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July 29, 2020

How Robot Vacuums Use Data to Clean Your Home Efficiently

Robot Vacuum

Robot vacuums are the perfect companion to your weekly home cleaning routine. You can automate them to whip around your house and give your floors a freshen up on a daily basis. Best of all, they are mostly set and forget. Program their schedule and watch them do their job. While they still need some regular maintenance, robotic vacuums are easily the most efficient way to keep your home immaculate.

Better robot vacuums will teach themselves the arrangement of your house and build a digital map via their mobile app. You can interact with this digital map and set specific areas to clean, avoid or give extra attention. This mapping process isn’t simple. Your vacuum uses multiple sensors to collect a significant mass of data which is then intelligently processed to allow it to navigate the layout of your house. So how exactly do they do this? 


Smart sensors are a robot vacuum’s eyes

Without sensors, a robotic vacuum could not do its job. Their sensors give it ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’, allowing it to see and feel the world around it. Each model has a different way to collect and process data from their sensors, however, the core principles are the same. Usually, robots feature at least four various sensors which consistently send out a beam of infrared light. Just like a visible laser, when it makes contact with an obstacle, the light bounces back to the sensor, and the robot learns a piece of information about its surroundings.

Another type used is a downward-facing cliff sensor. Without this, your robot would not know when it’s approaching an imminent drop, such as a staircase or other potentially fatal ledge. Robot vacuums also feature a ‘bumper’ that provides immediate feedback when the unit collides with an object - indicating a change of direction is required. There are also other sensors, such as a wall sensor that can detect a straight wall to follow, as well as a charging sensor, helping the vacuum identify its home charging base.


Using this location data is key to cleaning efficiency

Earlier models, such as the world’s first robot vacuum cleaner (from 1996!), aimlessly wandered around your rooms vacuuming dirt until it bumped into an obstacle. This is obviously pretty inefficient, so modern models use advanced data processing technology to map out the most optimal route for your home. The process saves time, energy and reduces the risk of getting stuck, or requiring manual intervention. Mapping your home and calculating the best route takes time. Usually, your robot will need at least five full runs to figure the optimal approach. 

“Using the map, you can pick the rooms you want to be cleaned and areas to avoid”

Also, keep in mind that your home’s layout is not static. Furniture and other obstacles move all the time - causing your robot to relearn certain areas and routes. Once your vacuum has created an accurate map of your house, you can manually interact with its schedule and route. Pick the rooms you want to be cleaned, and the areas you want to be left alone. If your rooms aren’t easily identifiable, most manufacturers will allow you to create virtual ‘walls’ that act as boundaries - telling your vacuum to stop and turn around (avoiding areas that might cause it problems).


Robots aren’t perfect, help them out

Although modern robots are incredibly efficient and smart about what they do, they still need a helping hand now and then. Since they rely on cameras and sensors, some models may require a well-lit room to operate effectively. Check if this is the case with your robot - if so, you will need to make sure to set their cleaning schedule throughout the day, or turn the lights on before they do their run around. 

Robot vacuums can quickly get stuck in stray cords, long carpets or be crippled by small toys that accidentally get stuck or sucked up. They also require regular maintenance. You need to make sure their dust bag is emptied regularly, and the bristle brush is rotating smoothly with no tangled hair or other debris rendering it ineffective. To give your robot vacuum a clean runway to perform at its best, make an effort to pick up potentially offending objects before it starts its daily clean. A quick thirty-second whip around can make a significant difference to how efficiently your robot cleans your home.



Roborock is a global leader in the robot vacuum space, continually pushing innovation and the latest in smart-home cleaning automation. Our newest release, the Roborock S6 Pure, allows you to maximise your mopping efficiency with a larger water tank and lighter form-factor than its predecessors. The improved integration of thirteen types of advanced sensors ensures superior tracking and fall avoidance, providing a stress-free clean, every time. You can check out our full range here. If you have any questions or need further advice, contact us today.