Robotic vacuum cleaners can be very helpful when you have them around the house. They are designed to automatically clean your floors even when you are not at home. For all their sophisticated sensors and smart mapping systems, even the most advanced devices can get stuck in thick carpets, tangled in cables, or hopelessly lost. Before you send a robot hoover on its journey, you can get it to do its job by properly preparing your home.
Step 1: Give the docking station plenty of space
The docking station of a vacuum cleaner robot fulfills many important functions. It charges the battery so that the vacuum cleaner is immediately ready for use. The station also serves as a home base and a reference point that the robot uses to determine its position in space. The latest Roombas from iRobot has stations that can even empty and collect the vacuum cleaner container.
Carefully choose the location for your station so that your robot has enough leeway to orient itself properly when it is about to swing to charge the battery. The exact spacing that each manufacturer recommends may vary. However, allow for 1.5 to 3 feet of clearance on each side of the dock. There should also be at least one meter of free space in front of the landing stage.
It is also not a good idea to place the dock near a staircase. Not only is this a trip hazard, but it will also confuse your vacuum cleaner because it is getting too tight.
Step 2: remove small obstacles
Small, hard and especially sharp objects are bad news for any vacuum cleaner robot. Objects like metal nails, screws, and even plastic Lego bricks can be a major headache. They can damage the internal components of the vacuum cleaner and potentially scratch or damage expensive floor coverings. Make sure you keep an eye on them before they become a problem.
Step 3: cleaning up messy cables
Unruly cables and wires have long been a problem for robot vacuum cleaners. The spinning wheels and brushes of the vacuum cleaner robots often wrap around these obstacles. Minimize this risk by organizing and securing the cables.
Living room entertainment centers, home offices, and bedside tables in the bedroom are particularly problematic. Check out our guide for ideas on how to reduce cable clutter. You can also take a close look at products that I have personally tried to clean up my cable mess.
Step 4: watch out for the water
Water and electronics don’t mix, and that definitely applies to robot vacuum cleaners. The last thing you want is for your expensive robot to suck up moisture from wet floors. If water gets into critical areas such as sensors, circuits, or the electric motor, your vacuum cleaner can suffer irreparable damage.
Keep it away from your pets’ drinking bowls or items that may contain water, such as B. Planters and pots. You can do this by setting virtual no-go barriers in the app if your robot supports this function. Another option is to set up a physical virtual wall. iRobot delivers such devices together with its Roomba products: They send invisible infrared light barriers that Roombas cannot cross.
Step 5: Beware of the danger of shaggy carpets
Plush carpets can be comfortable, but they are often a trap for a robot hoover. Few robots can traverse carpets with long fibers or even tassels without getting stuck.
Consider rolling them up or taping them over with tape so they don’t get tangled up easily before cleaning. Either that or you are restricting your robot vacuum cleaner’s access to these carpets. Depending on the robot, you can cordon them off with physical or virtual barriers. Other options are magnetic tape or virtual wall accessories, both of which can be included with your robot hoover.
Step 6: Leave a light on
The iRobot Roombas and some Ecovacs Deebot models rely on a main optical sensor to move. This means that if there is insufficient ambient light, they have difficulty recognizing obstacles and correctly navigating through rooms.