There are two types of people: those obsessed with cleaning their home and those who care about cleaning only when they are going to receive visitors. For the second group of people, an audacious group of innovators created the first vacuum cleaners. If you are one of them, this article will interest you.
Today there are many models of robovacs, whose prices range from $ 50 to $ 1800. The most popular model in the world is the legendary iRobot Roomba, which marked a cleaning revolution in the early 2000s. Let’s start reviewing these machines under the hood.
Just as we humans use our five senses to locate our place in the world, robovacs have a whole range of sensors to map their environment. The first thing they do when lighting up is to calculate the size of the room by sending an infrared signal that measures the distance between the robot and the wall of the room. Also, Roomba (to mention an example) includes several sensors in its upper and lower part, which serve to know better its surroundings and to detect when it hits an obstacle. If the sensors detect that the brushes can become entangled in cables or hairs, it stops them immediately and leads to a safe place.
Other machines use cameras to map the room and avoid obstacles. Also, they also have dirt detection functions that allow them to take notice of how much dirt the brushes receive and focus more on cleaning the dirtiest areas.
It is recommended that you don´t, as much as possible, leave objects lying on the floor with which your robovac could crash. The model starts spiraling through the entire area until it hits an obstacle, where it cleans its perimeter until it hits another obstacle and then continues to find a clear path. This process is repeated consecutively until the battery of the robot is over.
Also, several recent models include Wi-Fi connection, allowing you to program them from your smartphone or tablet with a simple application without any problem, even if you are thousands of miles from your home. Robovacs are part of the great invention we now call the “internet of things”.
The robot is composed of three essential devices: a rotating side brush, a stirrer and the vacuum cleaner. The brush rotates along the walls to lift the dirt and direct it to the area of the vacuum cleaner. For its part, the stirrer on the bottom of the robot consists of two brushes that turn in the opposite direction to capture dirt and other debris. Finally, the vacuum cleaner obviously takes care of vacuuming the dirt and dust, depositing them in the trash bag, which you have to empty at least once for cleaning.
In total, Roomba has five engines:
- One driving each wheel (total 2)
- One managing the vacuum
- One handing the rotating side brush
- One handling the agitator assembly
Robovacs work with a rechargeable NiMH battery, with an average capacity of 3 amp-hours. The mobility system consists mainly of two driven wheels with track. (read more about accessories here)
Should you buy one? If you hate cleaning and vacuuming, robovacs are definitely for you. Now, if your house is messy with many things on the floor, you better not use it, because you will spend more time ordering the floor than what you save in cleaning using robovac. You may still need to occasionally pass a traditional vacuum cleaner, but the robot will solve most of your problems. We still don´t enjoy the comfortable life of the Jetsons, but every day we are closer to reaching it.