Evolution of cleaning devices: a broom, a retro hoover, a modern vacuum and a robotic vacuum cleaner with a cat sitting on it.

If you think that the robovac of today is still that little machine that used to run itself into the walls and corners of your home pointlessly until you threw them into the back of your storage closet, then think again! Since their inception, robovacs have done a lot of evolving—which is evident from the performance of newer models in homes across the world today.

These resilient little robot workers are shaking their reputation as a piece of junk that loves to hug the walls but can’t do much else, and redefining their place in the home as an incredible piece of technology that is invaluable in helping to maintain the cleanliness of any home. A modern innovation, today’s robovacs are up for the challenges of keeping homes clean despite the busy lifestyles of today.

With new features and capabilities that have truly helped them to rise above their original design, robovacs are quickly approaching a place where they are every bit as much of a cleaning essential in the home as a broom and dustpan—although, once the robovac does have a place in your home, you’ll no longer have a need for that broom and dustpan anyway, as well as many other staple cleaning tools in your home.

Robovacs: From Then to Now

The timeline of the history of this nifty little robot vacuums is ongoing, with new models constantly cropping up onto the scene and old ones being improved. And it all started with the first cleaning robot to be produced, which was named the Electrolux Trilobite. It was manufactured by the Swedish appliances maker called Electrolux, and one of these models was featured on a science program on BBC titled “Tomorrow’s World.”

However, the Electrolux Trilobite didn’t hog the spotlight for long. In 2001, Dyson came out with their own version of the robovac, the DC06. However, this model came priced so high that it never ended up being released into the market. By 2002, iRobot launched the Roomba, which quickly became a household name. It became so successful that major retailers began to carry the Roomba, including Kohl’s, Target, Linens ‘n Things, and more.

Since the immense success of the Roomba in 2002, more robotic vacuum cleaners have risen and fallen. The Canadian bObsweep both vacuums and moms, while the Neato Robotics XV-11 uses laser-vision in lieu of the traditional ultrasound methods of other models.

In 2014, Dyson came out for its take two on the robotic vacuum, releasing the Dyson 360 Eye. It came equipped with a 360-degree camera that was mounted atop the cleaner and was intended to provide enhanced navigation over other brands. Not only that, but Dyson announced that this model comes with twice the suction of any other robovac available on the market.

By 2016, 20% of the vacuum cleaners on the market were robotic ones, and their popularity continues to be on the rise today.

How Far They’ve Come

Since the release of the original robovac, the Electrolux Trilobite, to all the new and advanced cleaning robots of today, much has changed. These helpful little maid machines have undergone a number of advancements in technology that you that have originally found. The following are some of the most noteworthy innovations that some robovacs of today come fully equipped with:

smart vacuum cleaner iot

Intelligent vacuum cleaner. The robot vacuum cleaner communicates with the smartphone via wireless.

Advancements in Sensor Technology: Over the years, the robot vacuum manufacturers have improved their sensor technology. Remember the old reputation we talked about for running into the walls? No more is that an issue thanks to more developed sensors, not to mention the introduction of new technologies such as visual navigation features and use of lasers as sensors. With these in place, the use of robot vacuum cleaners becomes much more efficient and useful, substantially increasing the likelihood of the owner coming home to a clean household rather than a robovac stuck running into a corner.

Cloud Connectedness/Wi-Fi: You read that right. The robovacs of today often come with cloud connectivity capabilities, as well as Wi-Fi options. What good does this do you? As it happens, a lot. The Wi-Fi connected robovacs are able to allow users to pair their device with an iPhone or Android and give them the power to remotely schedule their desired cleaning sessions and view the cleaning history of their bot. Not only that, but you can immediately get your robot to start cleaning at anytime, anywhere. Did your relatives just announce they’re on their way over early, while you’re stuck at the grocery store with no time to clean? No problem. Just tap open the app with your iPhone or Android and let your modern robot vacuum to the rest.

Mopping: When a vacuuming robot isn’t enough, then why not invest in one that will do the mopping for you too? That’s right, having a mopping robot in your home is a completely realistic dream in today’s world. Finding a cleaning domestic robot that does both the vacuuming and the mopping is extremely possible with the options available on today’s market.

So, Is It Time to Toss Your Vacuum to the Curb?

