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Discussion Starter #1
There are several brands and types available. Obviously the most famous one is the iRobot Roomba. Unfortunately it's expensive and is not close to being the best.

For starters, there are 2 major types: navigation and random.

Random just bounces around and get stuck all the time. These are the budget models. It only works for certain floor plan and they are worthless.
I already tried them.

Then there's the navigation or smart robot vacuum. These either use LIDAR (laser) or camera.
They will go around and map your floor plan and you can decide where to electronically block them off from certain area.
A major disadvantage to the camera system is that it needs light to operate so you can not run it at night.
So my choice would be LIDAR guided.

To further complicate my decision, there are also 2 shapes for these robots. Round and D shaped. Round being the most popular.
However, round robots can't really clean corners even with their spinning brushes.
D shape is great for corners but get stuck on chair legs.

After some research, I've decided to get a smart navigation robot. Now it's just a matter of deciding the shape, brand and model.

I'm leaning towards the Roborock S4 or S5 but the company is so obscure and mostly based in China. They don't even have a customer contact number!
The Roombas are well established but they're all camera based and just overpriced.
Samsung is a great brand but they're also new to this field and also overpriced.

If anyone has one of these robot, please let me know what you think of them.
 

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There are several brands and types available. Obviously the most famous one is the iRobot Roomba. Unfortunately it's expensive and is not close to being the best.

For starters, there are 2 major types: navigation and random.

Random just bounces around and get stuck all the time. These are the budget models. It only works for certain floor plan and they are worthless.
I already tried them.

Then there's the navigation or smart robot vacuum. These either use LIDAR (laser) or camera.
They will go around and map your floor plan and you can decide where to electronically block them off from certain area.
A major disadvantage to the camera system is that it needs light to operate so you can not run it at night.
So my choice would be LIDAR guided.

To further complicate my decision, there are also 2 shapes for these robots. Round and D shaped. Round being the most popular.
However, round robots can't really clean corners even with their spinning brushes.
D shape is great for corners but get stuck on chair legs.

After some research, I've decided to get a smart navigation robot. Now it's just a matter of deciding the shape, brand and model.

I'm leaning towards the Roborock S4 or S5 but the company is so obscure and mostly based in China. They don't even have a customer contact number!
The Roombas are well established but they're all camera based and just overpriced.
Samsung is a great brand but they're also new to this field and also overpriced.

If anyone has one of these robot, please let me know what you think of them.
Great analysis (y). I have the Dyson. It has fantastic suction but navigation can be an issue at times - in my place it's fine. It's also overpriced. I've heard good things about the Xiaomi - you looked at that?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Great analysis (y). I have the Dyson. It has fantastic suction but navigation can be an issue at times - in my place it's fine. It's also overpriced. I've heard good things about the Xiaomi - you looked at that?
Yeah the Xiaomi has been branded as Roborock in the US.
The Dyson Heurist is a sexy machine but it's well above my budget and not on sale in the US.

I've decided to get the Samsung R7040. It's a camera based smart robot and it's on sale for $249.99 from $499.99 and came with 6 months 0% interest financing from Samsung.
It's got some cool features too.

 

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Neato is the only vacuum robot I would own. They are on sale currently pretty much everywhere. I own many: D5 and bunch of Connected. I could fix most of the issues. Plenty of inexpensive spare parts and forums supporting it. Vacuum robots are not an easy thing to make and ensure many years of use.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm looking for best bang for the buck and Neato is still $200 more than I want to spend even after a discount. As long as it doesn't get stuck I'll be happy.
 

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I have a roborock s5 and I am satisfied with it.I would recommend a s4. When I put the s5 to vacuum the trunk of my phev, it says "strong magnetic field detected".Eventually it started vacuuming it.
 

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I have a Xiaomi Roborock S5 and I am really happy with it. Today I put it to vacuum and mop upstairs and downstairs. While it was doing it's job I was able to do my own work. While I was away for lunch, it cleaned the office. The only disadvantage I see is that it can not remember the map for the 2 floors. But somehow it's logical not to be able to do that because I need to move also the base. If you would move back the base to the 1st floor, if it would not be put exactly in the same place everything would be messed up. But I could do some marks on the floor downstairs and upstairs and put it exactly in the same place if the robot would remember both maps.
 

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Hmmm, you guys are bad. Hadn't even thought of buying a robot vacuum before seeing this thread. Thought they were just another unnecessary electronic house gadget. But this thread (that Darth Vader video actually) made me look into it further, and now looking at buying a Neato Botvac D7. Seems to be a good price, for what you get (mapping etc), and can do a room in 10 min, better than other more expensive ones, and way better than the cheapies, which can take an hour, just for one room.
Test Results (Tom'sGuide)

NameSmartphone controlOverall Cleaning ScoreAvg. Cleaning time (Hrs:Min:Sec)Cheerios cleaning scoreKitty Litter Cleaning ScoreDog Hair Cleaning Score
iRobot Roomba i7+Yes90.400:18:0993.187.690.5
Samsung PowerBot R7070Yes87.900:27:3094.687.781.5
iRobot Roomba 690Yes89.21:12:2799.594.973.3
Shark Ion Robot R85Yes941:01:571009488
Neato Botvac D7Yes91.300:10:2299.88589.3
 

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sometimes cats can be difficult, especially indoors
Not difficult, just scared. My younger kitty hisses at the mere sight of me carrying the unpowered vacuum. The elder one is just brave enough to sniff the appliance a long while after it was last in use. And this is just a classic upright hand operated vacuum. They’d go nuts if the thing apparently chased them on its own. But any cat owner knows that.
Edit: not “owner”, but caretaker. You can’t own an independent being.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You guys obviously don’t have cats. Otherwise the notion of self driving vacuums would not be present in your vocabulary :unsure:
I have a cat and she loves it. Gets excited as if she's trying to catch it. Then goes hide around the corner to observe.
 
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