While robot vacs perform well on hard floors, carpets are still a bit beyond their ability. They just don’t have the suction power to rival canister, upright or stick vacuums.
If you’re ready to welcome a robot into your home, here’s what to consider:
Navigation: Robot vacuums generally steer themselves by either
bumping into objects then randomly changing direction or by mapping
your house and moving methodically through it. They detect obstacles
using sensors on their sides and sometimes underneath (to detect
stairs). Some also come with virtual walls, which you can set up
using an app or external unit.
Docking: There are two reasons why a robot vacuum will return to its
charging base: it’s running out of battery or the dustbin is full.
Most (but not all) robot vacs automatically dock and recharge
themselves. Only some of the newest models can automatically empty
their dustbins while docked.
Programmable times: Most robot vacuums let you set when you want them
to clean (so you don’t have to hear them bumping into things while
you’re having a sleep-in).
Suction: They’re good on hard floors, but struggle to clean carpet
well, especially thick carpet.