Cleaning Robots: What They Can and Can’t Do

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Today, many people rely on domestic robots to take care of mundane housework, but they can’t do everything. Keep reading to learn exactly what cleaning robots can do and three things they can’t do. 

How Do Cleaning Robots Navigate?

No two models of cleaning robots are exactly the same. For example, a vacuum from Roborock will feature unique programming, as will devices from other brands. However, many models use similar technology to traverse your house. 

In lower-end vacuums, infrared sensors are used to detect and avoid obstacles. However, they’re not as effective as higher-end robots with more advanced sensors and lasers that actually create a virtual map of your house.

Dirt sensors are also common in high-quality vacuums. They ensure that a specific area is free of all dirt before moving on and know to target high-traffic areas with more dirt accumulation. 

What Can Domestic Robots Do?

When you hear the term “domestic robots,” you probably imagine the highly advanced automaton butlers from sci-fi movies. In reality, domestic robots are merely automated vacuum cleaners and mops. But that doesn’t mean they can’t significantly lighten your workload around the house. 

Spot Clean Messes

If you have kids, you probably can’t go a full day without having some kind of spill in your house. Rather than agonize over getting every last Cheerio into the dustpan, you can simply deploy your robot vacuum 

 for simple spot cleaning. 

Keep Pet Hair Under Control 

If you feel like you’re constantly sweeping up behind your pets, it’s time to get a domestic robot helper. A robotic vacuum can quickly and quietly navigate through your home, picking up clumps of fur along the way so that there’s nothing left for you to do. 

Vacuum Under Furniture 

The biggest disadvantage of most upright vacuum cleaners is that they cannot reach under your furniture. You have to move and rearrange the whole room just to make sure it’s clean. But robot vacuum cleaners are compact enough to slip right under most couches, chairs, and loveseats without you having to lift a finger. 

App Integration 

The majority of robot vacuums today, even the cheap ones, can be controlled using your phone. Most brands have a dedicated app that you can download and sync with your vacuum for access to tons of scheduling features and helpful tips and tricks specific to your model. 

What Domestic Robots Can’t Do 

Despite streamlining your cleaning routine and giving you time to focus on more important things, domestic robots do have their limitations. Below are three things domestic robots just can’t do. 

Run for Several Hours

Some people expect their cleaning robot to operate for hours at a time, but they simply can’t. The average battery life of cleaning robots is about an hour. After that, they need to be returned to their docking station and recharged. 

This is an important consideration to keep in mind when shopping for a cleaning robot. If you have a very large house, you’ll want a vacuum with at least two hours of battery life. 

Clean Themselves 

Many models of robot vacuums can empty their own dust bin or bag, but they can’t clean themselves. It’s up to you to keep your vacuum cleaner clean with weekly and monthly maintenance. 

Specific cleaning guidelines will vary from model to model. But as a general rule, you should clear any hair and debris that is caught in your vacuum’s bristles or wheels at least once a week. You should also carefully wipe down all of the surfaces of the vacuum using a damp cloth to ensure nothing interferes with the various sensors at work. 

Replace Your Upright Vacuum Cleaner  

Don’t throw out your upright or canister vacuum cleaner just because you bought a robot vacuum, especially if your house has carpets. 

Unfortunately, even the best robot vacuums cannot reach the dirt and grime in the deepest layers of carpeting and rugs. In fact, they can push dirt and debris deeper into your carpet over time, so it’s best to stick to traditional vacuums and carpet cleaners for deep cleaning. 

How to Prepare Your Home for a Robot Vacuum

Before you can use your new robot helper, you’ll have to make sure your home is ready. To do so, remove any big debris your robot could get caught on, like toys or shoes. You should also secure any hanging cords or blinds. Once you do that, your new robot buddy can roam free. 


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