No one likes to clean. It’s tedious, and typically the last thing you’re thinking of after a long day of work. We’ve already taken a look at various home appliances and devices that may become obsolete soon, but we didn’t talk much about devices like the mop or the vacuum cleaner — two other must-have home maintenance items soon to be a thing of the past because of robots and other advances in technology.
Modern technology is now to a point where robotics is seeing a lot of use in cleaning. There are robots to vacuum your home, wash the floors, even keep your gutters free of leaves. Better yet, most of these cleaning robots are affordable, meaning leaving one of the most mundane of home maintenance tasks to modern technology is closer than you think.
Here are our five picks for robots that we think you should take a look at right now.
1. iRobot Roomba 650 – $375
iRobot has been around for 25 years, and the Roomba was one of the first cleaning robots to go mainstream. While the company offers a broad range of cleaning robots (some as expensive as $900), the Roomba 650 is the entry-level model and is sufficient for most.
The 650 can be scheduled to run at a specific time everyday, so you can run the vacuum while you’re out of the house. It also is able to recharge itself, so when the battery gets low it automatically returns to the charger. The 650 goes over each spot of your room multiple times to ensure the most thorough cleaning, and is also good for pet dander if you have animals living in the house.
As with all Roombas, the 650 comes with dirt detect, where sensors detect soiled areas. If the 650 detects a heavily soiled area, it will spend more time at that location and vacuum it more until it no longer detects dirt.
2. iRobot Looj – $240
Also from iRobot is something called the Looj, and it’s probably a cleaning robot you never would have thought you needed. Live on a property with lots of trees and have gutters on your house that you need to clean? The Looj is the robot for you. No more rickety ladders to climb or dirty gloves and work clothes to wear — this robot cleans your gutters in record time.
The robot is placed in one end of your gutter and turned on. It then moves itself through your gutter and sweep out any leaves and debris. Like its floor-cleaning cousins, Looj has dirt detect sensors which cause it to slow down in areas where gunk is really clogging your gutter to make sure it’s cleaned out fully. If you like a little bit more control, Looj comes with a handheld control for manual operation, but it operates fine on its own without any need for you to do anything.
iRobot says a 30-foot gutter will take about five minutes to clean — much faster than any human could do it (safely).
3. Bissell SmartClean – $300
If you’re not looking to break the bank on a Roomba, consider the Bissell SmartClean robotic vacuum. Bissell’s version does much of what the Roomba can do — including automatic scheduling — but at a fraction of the price. We’ve found several retailers offering the SmartClean below the $300 suggested retail price, so do a little shopping around to find a good deal.
Reviews across the web say that the dirt collection especially on hardwood floors is quite impressive, and like the Roomba vacuums, it did a great job with pet dander. And with a name like Bissell — which has made vacuum cleaners for close to a century — you can rest assured that you’re getting a good product.
4. Miele Scout RX1 – $600
The Miele Scout X1 is a great option if you don’t have a limited budget and are willing to spend a little bit more for some added advantages. Reviews say that one of the Scout line’s best features is how quiet it is. Most vacuums are loud by nature, however Miele has developed a design that cuts down on the noise so that it’s not as disturbing as most vacuum cleaners.
What we found super cool is the fact that the RX1 has a ceiling camera that is mounted on the top of the case. Miele says this improves the navigational functions of its robotic vacuum by giving it a better idea of where it is in respect to the room it’s cleaning. You should also be able to clean for quite a while; reviews say that this vacuum cleaner can run continuously for up to two hours before needing to be charged.
5. iRobot Braava Jet – $200
iRobot’s cleaning robots have dominated our list, but it’s for a reason: They have quite the extensive product line and at reasonable prices. Yet another cleaning robot is the Braava Jet, and at only $200, if you’re just looking for a cleaning robot that can sweep and mop, this is it.
The Braava Jet can sweep a 200-square-foot room, and mop a 150-square-foot space. It has three cleaning modes: wet mop, damp sweep, and dry sweep. And those modes are automatically selected based on the dirt and grime which it encounters. A jet spray on the front of the device wets the floor as necessary before it cleans, and each section of floor is mopped or swept three times over to ensure a solid clean.
Of course you have to change the mop head, but for all the work it’s doing that you don’t have to, that’s a small price to pay.
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