Aiming to up the stakes when it comes to cleaning power and ultimate convenience, we take a look at four of the latest robot vacuum cleaner innovations from big brand names, seen at this year’s technology show IFA 2017.
Robot vacuum cleaners have been around for nearly 15 years, but now there is a new breed coming onto the scene, all with one thing in common – smart connectivity.
Watch our video to see three of these new vacs in action, and read on below to find out whether they could be the next biggest thing in home cleaning.
Can’t wait to upgrade? See all our robot vacuum cleaner reviews to make sure you don’t waste your money on an expensive dud.
Samsung Powerbot VR7000M
The new Samsung Powerbot VR7000M – the successor to the Powerbot VR9000 – looks set to be one of the most advanced models on the market.
Its latest cleaning technology is called the Edge Clean Master, and allows the Powerbot VR7000M to get to within 15mm of walls and skirting boards to help it pick up more dust and dirt. This combines with its Auto Shutter brush bar, which is essentially a barrier that drops down to help sweep up more dust located near the edges of the room.
But that’s not all, its brush bar also has metal blades attached to cut up tangled hair. It can even, apparently, automatically clean itself (although how, or whether, that works is yet to be seen).
So what about its smart credentials? As with the other robot vacs in this round-up, it can be controlled remotely via an app on your phone, so you can change its course or schedule its cleaning times.
The downside to all this is that it will cost you an eye-watering £800. That’s for the most expensive version, the Powerbot VR7000M (VR20M7070WD), which has all the features mentioned above.
You could instead opt for the VR20M7030WW, which is £600 and has no Auto Shutter brush bar or Edge Clean Master function. The cheapest model, at £500, is the VR20M7010UW, which is a little smaller and can’t be controlled from your phone. All models in the range are available to buy in the UK now.
But before you head out to the shops, see what we thought of the Powerbot VR9000 when we challenged it to a range of tests in our lab.
Another big brand, this is Bosch’s first foray into the world of robot vacs. The Roxxter will be the first Bosch small appliance to support the company’s Home Connect application, which allows you to control and monitor all of your smart Bosch products from one app.
Taking smart connectivity one step further, the Roxxter app enables you to actually stream live footage of the robot cleaning, courtesy of a small on-board camera. So long as it’s connected to your home wi-fi, you could theoretically watch it vacuum your floors via your phone from the other side of the world, if you really wanted to.
One other particularly interesting function of the app is the ability to designate areas within various rooms of your home that the Roxxter should avoid, such as around a delicate piece of furniture. It also also connects to the Amazon Echo smart hub, Alexa, allowing you to give verbal commands to the vacuum cleaner.
It should be available in the UK in early 2018 at a price of €1,399 (approx. £1,275), or €1,199 (approx. £1,093) if you don’t mind a model without the camera. These UK prices are simply a straight conversion from its confirmed European pricing – don’t be surprised if it ends up costing a bit more when it hits UK shelves.
Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Yep, there’s that word again. The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is Neato Robotics’ new flagship robot vacuum cleaner, and the big focus is on its connectivity and companion app. The Botvac D7 Connected creates a personal ‘cleaning map’ of your home, so it learns where various obstacles and barriers are.
You can then create custom no-go areas within that floor plan, much like with the Bosch Roxxter. After every completed clean, you can look at a Cleaning Summary Map to see which areas the Botvac D7 Connected has vacuumed, as well as any bits it may have missed or been obstructed from cleaning.
Offering more options than its competitors, the Botvac D7 Connected can not only integrate with the Amazon Echo, but also Google Home, your Apple Watch and even Facebook. Its software can be updated over wi-fi, too, so minimal effort is required to keep it performing to its best.
On the actual cleaning side of things, the Botvac D7 Connected has an improved ‘ultra-performance filter’, claimed to prevent loss of suction, and a turbo mode for deeper cleaning. It will arrive in the UK at the end of 2017, and has been confirmed to cost £799.
Philips SmartPro Active Connected
Philips’ new robot vacuum cleaner, the SmartPro Active Connected, is all about its smart credentials. The associated SmartPro App will let you input the size of the room it’s in, how ‘intensely’ you want the room cleaned and the pattern that the robot should follow.
Like with the others, you can also use it to schedule cleans and check up on the process of the current clean – if you just can’t stand to be too far removed from the whole process, that is. It will also be able to sync with the Amazon smart hub to accept voice commands.
When it comes to the robot itself, the SmartPro Active Connected has a wider nozzle to allegedly clean your home twice as fast as its predecessor, the Philips FC8800. It also has a dust sensor to detect which areas are dirtiest and give them a deeper clean where required using its Turbo Suction mode.
Although the non-connected version of this cleaner, the SmartPro Active, is already on sale in the UK for more than £400, we’re not sure when the new model will be coming to the UK, or what the price will be.