Automatic Robot Vacuum: The Truths and the Myths

Sam Harris
written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on March 23, 2019
updated on August 8, 2019

Since Electrolux launched the first robot vacuum over two decades ago, this nifty smart home device, like most new innovations, continues to be at the center of several discussions.

But while many of the opinions held against robot vacuums, for example, that robot vacuums have lower suction or that they can’t do stairs is true, there’s, however, a few other opinions held and believed about robot vacuums–to include that there are no fully automatic robotic cleaners–which are actually false.

At the end of today’s article, you should be able to identify which existing information about a robot vacuum is true or false.

Making Distinction Between Truth and Myth in the Context of a Robot Vacuum

Perhaps you don’t know, robot vacuums can’t do stairs plus their suction is lesser in comparison to an upright vacuum. The aforementioned is very TRUE of robot vacuums in general.

On the other hand, opinions insinuating that there are no cheap automatic robot vacuums, that robot vacuums lack smart mapping and navigation, or that robot vacuum is a waste of time are simply MYTHS, especially when generalization is being made which is the case most times.

The Robot Vacuum Truths Everybody’s Talking About

Robot Vacuums Can’t Do Stairs

Unfortunately, the automatic robotic vacuum cleaners that are available right now can’t handle stairs.

Robot Vacuums Have Lesser Suction

Suction often depend on the motor of a robot vacuum. It neither helps as robot vacuums are battery-powered.

The Robot Vacuum Cleaner Myths Everybody’s Talking About

Robot Vacuum Lack of Smart Navigation

While it’s true that the navigation of a certain Roomba 630, 650 or even 652, early Roomba series, for short, is random, they don’t miss litters and dust particles, and for the most part, cleaning output is topnotch.

That mentioned robot vacuums such as the Roomba 960, 980, i7 plus, and s9 plus have advanced navigational features. This means they’ll bump into things a lot less, will find their charging base, and won’t miss spots when cleaning.

Robot Vacuum Lack of Smart Mapping

I’m not ignorant of the fact that there are robot vacuums lacking the smart mapping feature, but it’s highly untrue that all robot vacuums lack this feature.

With the help of sensors, a certain Roomba i7 plus, for instance, will let you create a floor plan, which can be permanently stored, helping to boost the device’s efficiency going forward by significantly reducing repeated processes.

There Are No Cheap Robot Vacuums

Of course, there are robot vacuums, especially the latest series of the Roomba at the high end of $500+. Even so, the Roomba i7 plus is only a few dollars shy of the 1000 price point. So, yeah, there are premium robot vacuums.

Because there are premium robot vacuums though doesn’t automatically translate to the fact that there are no budget robotic cleaners. I mean quality, affordable robot vacuum under 200 dollars. Guess most upright vacuums (including the one you currently own) sells within the 200 dollars price point, no?

Robot Vacuums Are a Waste of Money

This is by far the most misleading robot vacuum myth I’ve read.

In this post, the author concluded that robot vacuums, because they’ve less suction, struggle with clutter, are expensive, can’t do stairs, require maintenance. Therefore, they’re a waste of money. Like seriously?

For all I know, homeowners with wood floors don’t require as much suction else they risk scratches that can be costly to fix. Meaning, suction, for the most part, is tied to individual floor type.

Then again, preparing a room for cleaning isn’t the job of a robot vacuum. That, plus preparing a room prior to vacuuming isn’t exclusive to automatic robot vacuum cleaners.

For robot vacuums being expensive. I’ve already done justice to that in the preceding subheading. One more thing I’d like to add is that as of 2019, any homeowner who’s buying expensive robot vacuums probably wants to do so, or maybe s/he is particular about specific features–and not because there aren’t cheaper and quality alternatives.

As far as stairs are concerned…

Well, most robot vacuums can descend stairs, only they can’t ascend stairs. And while at it, there are detect sensors attached to prevent them from falling off tall heights but you know…

Consequently, I’d think this is more about the risk involved than the inability of the robot vacuum to do stairs.

And lastly, talking about robot vacuums in the context that they require maintenance.

For this one, I’ll try to resist the temptation to compare the type and level of maintenance required by both a smart vacuum and an upright vacuum. However, one thing I know is that robot vacuum requires maintenance in the same way as an upright vacuum. I’ll also add that according to a Vdta, an upright vacuum should be serviced 12 to 18 months.

So, granted, robot vacuums work but aren’t perfect. The limitations/imperfections associated with robot vacuums shouldn’t, therefore, become a basis for a verdict that they’re a waste of money.

The Robot Vacuum Cleaner Myth Nobody is Talking About

If you’ve got a robotic vacuum cleaner that does not self-clean–you should expect it to stop when the dust bin is full, which means you’ll have to empty it before it can start working again. Needless to mention that this activity can quickly become work for most people and besides, this means that you can’t run your robot while you’re away from home.

Debunking the BIG Robot Vacuum Cleaner Myth: A Fully Automatic Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

A robotic vacuum is expected to automate the whole vacuuming process that frees your time, saves up your energy and makes your life more comfortable.

However, some persons have argued that robot vacuums aren’t fully automatic, citing cases such as when it’s required to empty the debris bin every single time manually. Trust me, this is a MYTH. I mean buying a robot vacuum that requires you to empty the debris bin frequently is a choice because there’s actually a robot vacuum that does this automatically.

Enter: iRobot Roomba i7 robotic vacuum.


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iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal- Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
  • Empties on its own you don't have to think about vacuuming for weeks at a time. Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal holds 30 bins of dirt, dust and hair
  • Power Lifting Suction delivers 10X the air power* for improved pick up performance. Ideal for homes with pets. Premium 3 Stage Cleaning System cleans the dirt and pet hair you see and the allergens and dust you don't. *(Compared to Roomba 600 Series and AeroVac System)
  • Patented iAdapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM technology allows the robot to seamlessly navigate and efficiently clean an entire level of your home
  • Imprint Smart Mapping enables the robot to learn, map and adapt to your home, allowing you to control which rooms are cleaned and when
  • High Efficiency Filter traps 99 percent of cat and dog allergens

With just a simple gesture made over the iRobot App, the Roomba i7 plus vacuums the entire level of the home (or you could schedule cleaning for individual rooms).

iRobot Roomba i7 plus does this by recharging itself, finding its way to the charging base to automatically empty its debris tank and/or to charge, all the while returning to continue the cleaning where it left off. When the cleaning job is over, iRobot Roomba i7 plus powers down on its own. Easy peasy.

Final Thought

Fact is, there’s a lot of conflicting and misleading information out there about robot vacuums. This information may or may not have an agenda, but so far today’s article has provided insights on some known truths about robot vacuums.

In the same breath, the article alerted and attempted to dispel some false ideas and beliefs chief amongst them being that robot vacuums aren’t fully automatic.

As a result, the article introduced the Roomba i7 plus robot vacuum as the only fully automatic vacuum cleaner as of the time of this writing.

From the foregoing, you can see that your excuse for not buying a robot vacuum, which is that there are no fully automatic ones, is not valid.

Want in on the first fully automatic robot vacuum? Here you go!