When Electrolux brought out the prototype of its robotic vacuum, it changed the way that people had been vacuuming. Your floors could now be cleaned by a robot while you watched TV or were at work. This was a level of convenience that you could never get from your traditional vacuum, but can these robotic vacuums replace the traditional ones?
How The Robot Vacuum Works
The design of the robot vacuum is actually fairly simple. They will generally be circular in shape with some coming in a D-shape. Housed inside the device are a battery, motor, and microprocessor. The battery will be rechargeable and provides the power for the motor.
The motor will then drive the wheels and provide the suction that the vacuum needs to clean. The side brush and other brushes will also be powered by the motor. Some robot vacuums come with a roller brush underneath and some work on just suction.
To navigate the room, the robot vacuums will either use low-frequency radio waves or infrared beams. These devices will send signals to the microprocessor in the vacuum telling it where the obstacles and hazards in the room are. There are some robot vacuums that will map out the room and then let you track and control the vacuum using your phone. There are others that will come with a remote that you can use while the cheapest models will have onboard controls only.
Where Do These Robots Work The Best?
To determine if you can replace your normal vacuum cleaner with a robot one, you need to know where these vacuums work the best. You will not be able to send these vacuums into a cluttered living room or your child’s room that is strewn with toys. These vacuums will work best when they are cleaning a clutter-free area. This of course is important with both types of vacuum although with a standard vacuum you are there to do the picking up as you go.
Threads and wires will often wrap around the wheels of the vacuum and this can cause it to malfunction. Large debris, as well as paper scraps, will clog the suction outlet and you need to be aware of this. Curtains and sheet have the tendency to cause the vacuum to become stuck and it will not be able to move on or go back to recharge.
The best place to use these vacuums will be clutter-free rooms with low-pile carpet or hard flooring although the top rated robot vacuums have more powerful suction and can handle deeper pile carpets. If you have tile, wood or linoleum flooring, you will see these vacuums really shine. The reason for this is the fact that these floors will allow the vacuum to move easily and to clear the debris effectively.
These vacuums are also ideal for cleaning under furniture because of their low height. Of course, you will need to check the height of the vacuum as some will be too high to fit under certain pieces of furniture. You also need to consider that there could be debris beneath your furniture that causes problems for the vacuum.
Where These Vacuums Lack In Performance
While using these vacuums can seem like the best idea, there are certain situations where they will not perform at their best. If your home is full of these types of areas and situations, a robot vacuum will not be able to replace your traditional one unless you invest in the latest versions with more power. If you have a lot of plush carpeting in your home, it can be a problem with your robot vacuum as some do not handle this very well.
The wheels on the robot vacuum can be smaller than the traditional vacuum. This means that they can get tangled and hung up on long fibers which are common with plush carpeting. The thick pile will also cause the vacuum to work harder which means that the suction will be strained. This lowers the power of the vacuum and could leave behind dirt within the carpet that a traditional vacuum will be able to pick up.
The battery will also be drained faster when you have this carpeting. This means that your vacuum could be sitting on the charger more often than it is cleaning, so looking for a robot vacuum with a long running time would be a more optimal choice. In general, it will take a robot vacuum longer to clean a plush carpet when compared to a low or medium-pile carpet.
Who Should Be Using A Robot Vacuum?
Robot vacuums will be able to enhance your life if you are the right person to have them. It is important to remember that some people will benefit from robot vacuums more than others. The people who benefit the most will be those who spend a lot of time out of their house. If you are working a 60-hour week or constantly on the move, these vacuums will save you a lot of time.
If you have a large family or own pets, you will also get a lot of use out of the robot vacuum. Pets will shed all over your home and will often leave kibble on the floor. The robot vacuum will save you time as you will not have to constantly clean this up personally, just program you vacuum to clean on a daily basis. Additionally, your children will often track dirt into your home and your robot vacuum can take care of this.
If you have mobility issues, a robot vacuum can also be very helpful. It will take away the burden and pain that often comes with pushing the heavy traditional vacuum. If your physical strength is not what it used to be, a robot vacuum can be a lot of help.
Can They Replace A Traditional Vacuum?
The answer to this question is yes and no. It is possible to replace your normal vacuum with a robot one if you have the right house. If you have hard flooring and keep your home clutter-free, a robot vacuum can keep it spotless for you.
However, if you have a lot of thick carpeting or a large number of obstacles, you might feel that a normal vacuum will clean better than a robot one. These robot vacuums can have a hard time cleaning your carpeted home and might need to recharge more often. There are a lot of traditional vacuums that are better equipped to handle your carpeted home but you also have to use them manually so you will give up the time saving element.