 also lacks side brushes, due to which untidy dust streaks remain along the wall. The LG side brushes are available, which distinguishes this model from the previous one. So it is better to choose a robot vacuum cleaner of the model where there are two side brushes. It is best if each such device consists of three or four small radius brushes.
Myth 3 . A large base-aspirator where the vacuum cleaner can scoop up the collected garbage is nothing more than an advertising ploy. Such models are produced by Samsung, Kerher, DeeBot, but it is not always convenient to use them. The base, equipped with a huge garbage can, becomes too cumbersome, and it has to look for a place for it. After all, it is also necessary to leave space on the side for free access of the robot. In addition, these models often use interchangeable bags, which are quite expensive. You have to buy them regularly - and these are extra expenses. And also during the unloading of garbage, he sometimes wakes up past, and you have to periodically clean the robot's parking place.
Myth 4 . Another marketing trick is to equip vacuum cleaners with a special UV lamp that can kill germs and bacteria. It is mostly Chinese manufacturers who “indulge” in this, and solid brands (such as, for example, Neato, iClebo, iRobot) do not put any UV lamps on. They do not want to deceive their customers, because there is absolutely no sense from such a lamp. These are all empty words, not confirmed by evidence - Chinese manufacturers have not even tried to check whether bacteria and microbes are destroyed by this device.
Myth 5 . During wet cleaning, the robot vacuum cleaner acts like a polisher, wiping the floor with a wet microfiber cloth. Spots, she, of course, will not remove, but the floor will wipe. For the safety of the consumer, there is no water supply in such a vacuum cleaner. But in high-quality devices (for example, in models of iClebo Pop and iClebo Arte) and the napkin has excellent quality. It does not dry for a long time - enough for all cleaning. Thanks to this fine dust is well removed. With such a vacuum cleaner allergic, sensitive to dust, lives much calmer.Perhaps the most successful wipe for wet cleaning of the model iClebo Arte, and unsuccessful - for many Chinese-made products (for example, Clever. Clean 112). Their presence is not felt at all.
Myth 6 . The fine filter and the HEPA filter perform the same function. Only the latter has a greater number of layers for filtering, and it has a more dense structure.
Pleasure is not cheap, and there is not always an urgent need for such a device.
A robot vacuum cleaner can really help you if:
If a person has never seen such devices before, then he may get lost when buying. He does not imagine which robot vacuum cleaner is better to choose, which functions to prefer, which characteristics to pay attention to in the first place. It turns out to be insufficient to have only a general idea of the principle of operation and design of the device. In addition, there are many nuances. A number of questions arise, to which there is no one to answer. Looking for an answer on the web, not everyone will be satisfied with the results - sometimes even there the information is not complete and useful. We will try to give a complete list of the main criteria for choosing a robot vacuum cleaner.
This is one of the main parameters, because using a low-power model designed for 40 m 2 you cannot remove a large mansion or apartment 100 m 2 . Usually the cleaning area is indicated in the technical passport. If you did not find it there, calculate it yourself: for this, subtract the number 10 from the time the vacuum cleaner runs (in minutes). The result will be the optimal area that this model will be able to master.
It would seem that this parameter should not be of paramount importance. But in reality it is not so - a helpless vacuum cleaner that constantly stumbles and sticks is a bad helper. Rather, it is necessary to help him himself, saving him from the troubles. The best performance in this regard, have a model iRobot Roomba, belonging to the 700th line. They neither dvuhsantimetrovy threshold is not an obstacle, nor the wires stretched across the floor. The iClebo vacuum cleaners are just as agile, and this favorably distinguishes them from cheap "Chinese", with which they can be cleaned by a confusion. However, their manufacturers try as much as possible not to advertise the poor maneuverability of their devices.
And this, of course, is not the main thing. However, for those who want to withdraw from participation in cleaning, the presence of such a function will be important. Setting up the program only once, you can relax or go about your business. And the robot itself will go to work according to the task, and at the end of the cleaning itself will return to its base. Such a function is usually present in all the "promoted" models of famous brands.
It is about softening the blow when colliding with any objects. In principle, not a single vacuum cleaner will overtake obstacles from acceleration - most of them have a spring-loaded bumper, softening a blow. Well, the "soft touch" is achieved by the proximity sensors, which give the command to slow down before an obstacle.And if you have antique vases or valuable furniture that you are experiencing on the floor, take a device with this function.
In addition, you can additionally insure yourself by purchasing a vacuum cleaner with a low weight - even if it accidentally collides with a valuable object, the blow will be very weak, almost imperceptible. Such, for example, are many iRobot and Neato models that weigh less than 4 kg. And the previously mentioned iClebo Arte vacuum cleaner weighs even less - only 2.8 kg.
And this is important - after all, with a volume of less than 0.3 l, the capacity for collecting dust will be disastrously quickly filled. And if you have a dog or cat, the dust will clog it instantly. Therefore, buy a robot vacuum cleaner with a volume of less than 0.3 liters. not recommended
However, if there are no pets, and the apartment is small (less than 50 m 2 ), then you can buy a model of 0.3 liters. With an area of up to 80 m 2 , half-liter dust collectors are suitable, and owners of more extensive premises should choose models whose waste container has a volume of from 0.5 to 1 liter.
All manufacturers of these devices in one voice declare the presence of HEPA filters. But not all of them are telling the truth - in fact, sometimes it turns out that instead there is a thin paper filter. Visually check the quality of the filtering system is impossible, so you should rely on the reliability of the brand. For example, there is no reason to trust that high-quality multi-layer filters are in the iClebo Arte and iRobot Roomba models.
