Vacuum cleaners Robotic [Mechanical engineering]

Vacuum cleaners Robotic

Do You Really Need a Robot Vacuum?

Robot Vacuum FailRobot vacuums are all the rage. These adorable little cleaning devices have captured the popular imagination like few other appliances, and it’s not hard to understand why.

From Rosie the robot maid to R2-D2, movies and TV shows have been selling us the dream of the personal robot assistant/ cleaner/homemaker for decades. And who wouldn’t want a device that promises to keep floors clean without any appreciable effort?

Don't throw out your regular vacuum just yet.

You might be wondering why "Should I get a robot vacuum?” is even a question. But before you drop the cash on a self-aware sweeper, be sure to ask yourself the following crucial questions:

1. Are you physically unable to vacuum your home?

For those with disabilities or those who are too frail to operate an upright or canister vacuum, a robot vacuum could be a real godsend. With minimal effort on the part of the occupant, robot vacuums can help keep dust and dirt in check and provide a greater level of independence in the home.

Light and easy to use, robot vacuums are a boon for the elderly.

2. Do you have wooden floors or low carpets?

Our tests have shown that robot vacuums work best on hard surfaces and shorter carpet lengths—anything less than an inch thick. High pile carpet is usually too thick for robot vacuums' tiny wheels to traverse. And every time your vacuum gets beached like a sad little robotic whale, you need to reset it. (Trust us, it's really annoying.)

Robot vacuums aren't known for their intelligence.

3. Do you need to “maintain”?

Robot vacuums have really come into their own as maintenance appliances. Think of them as support troops in the war on filth.

Having an iRobot or Miele vac programmed to give your floors a once-over every day makes a proper cleaning on the weekend that much easier. In fact, the simple truth of the matter is that robot vacuums are designed with this use in mind.

Cleaning got you climbing the walls with frustration? You might want to consider a robot vacuum.

4. Do you have a small apartment or studio?

Robot vacuums aren’t really built to handle large homes, and until iRobot develops an airborne Roomba, multi-story houses are a no-go. But if you live in a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, a robot vacuum can be a great way to keep your living space tidy.

Once you start adding additional rooms into the mix, the cost of running a robot vacuum begins to skyrocket. With the exception of the priciest Roombas, most robot vacuums can only effectively clean a single room. A Roomba can be set to clean additional rooms through the use of an iRobot Lighthouse (sold separately), which acts as a homing beacon, but the majority of robot vacs will get lost if they stray too far from home.

This long exposure perfectly demonstrates the cleaning path of your standard robot vacuum.

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