How does a robot vacuum work

How does a robot vacuum work?

How does a robot vacuum work? A Complete Guide

Robot vacuum cleaners have become our true allies in our daily household chores!

These household appliances are always more discreet, innovative, and efficient in the shape of a disc, about 35 cm in diameter.

Indeed, they are based on advanced technological systems, which make life much more pleasant.

But how exactly does a robot vacuum work? takes stock and gives you the secrets of this handy appliance!

how exactly does a robot vacuum work

An Autonomous and Discreet Device

As soon as you unpack your robot vacuum cleaner, you will need to charge it to its maximum on its charging station.

Once fully charged, it’s ready to clean the house for you!

You have to place it in the centre of the room and press either its central button or configure its start-up via your mobile application.

Then you have to let it take care of the household: its various sensors and integrated navigation systems mean that it manages its movement within the house.

Rotating Brushes for Powerful Suction

To clean the floor, the robot vacuum has one or more side brushes and the main brush.

  • Side brushes: located on the sides of the robot, they are used to clean the floor along the walls and the angles. They then carry the dust inside the bin towards the HEPA filter;
  • Main brush: it collects dust. Depending on the model, it is more or less easily removable.

There are two brush materials: nylon and rubber, the latter being more effective against hair/pet hair entanglement than nylon.

In addition, nylon brushes can lose their original shape over time (you can remedy this by unscrewing your meetings and immersing them in hot water for a few moments, the bristles will regain their shape).

Also, note that some models do not have brushes but a simple suction nozzle, similar to a conventional vacuum cleaner.

An Autonomous Battery

Robot vacuum cleaners live thanks to a wireless system, most often via Wi-Fi.

They have a lithium battery (or sometimes battery) which gives them autonomy between 1h30 and 3h.

They then recharge on their base before returning to the dust hunt.

Covered areas are generally between 80 m² to 150 m² (861 in² -1,614 in²).


2 Possible Navigation Systems

The navigation system directly impacts the cleaning performance of your robot.

There are 2 main types of current models: random or gyratory.

The Random Function

Entry-level models often have a random navigation system: they randomly clean in a straight line and sometimes forget certain places.

These robots will turn from their trajectory to the right or left, only a few degrees, with touch or distance sensors, before continuing their mop to the next obstacle.

This mode of random movement is not perfect: the robot does not consider the space that surrounds it but rather the obstacles in front of it.

The Gyratory Function

More and more new models are equipped with sensors and lasers, which make their cleaning cycle much smarter.

Nothing is left to chance here: the robot can be configured to go through all the zones once and thoughtfully.

Its technology allows it to analyze the obstacles present in advance and keep track of its movement.

Therefore, it will be faster and more efficient in its task to clean a larger surface.

Some models are even capable of emptying themselves, returning to their charging base when their battery becomes weak and returning to finish their task when it is recharged where they left off.

Finally, many robots are also equipped with cliff sensors, preventing them from falling from stairs.

Robots with this navigation mode have a higher price, but their mode of operation offers a much more efficient cleaning quality.

Appliances that Vacuum and can also wash

Some devices only vacuum, while others vacuum dust and pass the mop.

They are equipped with pads or microfiber wipes and a water tank to overcome the most stubborn stains on any floor!

Very practical, this cleaning combo saves you precious hours of cleaning.

Curious to know more? Consult our buying guide dedicated to the 5 best robot vacuum cleaners in Canada!

Multiple cleaning modes

Most of these appliances offer different cleaning modes:

  • automatic/standard: for routine surface cleaning;
  • spot“: to clean a specific area more intensely.

The best robot models also offer more complete programs, ideal for carpets, rugs, hard floors etc., with variable suction power.

And if you always want to arrive in a clean house, you can also program a delayed start, periodic cleaning (every day or every week), or even start the cleaning cycle remotely via your cell phone.

A Robot Vacuum Cleaner with Surprising Connectivity

Mapping Function

Among the most advanced robots (mid/high end), some have a mapping function, which allows them absolute autonomy.

Thanks to complex detectors and lasers, the robot can visualize the configuration of your parts, measure them and memorize them for the successive cleaning cycles.

He can also visualize the various obstacles to finding a cleaning route; the maintenance time is therefore optimized.

You can configure the different areas of your home to clean from your application. Afterwards, your robot will only have to follow your plan and save time.

Different Smart Sensors

Multiple sensors guide your robot in innovative ways through your home.

For example, vacuum sensors allow your robot not to fall down the stairs. Virtual walls in the form of small blocks can be placed in sensitive places in the house to create “forbidden” zones (play area for baby, fireplace area, an area with fragile objects, etc.).

There are also onboard or infrared sensors (remote sensors) that allow the connected robot vacuum cleaner to change direction when an obstacle is encountered automatically.

For the less advanced models, only a bumper signals to your robot that it has come into contact with an object. Less innovative, but also cheaper!

Finally, it’s essential to consider that even the best robot vacuums can’t climb stairs, despite their advanced sensors.

The technology is getting closer and closer, but you will have to wait a little longer and turn to a stick vacuum cleaner to clean your steps!

A Reasonable Noise Level

For consumers who are worried about the noise generated by such a machine, rest assured: robots know how to be discreet and are generally between 50 and 70 decibels.

Operation of a Robot Vacuum Cleaner: what to remember

A robot vacuum cleaner works in a simple, intuitive and autonomous way.

It’s simple: you will rarely have to deal with it, except for its maintenance.

To always ensure the proper functioning of your vacuum cleaner, be sure to clean it regularly and change its brushes and filters at least once a year.

If, after reading this article, you want to go for a model that offers you:

  • a high level of comfort;
  • a minimum of handling;
  • optimum cleaning;
  • a price that respects your budget.

Do not hesitate to consult our buying guide dedicated to the best models of robot vacuum cleaners in Canada!

Best Models on Amazon