It wasn’t just home projectors and tabs that began to trend in the pandemic world. Robot vacuums have become smarter too, as we’ve looked for help to cope with lockdown restrictions and disruptions in the routines of home support staff. It’s also come at a time when we’ve grown more open to the idea of a connected home with multiple smart gadgets. If you’re considering adding a robot vacuum to your smart home, our ready reckoner is a good place to start:

Mi robot vacuum cleaner

Value proposition

Robot vacuums are designed to clean your home with minimal help and intervention. Yes, they don’t just save you energy, they even help you optimise your time. They use a combination of cameras and sensors to find their way around your house and are powered by a rechargeable battery. They’re programmed to dodge stairs and most of them are small enough to duck under furniture.

Do you need one?

If you already have a vacuum cleaner in the house for carpets and sofas, you may not need an additional gadget despite the extra level of convenience it brings. If your home has more hard floors, like most Indian homes, then robot vacuums are convenient, but remember, vacuum cleaners are better at dealing with dirt in carpeted surfaces.

Robot vacuum One Size

One size doesn’t fit all

It takes a little while for robot vacuums to used to the layout of your house. Be patient; you’ll see these gadgets bumping into furniture and walls before they ‘size up’ your different rooms. Premium vacuums use lasers and optical sensors to navigate. You can help this teething process by keeping your home uncluttered. Look for options that are better at cleaning corners and edges and for robot vacuums that can crawl under low furniture like the Milagrow Silverfox 21 with its ultra-thin (8.44 mm) design.

Pet friendly?

If you’ve got furry companions at home, go for robot vacuums with high-efficiency filters to eliminate allergens. Keep an eye out for the suction power readings on the spec sheet (Pa – short for Pascal Pressure Unit; higher the number, higher the suction power). Ecovacs Deebot N8+ automatically doubles the suction power when working on carpets. It mops and vacuums in one step with low noise levels despite a high suction power of 2300Pa. The iRobot Roomba i3 will even suggest an extra clean when the pollen count is high in your area or during pet-shedding season.

Robot vacuum 4

Stay ‘connected’

Smarter it is, the better. Shortlist products with a sorted companion app that can help schedule cleaning sessions, and map your home with zones that are ‘off limits’.  A connected device with an app is more convenient than a remote control that’s easy to misplace. Smart vacuums like the Mi Robot Vacuum Mop P work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s kitted with an LDS Laser Navigation System that works with a SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) algorithm for real-time mapping, faster speed and higher accuracy.  Like many robot vacuums, this one features an automatic recharge and resume feature – the device can automatically go to its charging point and resume from where it left off (if it runs out of battery midway). Remember to constantly check for product updates to iron out any bugs. Most robot vacuums should manage upwards of an hour for each charging cycle. If you’re willing to spend more, you could also opt for premium features like a self-emptying dustbin.