In the box with the robot vacuum cleaner you can find various accessories and devices. This remote control, and spare brushes and filters, and motion limiters with coordinators. Which of them should certainly be present, and which ones can be completely dispensed with? Now find out.
1. The remote control is a stylish and useful thing, but it’s not included in the package. After all, a robot is not a television set, and it does not need to switch the program. He does everything himself, without outside intervention.
2. The motion limiter , which is beautifully called a virtual wall, is needed by those who need to create a restricted area for a vacuum cleaner. For example, this is the corner where the cat eats and its bowl of food stands. Or it could be a fragile aquarium, standing right on the floor. You can also put a limiter on the threshold of one of the rooms, if this time you decided not to remove it. It represents a magnetic tape that is glued to the floor.
3. Movement coordinators are already entire navigators capable of directing the vacuum cleaner in the right direction. There is nothing to glue on the floor.
In addition to the devices described above, vacuum cleaners are supplied with an adapter for recharging, spare brushes for sweeping, as well as various devices used for periodical cleaning the vacuum cleaner.
You should definitely focus on this - because you do not want a beautiful and expensive robot vacuum cleaner, after working for six months, die quietly. But this can happen with a nameless Chinese model acquired on the market. What is the service and warranty - hardly anyone wants to answer for such a product. However, some conscientious sellers agree to accept the defective product back (if the warranty period has not expired). However, practice shows that problems arise with this. No seller wants to bear the inevitable losses.
Therefore, thinking about which robot vacuum cleaner to choose, you need to find out if there are any official manufacturer service centers in Russia whose model you like. Make sure the warranty card is filled by the seller. Moreover, the ticket and user manual must be in Russian.
Now for consumables. It is desirable that your model they are available for sale. Whether it is not enough - the brush will break or the filter will fail. If they are easy to find, then problems will be solved quickly.
Officially, there are several well-known brands in the domestic market. Arrange them in order of popularity.
The American company iRobot is a leader in foreign markets and in ours. She began with the development of robots for the US military industry. Then, having oriented in time, the company began mass-producing household goods.
2. Yujin Robot
South Korean manufacturer Yujin Robot occupies the second position in the ranking. His models of robots iClebo have been very successful. Especially liked the consumers of iClebo Home and iClebo Smart. It should be noted that this company specializes in robots for industry. But feeling that the demand for household models would increase, she also developed vacuum cleaning robots.
Another US company is Neato Robotics. She developed only one model of the robot vacuum cleaner, which she called the XV-11. However, the appearance of the second model is just around the corner. The popular "trick" of this manufacturer is the incorporation of a laser rangefinder, which helps to build an accurate map of the cleaned room. Due to this, the vacuum cleaner XV-11 is being actively bought up.
Austrian company RobZone prefers to use an ordinary Chinese factory, where other vacuum cleaners of pure Chinese origin are made, to produce their products. The company managed to find its niche in the European market, having released in its time a number of models of vacuum cleaners that clean autonomously. Recently, an Austrian company appeared on the Russian market. RobZone Gold is considered the most demanded by its model.
5. Manufacturers who do not specialize in these products
There are also firms that have vacuum cleaning robots that are not the main products. They specialize in something else. For example, we can call the company Karcher (Robocleaner 3000 and 4000 models, developed in 2002), Samsung (NaviBot model), LG (Hom Bot model), Clatronic (BSR model).
6. Chinese manufacturers
Now, about the ubiquitous "Chinese". This is Deebot, Clever. Clean, Qwikk, xRobot, QQ-02, e-Robot Smarti, A320. The list can be continued for a long time. They are often sold on the discount services of the type of Group and Biglion enterprising gentlemen. They cost one and a half times cheaper than the same iRobot. As for their quality, there are a lot of controversial points here, some argue that it is quite acceptable.
Such devices cost from 130 to 250 $. In order for the price of a robot vacuum cleaner to be at this level, manufacturers have to save hard on literally everything. These are case materials, electronic filling, and brushes, and sensors. Therefore, such a device is poorly oriented in the apartment and is able to work without recharging for more than an hour. Cleaning it can not be programmed, and the build quality and plastic leaves much to be desired. Even additional features do not compensate for these disadvantages. However, a modest model for cleaning a small apartment can be found in this segment.
Their cost is from $ 250 to $ 700. They can be recognized for their high-quality assembly and durable plastic housing. They remove more efficiently than models from the budget segment, and have more functions. The advantage of such vacuum cleaners are the bulk garbage can and a good battery that allows you to clean up 2 hours without a break. A sufficient number of sensors makes it possible not to encounter obstacles by choosing the best route. Included is a base for charging, and the charging itself lasts for 3-4 hours. Cleaning can be programmed. Such a price, not so high, such a robot vacuum cleaner works at 100%. He is able to become a good help hostess.
They cost more than $ 700, and in function they do not differ much from the models of the middle class. But their work efficiency is higher: spending only 10 or 20 minutes on charging, such a vacuum cleaner is capable of extremely quickly removing a huge apartment or mansion. Therefore, those for whom it’s more important than money, but time, will surely be liked by elite models. They completely relieve the owners of the apartment from the hassle of cleaning it.
We think that a good help in choosing a robot vacuum cleaner, an understanding of all the principles of its operation and possible shortcomings will be given by a video that you can watch below.