So, you’re probably wondering now, with all the innovations that have been added to the world of robot vacuums, if it’s even necessary to keep your vacuum around in the cleaning supply closet.

Well, some of the questions you likely want answered to determine if your traditional vacuum is still a necessary household appliance is how effective they are at cleaning, and if it performs well on both carpets and tile or hardwood floors. After all, it’s all fine and dandy for your robot to keep the kitchen mess looking tidy for you on your tile floors, but will it fare as well in the carpeted living room? Or in the ever-messy kids’ room, where the carpet is covered in a thin, but still discernable, layer of Cheeto dust and cracker crumbs?

You’ll be happy to hear that tile floors and hardwood floors are no match for robot cleaners.

Most carpets (so long as the carpet doesn’t have long fibers that may get tangled in the robot and trip it up) also are an easy challenge for most modern robot vacuums to overcome. New robot vacuum users should hang on to their old, trusty vacuum for a few weeks to see how the new kid on the block measures up, but after you give your new little cleaner a bit of time to earn your trust, you should have little reservations in retiring your old vacuum.

Finding the Right Model for You

If you have decided that a robot vacuum would be well-suited to your home, then your next step is to find the right one on the market for you. However, there are a lot of options available to choose from—which is good because it means that there is certain to be one just right for your home. However, at the same time, it does make narrowing down your choices a bit more of a challenge.

Fortunately, we’re here to help.

Manufacturers on the Scene

With so many different manufacturers producing these robot vacuum cleaners, it can be a real challenge to know the one that you should be trusting and purchasing your device from. Some of the biggest names in the robot cleaner industry include Neato, Dyson, and Samsung. However, other models exist from a variety of other makers. Before making a choice, it’s a good idea to just do your research—check into the features and capabilities of the model, as well as the track record of its manufacturer. This will give you a good idea as to what to expect from the robovac.

Top Models

Here are some of the best models on the market that we highly recommend looking at if you want to find a high-quality robot vacuum.

  • Roomba 980: The iRobot HOME app that corresponds with this model allows you to clean, set, and schedule custom preferences using your smartphone. This AeroForce Cleaning system offers does an exemplary job cleaning both your carpet and hardwood or tile floors. Featuring visual localization, this Roomba can navigate and clean an entire floor level in your home all on its own. Not only that, but this robot is smart enough to recharge itself and resume its cleaning afterward. Enjoy tangle-free extractors to prevent debris and hair jams.
  • Roomba 650: The Roomba 980’s little sister, the Roomba 650 is still able to hold its own in a dirty home. Using a full suite of sensors to navigate and keep up with your home and how it changes, this model boasts a 3-state cleaning system that agitates, brushes, and suctions floors. This versatile model also docks and recharges itself, giving you the peace of mind that your cleaning robot will tend to itself even while you are away.
  • Neato Botvac Connected: The Neato Botvac Connected boasts Wi-Fi capabilities so you can control it from any location. With a combo brush and a spiral blade brush, and two cleaning modes—Turbo mode for a quick, super powered clean, and Eco mode for a quieter, longer cleaning session—this little robovac has everything you need to keep your house clean around the clock.
  • Samsung POWERbot R9350: The Samsung POWERbot offers incredible suction power, visionary mapping capabilities, Wi-Fi connectivity, point cleaning, and CycloneForce technology. With everything you need packed into this slim model, the POWERbot gets the job done reliably and efficiently.
  • Dyson 360 Eye: The Dyson 360 Eye is small, lightweight, and generates the powerful suction you need to get your home immaculately clean. The 360 eye vision system allows the device to see all around the room at one time, so it can intelligently map out your home and navigate it with ease. With the Dyson link app for iOS and android, you can tell your robovac what you need even when you’re not around.
  • Eufy RoboVac 11: This trustworthy model boasts a 3-point cleaning system, including side brushes, its rolling brush, and the powerful suction that provides a thorough clean. With its anti-scratch tempered glass protective cover, infrared-sensors to evade obstacles in the room, and drop sensing technology to prevent falls, this model is very advanced.

The Verdict

With our detailed and thorough robot vacuum reviews covering everything from models as popular as the Roomba to those as unheard of as the Eufy Robovac 11, we have gathered everything you need to know here to allow you to find the best robot vacuums. Read through our expert reviews and find the right robovac for you today and make your purchase!