All You Need to Know about Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

Since the invention of robotic technology, more and more companies are adopting this technology. Robots use high-tech systems to perform tasks that can be done by man. They are engineered with intelligent programming to enable them make critical decisions that are necessary for them to perform specific duties. Among the many types of equipment that have adopted robotic technology are robotic vacuum cleaners. Robotic vacuum cleaners are known to be the beasts of cleaning. Whether you want to get rid of dirty pool water or cleaning a room full of dust mites, robotic vacuum cleaners will do the work.

What are Robotic Vacuum Cleaners?

As the name suggests, robotic cleaners are vacuum cleaners that have been engineered with robotic intelligent programming. This programming may be in different form and now determines the type of robotic vacuum cleaner it will be. There are those that combine spinning brushes, sophisticated vacuuming technology, intelligent mopping systems or even UV sterilization.

The History and Evolution of Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

The first robotic vacuum cleaner was the Electrolux Trilobite which was built by Electrolux; a renowned Swedish manufacturer of professional household appliances. By 1996, the Trilobite was among the high-tech products featured in Tomorrow’s World, a popular science program aired on BBC.

By 2001, another company from Britain had engineered a new vacuum cleaner called the Dyson DC06. It was pitched successfully and was poised to be the game changer. Unfortunately, that was the end of it. It was not produced for the market because it would retail at exorbitant prices.

The Roomba Revolution

The following year, the revolutionary Roomba was introduced by iRobot. Initially, iRobot was skeptical about the whole project and manufactured only 15,000 units and later 10,000 units. It immediately became a hit, and by Christmas, they had to produce 50,000 more units to meet the demand caused by the festive frenzy. After this cordial welcome, over 4,000 retailers stocked the Roomba.

After Roomba

After Roomba’s success, many other companies started manufacturing different variations of the Roomba, each with unique features. New technologies emerged and replaced the existing ones. For example, the Neato Robotics XV-11 replaced Ultrasound technology with Laser-Vision. On the other hand, the Canadian bObsweep blended two functions; mop and vacuum. In 2014, the pioneer, Dyson introduced the 360 Eye which has a cool 360-degree camera which offers superior navigation and consequently, detailed cleaning.

Types of Robotic Cleaners

Automated cleaners are available with different technologies. Each manufacturing company brings on board new technologies every day. Because each company patent each of their technology, it is very hard to classify these cleaners based on the technology used. However, automated cleaners can be classified based on their drive mechanism and power source. Based on these two parameters, robotic vacuum cleaners can be classified into three main groups; Suction-sided, Pressure-sided, and Electric robots.


Suction-sided robotic vacuum cleaners are the most popular vacuum cleaners. In these cleaners, the water that is pumped from the tank is used to power the cleaner in movement and suctioning of debris. The water is then returned to the source after passing through the filter. Suction-sided vacuum cleaners have no high-tech navigational system; they trace locations randomly in the area that is to be cleaned. It is worthy to note that suction-sided vacuum cleaners are the cheapest as their retail price is in the region of $100–$300.


Vacuum cleaners that fall under this category are quite similar to the suction-sided only that they employ the venturi effect. The water inlet is enhanced by secondary booster pumps to guarantee maximum locomotion power and debris suctioning. Navigation is also random like in suction-sided cleaners. One advantage with pressure-sided vacuum cleaners is improved pressure. These cleaners have high pressure that guarantees efficient cleaning. They also have high turbulence that makes all debris get distributed, especially on the top, for easy suctioning. This makes it easy for the skimmer to filter any dirt. Pressure-sided vacuum cleaners range between $200 to about $700 inclusive of booster pumps. The only disadvantage with these vacuum cleaners is that they consume more electricity thus higher energy costs.

Electric Robotic

The third type of robotic cleaners are the electric robotic vacuum cleaners. The major distinguishing feature of these cleaners is the fact that they are independent of the main plumbing system. They are also powered by a different electric source. They also have two motor systems. The first motor is for sucking water for purposes of filtering out any debris and pumping it back to the tank. The second motor is connected to wall brushes resembling paint brushes. They ensure walls are thoroughly cleaned. For the system’s safety, the unit comes with a pre-programmed chip that turns the motor on and off. The microchip also reverses the drive motors when they reach the wall. On average, these vacuum cleaners cost $500 to $2,000.

