This is not a sponsored post, I am nowhere near the kind of blogger that even does sponsored posts, but this might read like one because our robotic vacuum cleaner is the ducks nuts!
The man and I have been pondering robotic vacuum cleaners for a couple of months. Are they all they’re cracked up to be? Surely they can’t be that good! Now that we have friends with babies who can crawl, I always feel worried about our floors covered in cat fur, and vacuuming every day is a chore (and I don’t do it so the guilt cycle continues). I thought if this thing is as good as they say then it could zip around every 2nd day, or even everyday! and I’d never have to worry….IF its as good as they say!
So while we were shopping for a coffee table on the weekend we had one of the sales assistants run us through how they work, what they can and can’t do etc. The first place we went to was hopeless, the sales assistant couldn’t tell us why one was $500 and why one was $1200, except ‘it has two sensors instead of one’ but then couldn’t explain what they did. We went somewhere else.
The next place we went to the assistant was much more knowledgable and said the market now was basically between two cleaners, the Samsung Navibot $1299 RRP and the LG Roboking $999 RRP. Interesting because the ones I’d heard of were Robomaid and iRobot Roomba! The thing about the Navibot is that it empties itself which is pretty awesome but the docking station was massive compared to the Roboking. And lets be honest, I’m already putting my feet up while it cleans my house – pretty sure I can empty it. Both systems return themselves to dock when they need charging.
We were much more impressed by the Roboking’s demonstration, it seemed a lot smoother around walls than the Navibot which seemed to bump into things a bit more. It was also the cheaper of the two. We ended up paying a considerable amount less than the ticketed price, so if you’re buying one of these from the big electrical retailers – they have plenty of room to move on price, we picked it up for about $120 less than the ticket price, which was still cheaper than the RRP.
I was still hesitant about whether it would be able to get into the carpeted bedrooms from the floorboards as there is that little metal cover to get over but as the sales assistant said, it was fine. The first time it tried to go into a room it almost seemed like it was going to get stuck, but then it went back and got in on the 2nd go, and since then its been straight in, no issues.
I also wondered if it would get into the bathroom and toilet as the lip from the floor to the tiles is bigger again, and yesterday it seemed like maybe it wouldn’t, but it was in there today – the only thing it didn’t like was leaving the bathroom as the ‘cliff detection’ obviously came on as it went to exit the room so it took a few goes for it to get back to the floorboards.
That brings me to the other thing we weren’t sure about…stairs. We have a wooden stairs which we were concerned such an expensive piece of technology might kill itself on, again sales assistant assured us it wouldn’t happen. Last night we watched, gripping each other in fear as ‘Dusty’ powered itself towards the stairs at full tilt, reaching them then just when we thought it was going over it darted backwards quite quickly. Almost gave me a heart attack – but yes, the cliff detection works perfectly.
So, to the bad things. There really isn’t much – but, pack up your cords off the floor, like phone chargers etc. It likes to eat them! Anything not heavy that can be moved, it will try and move e.g the clothes horse, my ugg boots, that pile of clothes the man leaves next to the bed.
Its also not as quiet as they make it out to be – I wouldn’t be able to have it running at night as it would keep me awake but during the day or evening would be fine, it is quiet – but not THAT quiet, like a humming noise in the background. The Roboking also talks. When I looked at reviews online before I bought it, I was almost put off because it says you can’t control the volume or make it stop talking. Which is true, but the only time we’ve heard it talk is when it starts (it says a very polite hello and reminds you to empty it when its finished) and then when its battery is low it tells you that its returning to dock to recharge.
The battery life is 100 minutes, today it did our kitchen, lounge room, hallway, bathroom, toilet and three bedrooms and then took itself off to recharge – and I’d say that might have been a bit over an hour – but it kept cleaning after telling me it was heading back to charge.
One thing I will say is, once you have moved anything edible to Dusty out of the way (like cords) just let it do its thing. If you watch it you will wonder what the hell its doing – it works, its awesome, just don’t question its methods, its kind of like the man watching me mow the lawn.
It has two settings, cell mode and zig zag mode. Cell mode divides rooms in a square (cell) and then cleans in a zig zag pattern within the cell. Zigzag cleans the whole room as one big cell in a zig zag. I can’t see much difference between the two, they both work great.
There is supposedly a learner mode as well, where you can tell it to avoid particular areas – I will be setting it up to avoid the cats food/water as I’m worried it might knock into the water container and then start sucking up water which is a no-no (another thing to watch for the bathroom – probably don’t run it after you’ve just gotten out of the shower!). It does have a ‘mop’ function where you attach a wipe sort of thing to the bottom, which would be useful on floorboards for picking up dust, but you can’t use that on water/really wet floors and definitely not on carpet.
There are long brushes on the sides of Dusty which means it does clean under things like coffee tables, couches, right along skirting boards because the brushes flick dust, dirt, cat biscuits etc out into its suction path. Its quite amazing watching it actually picking stuff up!
Below are two examples of what it picked up. The top photo is of what it picked up on the first 30 minutes of it zipping around with us just seeing how it worked and the second is its first full clean of the house. Amazing!….and disturbing. I also ran it today expecting it to not pick up much seeing we only ran it last night…and it has picked up the same amount as in the bottom photo which is super disturbing! Its got a HEPA filter in it, which I think is fancy code for ‘good for allergies’ as it stops the bad stuff escaping once its picked up.
The cats aren’t too freaked out either, they’re following it around although Schroddy is hissing at it. I can’t seem them riding it anytime soon though (see video below).
So, final verdict is: if you can afford one, get it. I know its going to save me a LOT of time and I already feel more relaxed about our house – its just so CLEAN!!! Am I lazy? A little I guess but mostly just busy and I know I’m going to be busier and its just one.less.thing. I also feel better about less cat hair about too.