How effective is the Roomba

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The Roomba i7 + is a vacuum cleaner robot with a special charging station with an automatic suction function. The autonomous cleaning aid costs 1199 euros. Who is it worth buying for?

Robots instead of vacuuming yourself. In our "smart vacuum cleaner" theme world, we present various robots that vacuum floors (more or less well) and sometimes even wipe them. The following articles have been published so far

Unlike the Kobold VR300 (test report) or the Botvac D7 Connected (test report), the Roomba i7 + does not have a D-shape, but is round. In practice, the Neato and Vorwerk robots actually drive up to the baseboard in a corner. But their side brushes are too short and don't always sweep all of the dirt in front of the vacuum cleaner. On the Roomba i7 +, the side brush is long, but the robot cannot make it into corners due to its shape. Nevertheless, the result with the iRobot vacuum cleaner is better than with the Neato. It is even more effective with the Eufy Robovac 30C (test report) with its two brushes on one side, they also get better under the baseboards.

iRobot's vacuum cleaner robot weighs 3.4 kg, so it is just as heavy as the Botvac D7 Connected from Neato and is therefore mediocre. The technically similarly equipped and attractively priced S5 Robot Vacuum Cleaner (test report) from Roborock weighs 3.2 kg.

The user can carry the Roomba i7 + back and forth and place it freely on several floors, the integrated handle on the upper surface of the housing is a help. If you have a lot of furniture at home and want the robot to move under it and vacuum, you should check in advance whether the 9.2 cm high Roomba i7 + has enough space. Other vacuum cleaner robots are sometimes less high, but technically cannot keep up: The Deebot Ozmo Slim 10 (test report) with its 5.7 cm masters the furniture discipline well - it lacks the laser measuring device for precise navigation.

The workmanship of the Roomba i7 + is good. The housing is mostly made of plastic, but the implementation is flawless. The flawless implementation and the high quality show, among other things, that this is iRobot as the manufacturer. Nothing wobbles or rattles while driving on hard ground, as is the case with the Neato or the entry-level robots up to 300. The Roomba i7 + has a bumper strip at the front and rarely or never touches obstacles such as furniture or open doors - so there are no scratches.

The Roomba i7 + has a strong suction power of up to 1800 Pa. Entry-level devices are between 1000 and 1500 Pa, while other models reach up to 2000 Pa. Be that as it may, the suction power is formally sufficient for every floor: carpet, hardwood, PVC, tiles and more should theoretically not be a challenge. In practice it looks different: The Roomba i7 + is not suitable for deep-pile carpets. This is due to the two bristle-free plastic rollers that are placed directly in front of the suction slot. There is one big advantage for this: long human and animal hair hardly gets caught. Otherwise, the Roomba i7 + sucks up coarse as well as fine dirt perfectly. The iRobot has intelligent carpet detection and thus boosts its performance for a short time. In addition, the device should have a special detection for heavy dirt, especially on entrance doors of the living space. This function was not shown in the test.

The two wheels of the iRobot Roomba i7 + are large and strongly profiled. As a result, the robot can go almost anywhere in the household and seldom stops because of the drive. The Roomba i7 + copes with high edges without any problems: Just like the Roborock S5, it climbs on elevations of up to 1.9 and sometimes 2 cm. That is better than the average of 1.5 cm.

The iRobot has a 3300 mAh battery installed in the Roomba i7 +. Officially, it should drive for up to 90 minutes in a row before it charges itself and, if necessary, continues work from the noted point. In the test, the robot achieved an average runtime of 78 minutes. The iRobot robot thus offers the shortest runtime in the previous series of tests. Even the 300 euro vacuum cleaners without navigation from Eufy and Deebot last over 90 minutes. The S5 from Robock has the longest operating time of 147 minutes. The iRobot systematically processes a living space of 75 m2 in one hour and nine minutes. The charging time is three hours.

The container of the vacuum cleaner robot is relatively small at 0.45 l. However, this is not absurd, because the robot can be automatically emptied at the charging station - but more on that later.

In the test, the Roomba i7 + behaved a little quieter than its competitors: It achieved a noise level of 66 dB at a measuring distance of one meter. 68 dB can be measured directly on the housing. The quietest robot is the Eufy Robovac 30C with 57 dB in the same test scenario.

The iRobot Roomba i7 + has a bumper strip to absorb collisions, which rarely occurred in the test. For the detection of obstacles it has a wide-angle camera, similar to the Dyson 360 Eye (test report). The iRobot does not have a rotating laser measuring device on top. The camera enables the robot to have many intelligent functions, such as precise map display, precise position determination or a continuation mode if the battery runs out, but there are also concerns about data protection. In the past, the manufacturer had to take a lot of criticism because he wanted to market the digitally reproduced living space to advertisers. This did not happen, but the rights to the data are still reserved.

Back to the product: The Roomba i7 + works because of its more precise environment mapping by system and uses its resources efficiently. As a result, it covers the area better than robots that vacuum according to the chaos principle and stop at some point. In the automatic mode, the iRobot runs its lanes until the entire living space has been driven at least once. Zones and rooms that should not be cleaned can be marked using the light barrier provided or defined as such in the app.

When it comes to operation, iRobot mainly relies on the app, which is available free of charge for iPhone and Android smartphones. Unfortunately, there is no remote control. In some situations, this is simply faster and more intuitive than having to take out the smartphone first. The smart home integration with Google Home or Amazon Alexa provides some remedy. Cleaning can be initiated with a simple voice command. Because the robot knows each individual room by name, specific zone cleaning can also be started. For example: “Hey Google, clean the kitchen!” The iRobot Roomba i7 + needs two to three cleaning processes to display a living room. Only then can the so-called smart map with rooms be defined.