Eufy RoboVac 11

We got a Roomba-like. The Eufy RoboVac 11. The idea has always appealed because I know I should vacuum more but I’m really lazy. In the new house we’ve got a white kitchen floor which could be a pain to keep clean. So we got the Eufy.

Why not just use a vacuum cleaner? But how often do you actually get it out of the cupboard and use it? Not as often as you’d like? … Exactly. I wanted to be able to press a button/set a timer and just have the thing run. That way the floor gets cleaned far more than it ever would previously.

Does the Eufy live up to this? Definitely. Are there some flaws? Sure.

Setting it off is super simple, press a single button and it trundles around cleaning the floor. Easy.

Speaking of cleaning, it does a really good job! We’ve got hard floors with a couple of rugs and it gets the dust/fluff/gubbins off them with ease! The little side brushes do a much better job of getting into corners than our standard vacuum cleaner (sure you can get the little brush out but that’s even more effort!).

The dirt capacity is good. I empty it every few runs. Not really an issue.

The return home feature is very fun. You can press a button on the remote and it finds its way home by following the infrared signal the base station emits. It can get trapped in local minimum (under a chair) so it might need a little kick sometimes.

It’s wonderfully stupid. There’s no app. There’s no network connection. It’s a device and it does its thing. Bliss.

With that stupidity comes some side effects. In some ways it’s a bit too stupid. It has no concept of the space it exists in other than some IR detection, drop detection, and bashing into walls. This means the algorithm that drives the cleaning can’t do a nice efficient clearance strategy (this sounds awfully like my last job…). It semi randomly trundles around, sometimes going along edges with a sort of trochoidal pattern (oh god it’s really like my old job). This results in some bits getting “over-machined” and some bits take forever to get done. More expensive devices appear to build a model of the world which allows for more efficient cleaning.

I don’t really understand how it knows when it’s finished. As far as I can tell it reaches some low battery level and then goes home to recharge and stops. It might have not finished cleaning but equally it might have been doing the same small room for far too long. I can’t think of a way it could terminate given that it doesn’t know what the room looks like.

Walling off sections of a space is only possible with physical items. Our ground floor is open plan so if I just want the Eufy to do the kitchen then I have to wall it off with chairs. Bit of a faff.

It can get tangled in stuff which is bad. It’s only happened once but it was a bit shit when it did. We have some fair lights dangling and their power cable runs on the floor a for a short distance. The Eufy cleaned over it and got the cord tangled in its underside. It moved away and started pulling the lights down. Pretty bad. This means we’ve not yet got the confidence in it to let it run when we aren’t around.