The market today has a huge selection of models of robotic vacuum cleaners with different functionality and capabilities. This category is growing at a tremendous pace, because most consumers have already appreciated the convenience and opportunities that open up with the purchase of an «assistant». But for many Russians, robot vacuum cleaner household appliances are still new and not fully understood. What are their features and differences, and what to look for when buying?
Robot vacuum cleaner for dry and wet cleaning
Many robotic vacuum cleaners offer only dry cleaning – they sweep up dirt and dust with rotating brushes and then suck it into a removable container that needs to be cleaned after each use. However, if the robot is running in a heavily polluted room, it does not hurt to stop it in the process of cleaning and empty the container: this will increase the cleaning efficiency. The robot vacuum cleaner with wet cleaning is equipped with an additional water tank or cloth nozzle for wet cleaning, so the robot not only vacuums the floor, but also wipes it. This procedure does not completely replace wet cleaning of the floor, but it allows you to get rid of small dust particles and generally increase the overall level of cleanliness in the house.
All models have fine filters. The vacuum cleaner sucks in air and passes it through a system of filters that trap dust and dirt. The cleaning system has a direct impact on the quality of cleaning and the absence of re-contamination. In robotic vacuum cleaners, you can find both a coarse filter — an economical filter that traps larger dirt, but does not protect against dust emissions, and a HEPA filter — a multilayer, dense filter that traps the smallest dust particles. Nowadays, even very inexpensive models are almost always equipped with HEPA filters, so they are very significant when choosing a robot vacuum cleaner.
The dust intake port in many models of robotic vacuum cleaners is equipped with a rotating brush, which is designed to clean carpets and other shaggy surfaces. This brush needs to be cleaned after each use as it picks up a lot of hair and pet hair. As a rule, a vacuum cleaner without a turbo brush copes with cleaning dust on smooth surfaces just as well, but it can miss long hair and debris on the carpet.
In the case of a robotic device, this is not so important, since the principle of cleaning is different from the classic models of vacuum cleaners. However, robot vacuum cleaners from the lower and middle price segments have a small suction power — 1,200-1,500 Pa. This is quite enough to collect dust and fine dirt. More expensive models have a capacity of 2,100-2,500 Pa. This will allow you to clean the carpet with a small nap.
Dust container volume
If you live in a one-room apartment without pets, a device with a dust container with a capacity of about 0.3 liters will suffice. If your living area exceeds 40 sq. m. or have a pet, it is better to choose a gadget with a large dust container, up to 0.5 liters. For large areas, it is better to choose models with a tank capacity close to 1 liter, or be prepared to shake dust and dirt out of the device during cleaning.
Most robotic vacuum cleaners are round in shape. This prevents them from hitting various objects on the floor and avoids corners. The smaller the robot, the better it cleans in corners and under furniture. If it is important for you that the vacuum cleaner cleans under the bed, choose a model up to 8 cm high (this parameter is individual and depends on the height of the legs of your furniture).
Automatic vacuum cleaners, due to their low power, are much quieter than traditional vacuum cleaners. However, this does not mean that they clean quietly. More expensive models generate noise at an acceptable level of less than 60 dB. Values of 70 dB or more are already an unpleasant factor for households, so when choosing such a robot, it is best to program it to perform its actions when no one is at home.
Sensors and reaction to obstacles
Depending on the configuration of the room to be cleaned, the robot must respond appropriately to obstacles. Obviously, you need to overcome thresholds and other small hills: without this function, he will get stuck even in an ordinary apartment. Therefore, it will not be superfluous to measure the height of the thresholds in the house and check in the instructions before buying whether it exceeds the recommended values.
More advanced devices are equipped with various sensors, including laser and optical (they help the robot measure the distance to an obstacle and change direction in time), ultrasonic sensors will allow the device to easily pass under and out of furniture, detect open doors and proceed to cleaning next room. Finally, thanks to infrared sensors, the robot will not fall down the stairs and stop in time.
Summarizing, we can say that before buying it is important to formulate your tasks based on your requirements for the quality of cleaning and the features of the room. If you do not need any option, there is no point in overpaying for it. Choose a model according to your needs and wishes!