How Does A Robot Vacuum Work?

Technological advancements have led to the development of some amazing devices that make our lives much easier. One such device is the robot vacuum cleaner.

A robot vacuum cleaner is a robotic appliance that has been specifically designed for cleaning floors.

It is equipped with sensors and brushes that help it move around furniture and other obstacles, making it very efficient at cleaning all kinds of floors.


But how does a robot vacuum actually work? In this article, we will see the inner workings of these nifty little devices so that you can better understand how they work and determine if they are the right choice for you and your home.

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Read: The 10 Best Robot Vacuums

How Does A Robot Vacuum Work?

Robot vacuum cleaners work just like larger vacuum cleaners when it comes to vacuuming up dust and dirt from your rugs and hard floors: they use a number of brushes, and in some cases, a spinning brush bar, to extract and gather the dirt and suck it up into the vacuum’s dustbin.

Before the dust container, the dirt is typically forced through a filter. While most robot vacuums require manual emptying, others can automatically release the dust cup’s contents into a larger dust bin in a docking station, allowing them to clean multiple times without your intervention.

Using either approach, the robot vacuum will proceed to move around your home according to a specific pattern or route that you have set.

This is generally done by setting up virtual walls, which are physical barriers that emit an infrared signal that tells the vacuum where it can and cannot go.

The sensors are also used to prevent the robot vacuum from becoming trapped between rooms with carpets or rough floors when it goes between them.

If you want to ensure that cleaning is done on time, you can set up schedules for the vacuum to follow.

You can do this through a mobile app, or some models even come with Alexa support by giving voice commands to start, stop, and pause the cleaning.

How Do Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Navigate?

How Do Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Navigate

A very common question in regards to robotic vacuum cleaners is how do robot vacuum cleaners work?

The answer is actually not that complicated. Let us understand their navigation process:

Obstacle Sensors

While cleaning a house, a robot vacuum cleaner will find obstacles such as chairs, beds, sofas, and other types of furniture and objects.

Vacuum cleaners are equipped with obstacle sensors located near the shock-absorbing bumpers.

So whenever it senses an obstruction, the bumper allows the vacuum to steer clear of the obstacle and drive it on a clear path.

Cliff Sensors

These sensors are very important for a vacuum cleaner; without them, they would risk getting damaged.

Let me tell you why. So cliff sensors basically use infrared signals constantly to measure the distance to the floor.

If in case the signal does not bounce back to it, then it immediately establishes that there is a cliff or stairs ahead and changes its course of direction immediately.

Wheel Sensors

A wheel sensor allows the vacuum to measure the wheel rotation.

With the wheel’s circumference and the wheel rotation number, the vacuum calculates how far it has traveled and what turns it has made.

These sensors allow them to navigate better and pinpoint their precise location.

Wall Sensors

The name might suggest that these sensors protect the vacuum from colliding with the wall, but that’s not the case.

Using infrared light, wall sensors allow the vacuum to detect walls so that they can follow along them.

This sensor allows the vacuum to clean the edges of the floor without bumping or colliding.

Mapping Feature of Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

The high-end versions of robot vacuum cleaners also come with a mapping feature.

So these high-end vacuums are basically equipped with cameras that click the pictures of your furniture, walls, doorways, etc. and using collected data, it starts building a map of your house through which it can navigate.

Some mapping features are exceptionally advanced, and it helps the vacuum to perform certain tasks.

For example, this feature helps the vacuum to analyze where it is and where it needs to go; it allows the vacuum to sense it is low on battery and allows them to self-charge, etc.

Some of them come with an app using which you can track and control their movement, and so on.

What Sets Robot Vacuums Apart From Traditional Vacuums?

Robot Vacuums

Now that we know how a robot vacuum works, it is important to understand what sets it apart from traditional vacuums.

After all, if you are considering purchasing a robot vacuum, you will want to ensure that it is the right investment.

Here are some features that set robot vacuums apart from their traditional counterparts:

  • Robot Vacuums Reduce The Amount Of Time Spent Cleaning

One of the major benefits of owning a robotic vacuum is the amount of time it saves, which would have otherwise been spent cleaning.

If you have one of these at your home, you can spend the time doing things that are more important to you while still having the peace of mind that your floors are being cleaned.

Moreover, you can pre-set the cleaning schedule for the robot vacuum, so you do not even have to worry about starting it. Just set it and forget it!

  • Robot Vacuums Can Clean Underneath Furniture

Cleaning is hardly enjoyable, but having to go on your hands and knees or lift heavy furniture to clean underneath it makes the chore feel much more daunting.

With a robot vacuum, you do not have to worry about this as it is designed to clean underneath furniture items.

Because of their compact size, robot vacuums have excellent movement, which allows them to clean easily underneath furniture such as sofas and beds.

  • You Can Use Them For Cleaning In An Emergency

There are certain days when you just don’t feel like cleaning, and we’ve all been there.

However, if you have guests coming over unexpectedly or you’re hosting an event at your home, a robot vacuum can be a lifesaver.

In such scenarios, you can set up the vacuum to clean the most visible areas so that your home looks presentable.

  • Robot Vacuums Are Easy To Store

Since a robot vacuum is considerably smaller than a standup or canister vacuum cleaner, it can be stored almost anywhere — in a closet, beneath a bed, or wherever there is space.

The device is, therefore, perfect for any homeowner who is trying to minimize their cleaning footprint.

Read: How To Clean Shark Robot Vacuum Filter?

Also Read: How To Choose A Robot Vacuum?

Limitations of Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

Wrapping Up

So, how do robot vacuums work? By now, you should have a good understanding of how these nifty little devices operate.

In short, they use sensors to navigate your home and clean your floors while avoiding obstacles. By investing in a robot vacuum, you can save time and effort.

Read: How To Clean Robot Vacuum?


What are Robot Vacuum Cleaners Made of?

The majority of Robot Vacuum Cleaners are made of plastic chassis, and they use lithium-ion batteries to function.

Can I use my Robot Vacuum everyday?

It is entirely up to you whether or not you want to use your robot vacuum every day.

We recommend using it 4-5 times a week, but if your house is more prone to getting dirty, then there is no harm in using it every day.

Can robotic vaccum cleaners get stuck on carpets and rugs?

Yes, even the most advanced robot vacuum cleaners can get stuck if they hinder a thick carpet.

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