Robot vacuum cleaners – not only sounds interesting but also to an extent raises certain eyebrows. A volley of questions is sure to pass your mind. Hence, to put an end to all the ambiguity read further to find out all that you need to know about robot vacuum cleaners.
First and foremost, yes something called a Robot Vacuum Cleaner does exist and it certainly vacuums! So this apprehension can be put aside, to begin with. It is smarter and more convenient than the stereotypical vacuum cleaners that we are familiar with. These vacuum cleaners are gifted with the ability to receive, retain and execute your commands, in the sense that you can feed in an instruction in the form of time and accordingly the vacuum cleaner will do the task on that particular time. After finishing the task it returns to its docking station and you can easily sit back and watch it do all the cleaning without having to supervise or run behind it. Whether hard floors or carpeted floors, a robot vacuum cleaner does it all.
Looks and Appearance
Usually, robot vacuum cleaners are round in shape measuring around 13-14 inches in diameter with approximately 4 to 5 inches tall. It is actually amazing how a machine with such small-scale dimensions can do wonders. Depending on the price of the equipment, the control panel, mostly placed on the top of the unit, may vary from having a simple on/off button to others containing multiple buttons and the costlier ones having a LCD screen. The front element of the unit has a sensory bumper, either spring operated or light touch, to detect obstacles like furniture, walls, staircase, etc. and then accordingly change its direction. More often than not, such vacuum cleaners have 3 wheels and either one or different types of brushes.
At the outset, start by placing the cleaner in an open area so that after it completes its task, the robot can return to its docking station without any navigation hassles. The main function of the docking station is to charge the batteries of the cleaner, therefore the starting and ending point of the cleaner is the station. Cleaners without a docking station are charged manually by an external charging point. As per the time and day schedule loaded in it, the robot will automatically move out of its station, complete the cleaning and return to its dock. In case the battery runs out in between, it will return to the station, recharge the batteries and head back to the point it had left its task and resume cleaning. Sounds magical, isn’t it!
There are mostly 4 to 5 cleaning modes in such cleaners, ranging from circular motions to zigzags, diagonal movements or following walls to get to the center of the room.
It seems pretty inconceivable how the robot finds its way back to the docking station without losing way. As a matter of fact, the docking station emits a sensory light beam which spreads to great distance in a V shape and the cleaner uses this beam to locate the station and head back.
Certain models come with an additional virtual wall or a lighthouse. A virtual wall is used to create a periphery within which the robot functions. The infrared light radiated from it is perceived by the sensors of the robot and consequently a change of direction, if necessary is automatically done. Similarly, lighthouses are used as a guiding factor to assist the robot in finding its docking station. In addition to the infrared light, it also emits a radio frequency, which increases the efficiency of the cleaner along with improving its navigation. These accessories can be purchased separately as well, if required.
While the robot can perform several functions, there are certainly a few that it can’t. Robot vacuum cleaners work best on levelled floors, at the most up to a slope of around 30 to 35 degrees inclination; more than that, there are chances you might see your magical cleaner toppling down. Secondly, you cannot use these machines to clean staircases. As much advanced as it is, this function is out of its realm. Lastly, the light sensors will not work in dark places; hence make sure you have sufficient lighting while the robot is performing its task in order to avoid collisions or other problems. Further, just to clarify, these cleaners can only vacuum and not wash your floors.
If you have read this article end to end, you now have a brief idea about robot vacuum cleaners and you can make the best use of this information to make your purchase.