Top Robotic Vacuum Cleaning Technologies

Ultrasound Technology

The earliest robotic cleaners adopted Ultrasound technology. This technology helped the pioneering robotic vacuum cleaners reach even the trickiest locations with a lot of ease. Unfortunately, its glory was shortlived. Some of the vacuum cleaners that have this technology include the Diqee A3, Sharp Tech Talk, Crenova, BlitzWolf® BW-XRC600 among many others.

LaserSmart™ Navigation

Laser navigation is among the widely exploited technologies in robotic pool cleaners. This technology uses laser mapping to ensure thorough cleaning and course navigation for a methodical and most importantly, detailed cleaning in less time. Among the companies that have employed this technology include; Neato Robotics, iRobot, bObsweep among others.

Navigation Camera

Cameras have also been a major talk as far as vacuum cleaners are concerned. There are several vacuum cleaners that have cameras to enable users to guide the equipment remotely. Among the major exploiters of this technology is Dyson which introduced the Dyson 360 which boasts of a cool 360-degree camera for easy navigation and consequently, detailed cleaning. However, this technology was overshadowed quickly with Laser-Vision Navigation. Another company that uses this technology is Jisiwei which added icing on the cake with motion detection which made the vacuum cleaner double up as a surveillance apparatus when connected to the Jisiwei S+ App.

Sophisticated Brush Designs

Brush design is one area robotic vacuum cleaning companies don’t gamble with. Each company invests in research to ensure it comes up with a unique, efficient and reliable brush design for optimum performance. There are several brush designs available. These brush designs determine the size of particles they will pick. A good example is the Bob PetHair Plus™ by bObsweep that is known for being merciless with even the smallest of particles. It guarantees 4x boosted suction and 0 dirt thereafter. There is also the Neato Botvac™ that has been crafted to ensure superior pick up of pet hair regardless of the floor type with reduced noise.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

For any new device in this digital age, connectivity is an important factor. Wi-Fi compatibility is among the best technologies incorporated in a range of equipment; vacuum cleaners are no exception. Some robotic vacuum cleaners manufacturers are equipping their cleaners with Wi-Fi compatibility. Among the brands that have this technology is Neato Robotics which builds vacuum cleaners that are compatible with the brand’s Neato App. The cleaners use the Wi-Fi compatibility to work with Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Home Assistant to enable users to control the cleaner remotely.

Top Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Brands

When purchasing any merchandise, the brand or manufacturer is a real concern. This is no exception when shopping for robotic vacuum cleaners. Buying from a trusted brand is very important because of two main reasons. First, with trusted brands, you can read many reviews about the performance of their products simply because they are popular. There is also a lot of information and support for popular brands. The second important reason why you should purchase vacuum cleaners from popular brands is that of the availability of maintenance centers and most importantly, parts. Popular brands have service centers and parts readily available. For this reason, we have sampled the top 3 brands that are considered the best in the market. Among the parameters, we used include performance, warranty, price, and availability of service centers and replacement parts. Here are the top 5 manufacturers of robotic vacuum cleaners.


The number one brand in this list will definitely have to be iRobot. In any conversation about robotic vacuum cleaners, iRobot never fails to feature courtesy of their revolutionary Roomba. Officially founded in 1990, iRobot Corporation is an American company that specializes in the manufacture of robotic equipment and appliances. Initially, iRobot majored in the manufacture of space exploration and military defense robots but later ventured in other equipment including vacuum cleaners. Right now, the company has a wide range of robotic products. They include; military and policing robots, medical robots,
research and dual-role robots and home robots. Their breakthrough in the vacuum cleaners market was in 2002 when they introduced the Roomba.


