irobot roomba 981 robot vacuum full review

iRobot Roomba 981 Review || Awesome Mapping Robot

Complete Review of the iRobot Roomba 981 Robot Vacuum

iRobot Roomba 981 Review

The Roomba 981 is a high-end vacuum robot from the 900 series by iRobot. It is the most efficient model in this series that cleans with the AeroForce suction system and moves more intelligently with the help of a camera.

The Roomba 981 is the highest quality model from iRobot. The design is similar to that of the previous generations of the brand, with a circular shape and a simplified facade, as a smartphone application allows the robot to be controlled via a WiFi connection. With the clean button you can start cleaning, with the home button you return to the charging station, and with the spot button (target) you can clean a deeper area.

For cleaning, the Roomba 980 uses the AeroForce system, which was already built into the models of the 800 series. This system uses 3 levels: Aside brush brings the dust in the corners and along the walls to 2 counter-rotating brushes that catch dust, animal hair, etc., and store it in the dust container. The air then flows through a HEPA filter before it is discharged so that the remaining fine dust is also filtered.

  • Very good cleaning performance on both hard floors and carpets. The AeroForce system has a stronger suck power, which significantly improves the performance compared to former generations.
  • The new semi-rigid rubber brushes do not run the risk of getting tangled in hair or long bristles: this simplifies maintenance.
  • The iAdapt2 navigation system makes a leap forward compared to the previous models: the shift now combines methodical movements with the mapping of each room, which makes cleaning much faster.
  • The robot’s autonomy of 120 minutes is excellent. Since the Roomba 981 is able to recharge itself and continue working where it left off, it can also clean very large areas.
  • The dust container is easy to remove and closes to prevent dust from being released.
  • This connected robot can be remotely controlled via the iRobot HOME application, which can also be used to inform you of its status.
  • With a height of only 3 cm, the Roomba 981 fits under most furniture and beds.
  • The price of the Roomba 981 is very high: that is its main drawback.
  • Not an application for Windows Phone.


The task of the 2 rubber brushes is to loosen the dirt and bring it to the suction level, the flow of which is concentrated between the 2 brushes for more efficiency. The brushes are knot-free and therefore easy to maintain. The high-performance motor used is compact and offers high suction power.

To get around, Roomba 981 uses an intelligent movement system (iAdapt 2) that combines linear movements with mapping and visual localization thanks to built-in sensors, in particular a camera placed in the center of the robot and inclined by 30 ° to both to see the room as well as the furniture. The movements are therefore no longer random, which significantly improves the efficiency of the robot, even if its autonomy has decreased compared to the models of the 800 series with XL batteries.

irobot roomba 981

Infrared sensors and a touch bumper allow the robot to gently detect and avoid obstacles without damaging them. Six vacuum sensors prevent accidental falls on the stairs (Cliff Detect function).

The Dirt Detect 2 function automatically detects more dirty areas (using an acoustic sensor and two optical sensors) and spends more time with them.

the robot is able to return to charging in its base and then resume work where it left off.

Roomba 981 is able to adjust the height of its suspensions to the type of flooring to maintain maximum efficiency on any type of floor.

It is a model connected to the network: the iRobot HOME application allows you to remotely control the robot (when connected to WiFi), as well as to check where it is while cleaning (and the filling level of the dust container!).

With the application, you can z. For example, program a delayed start (up to 7 times a week) so that Roomba starts automatically while you are at work. You can also use it to create cleaning plans. On the other hand, it is not possible to control the robot directly. The information displayed (Clean Map Report) is interesting: this is how we find the time it took to clean, the map of the house, and even the dirty spots where the robot had to use its spot mode! You can have a notification sent to your phone when the cleaning is done.

The tank is equipped with a HEPA filter: The air given off by the vacuum cleaner robot is therefore free of allergens and fine dust. It’s easy to take out and it’s closed so that no dust is released when handling the container: a good point. A control lamp warns when the dust container is full and needs to be emptied.

The virtual walls (2 are included) can either be used to prevent temporary access to certain areas (e.g. a room) or to create a “halo” area (radius approx. 60 cm) around the virtual wall to protect around, e.g. B. to protect the bowl and the litter from pets. Additional virtual walls can be purchased separately.

Customers’ Opinion

I had the Roomba 691 and it was already working fine. The 981, while much more expensive, is also much more efficient. It’s by far the best vacuum cleaner robot I’ve seen in action.

The main difference to the 691 is the way it moves. The 691 took an indiscriminate march, eventually covering the entire area indiscriminately but with perseverance. The 981 is much smarter, it streamlines its movements. That’s why it’s much more effective. He knows where he’s gone, he knows where to go and where to come back. During a cycle, it first traverses the surface (several parts) by proceeding in parallel bands. When this first pass is finished, he goes back to do the corners, the edges of the walls, and the rotation of the legs of chairs or furniture. If he knows where he has already worked, he is very effective in getting out of the traps. It’s pretty amazing to see that.

The other difference is the power. When it hits a carpet, it increases its suction power to clean thoroughly. It is very effective. Overall, it is less loud than the 691, except when it is at maximum power.

Other than these important differences, the rest are pretty much the same. You can program the hours and days that you are active during the week via your phone. So we can let him work in our absence and when his cycle is over he goes straight back to his base (knowing where he is, he goes straight back there, unlike the 691 who did a bit of searching).

It comes with a filter and a spare brush head, as well as two terminals for creating virtual barriers (to keep it out of a specific room or area).

Conclusion: brilliant! In my opinion the best vacuum cleaner robot ever.

I admit this is my first robot hoover. And I’m not disappointed at all. I have a short-haired dog and he often loses her. Starting the vacuum every day in my absence helps keep my floor clean and neat between big cleanings. He also climbs on my carpet in the living room without hesitation. It returns to its tower base by itself to recharge and then continues vacuuming where it left off. The suction power is at the top for the dust from the sheep and the hair that I lose in a mess. Make sure to clean the filter often to keep it performing well. Stowed in a corner of the room, it is inconspicuous and not too ugly. It’s quiet and inconspicuous. The price is still high, but nothing beats this brand for such quality.

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