Before we get to the answer of how robot vacuum cleaners work, we all know vacuums suck. Literally. But when you add the word “robot” to it then it becomes a whole new product that customers are intrigued about. If you are reading this article then probably you are also not intrigued about the cleaning side of these vacuums but the robot side of them. The side that makes them zoom around in your house without bumping into your stuff. So what makes these clever pieces of engineering work?
All this wizardry is achieved through the use of sensors and on board cameras that help the robot vacuum cleaner find its place in your house. There are four major categories of sensors that are found in more or less all robot vacuum cleaners. These sensors include:
1. Cliff sensors
Have you ever set your robot vacuum cleaner to work on first floor of your house only to find the poor thing crash because it couldn’t sense the stair in time? This happened probably because your robot vacuum cleaner didn’t have cliff sensors that enabled it to detect stairs and ledges.
2. Obstacle sensors
This is where the real magic happens. The robot vacuum cleaner uses infrared rays or low frequency radio waves to alert its microprocessor of any obstacles in its path. Most robot vacuums gradually lower their speed as they approach any obstacle and then change their direction. These sensors also help the robot vacuum cleaner in mapping the layout of your home so it can efficiently navigate it way.
3. Wall sensors
These sensors help the robot vacuum cleaner recognize walls so it can clean along the edges without scuffing you floor boards. They can also help the vacuum cleaner in following open doorways.
4. Wheel sensors
Whenever the robot vacuum cleaner runs into any obstacle, the sensors in the wheels allow it to change direction so it does not bump into anything while cleaning. Wheel sensors also allow the robot vacuum cleaner to climb small ledges and bumps in your carpet and rungs without getting stuck.
Only having sensors does not make every robot vacuum cleaner an efficient one. It also needs sufficient processing capacity to make sense of the incoming information so that it can select the optimum route and clean effectively without running into any obstacles. Most of the best robot vacuum cleaners in the market now come with mapping abilities that allow the robot vacuum cleaner to map the layout of your home through sensors and on board cameras that take multiple pictures and combines them to determine the most effective route for cleaning.
Robot vacuum cleaners really shine when it comes to vacuuming under furniture where conventional vacuum cleaners cannot reach. Set your robot vacuum cleaner at work and watch as it scoops up all the dust and pet hair under your beds and sofas. They are equally effective on tiles, hardwood floors and carpets with small fibers.
Not everything is perfect in this world. Not even the robot vacuum cleaners. Despite all the intelligent sensors and mapping technologies, your robot vacuum cleaner still might get stuck sometimes while cleaning and call for help. On these rare occasions, we suggest you cut the poor thing some slack and manually set it right. Robot vacuum cleaners are especially targeted at people who spend a better part of their day at work and cannot deal with the hassle of conventional vacuuming. All they have to do is schedule a cleaning cycle via the accompanying app and come home to sparkling clean floors.
Don’t expect your robot vacuum cleaner to be the perfect alternative for your conventional vacuum cleaner. You still might need your regular vacuum cleaner for deep cleaning once or twice a month. Robot vacuum cleaners are good for routine cleaning of your carpets and floors but don’t expect a very thorough and deep clean from them because they are not designed for such tasks.
If you are interested in getting your hands on one of these amazing products, read our review of 10 best robot vacuum cleaners currently available in the market here. We hope our review will help you in making a more informed decisions based on your cleaning needs and your work constraints. The technology has certainly become more affordable and better optimized to provide you a satisfactory experience every time.