The bObsweep is another great robotic vacuum cleaner manufacturing company. This brand has successfully revolutionized the vacuum cleaning market with its sophisticated technology. One notable feature of bObsweep vacuum cleaners is the elaborate brush system that has been optimized for detailed cleaning. Its product portfolio includes the Bob PetHair Plus™, bObi Pet, bObi Classic, Bob Standard™ among many other vacuum cleaners.

Neato Robotics

Another popular robotic vacuum cleaner brand is Neato by Neato Robotics. Neato has built its name and successfully asserted itself in the competitive market of robotic vacuum cleaners. Neato boasts of several patented technologies as well as the unrivaled Wi-Fi connectivity with the Neato App. It’s well known for its exclusive compatibility with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home Assistant. Neato also blends two brush designs; combo brush and spiral blade brush.

What To Consider Before Buying a Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

In one way or another, we had to tackle this crucial topic. When shopping for robotic vacuum cleaners, there are several factors that you need to carefully consider to make sure that you get value for your money. Most shoppers end up buying robotic vacuum cleaners that don’t suit their needs. This is because there are a variety of robotic vacuum cleaners each engineered to suit specific purposes. Here are factors that you need to clearly analyze before paying for any robotic vacuum cleaner.

1. Your Needs
Like earlier mentioned, there are various robotic vacuum cleaners, each crafted to suit specific cleaning requirements. So, if you want a vacuum cleaner for your living room or swimming pool, it is important to set this straight. Many people have been duped into purchasing vacuum cleaners meant for carpets and furniture while in reality, they wanted to clean their pools. With this in mind, make sure you are sampling the right robotic vacuum cleaner for the right job.

2. Features
After you’ve made up your mind on the right robotic vacuum cleaner, it is important to weigh the features it comes with against the features it comes with. In the current market, there are a variety of vacuum cleaners with different sophisticated technology. It is recommended that you stick to your need here as you may be confused by the technologies available. Make sure you go for a robotic cleaner that has the right technology that suits your needs. For example, of you have a large pool that needs to be cleaned regularly, go for a cleaner that is programmable. If you are looking for versatility, get a cleaner that has been engineered for various cleaning purposes. Above all, make sure you are paying more for a worthy technology.

3. Cost
Even though it is an often ignored topic, the cost is really important in shopping. Make sure that what you pay will guarantee you value for your money. Here, you need to do a little market research to know what to expect for a particular price range. This will help you compromise on both your budget and most importantly, cleaning needs. It is important to note that the more sophisticated the features, the higher the prices

4. Brand
The brand you are buying is also important. This is self-evident because we have already looked at the reason why you should buy from popular brands. Common brands are easier to shop because there are adequate customer reviews. Customer support is also readily available as well as parts and service centers.

5. Warranty
Warranty is also important when shopping for robotic vacuum cleaners. It is always important to go for vacuum cleaners that have longer warranty periods. Warranties come in handy when your unit breaks down may be because of wrong usage or manufacturer’s default. Even though most robotic vacuum cleaners come with warranties, always go for those with longer warranty periods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q> Are robotic vacuum cleaners better than ordinary cleaners?

A> Yes. Robotic vacuum cleaners have been engineered to offer detailed cleaning, energy efficiency and lesser cleaning times.

Q> How do root vacuums work?

A> Robot vacuums navigate around the area that is to be cleaned using the motherboards that help map, mop, clean and vacuum the area.

Q> Is there maintenance and cleaning?

A> Yes. Robotic vacuum cleaners require maintenance and cleaning. However, it is limited compared to ordinary vacuum cleaners.

Q> How do robotic vacuum cleaners pick dirt?

A> Robotic vacuum cleaners use vacuuming technology to pick dirt.

Wrap Up

Since their inception, robotic pool cleaners have proved to be efficient and reliable cleaning equipment for a variety of cleaning requirements. Whether you want to clean your carpet and furniture or pool water, you can always be sure that robotic pool cleaners will deliver. The best part of the story is that they are programmed to make important decisions that humans can make. They can also be programmed to start cleaning on specific days thus relieving you the pressure on your diary. If you are looking for a robotics vacuum cleaner that will make work easier, then you need to get any of the following cleaners (link to the article we did on robotic cleaners) and you will be guaranteed the best results.

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