Shark IQ R101AE Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum Review

Sam Harris
written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on July 26, 2020
updated on July 26, 2020

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

From an overview to reviews to frequently asked questions to alternatives. Here’s everything you need to know about the Shark IQ robot rv1001 with the auto clean dock.

Shark IQ r101ae robot vacuum preview


  • Relatively affordable
  • Smart & advanced functions
  • Awesome design & hardware
  • Cost-effective auto-dirt emptying system
  • Lots of controls & customization options


  • Software–navigation, app, and Wi-Fi–needs improvement.
  • Limited features–there are no no-go lines, and Shark IQ robot can currently only save a floor map.


Shark IQ r101ae robot vacuum specs and features

Shark rv1001ae
Auto dirt disposalyes
Digital blocked areano
Automatic recharge and resumeyes
Suction power(Pa)N/A
Accessoriescharging dock, self-cleaning brushroll, 2 x side brushes, BotBoundary strips
Amazon Alexa supportyes
Bare floor typeslaminate, ceramic tile, marble tile, vinyl, linoleum, wood
Barrier-cross Height (in)N/A
Carpet Boostno
Carpet typeslow-pile, medium-pile
Central cleaning brush typeSelf cleans (single, with bristles)
Dirt detectno
Dust bin size (ml)N/A
Full bin indicatorno
Google Assistant supportyes
Hepa filterno
Hepa filterno
Intelligent carpet detectionyes
Maps allowed for saving0
Navigation and mappingIQ NAV + VSLAM
Noise in max mode (dB)70
Price history (retrieved from$337.49 - $649.99 (click link to check current price on Amazon)
Recommended cleaning area (sq ft)969
Recommended home sizesmall, medium
Scheduling yes
Selected room cleaning yes
Selected room schedulingno
Side brush (es)2
Warranty1 year
Wifi Frequency (GHz)2.4
Working time (min)60 - 90
Zoned/custom area cleaningno
Release dateOctober 2019

Shark IQ robot vacuum r101ae review

Auto-dirt emptying

Rv1000ae or r100ae is the Shark IQ model WITHOUT the self-emptying function while rv1001ae or rv101ae is the Shark model WITH the self-empty function.
Further, the Shark IQ r101ae has a transparent window, helpful for knowing when it needs to be emptied. There’s also a notification via the app to this effect. That, in addition to its design, which allows for easy handling. Emptying is loud but brief (5 – 10 secs) and quite reliable too.
The fact there are no additional expenses on proprietary dirtbags means the auto-dirt bin of the Shark is cost-effective EXCEPT you may find it isn’t very convenient when you go to thrash its content.

A little pricier than the Shark, if you don’t want to be exposed to all the crud when you go to empty the dispenser, consider the bagged options of the Roomba i7 or Proscenic M7 Pro.

Related: Shark IQ robot vs. Roomba i7+

Controls & settings

There are several ways to initiate and pause cleaning on the Shark IQ r100ae. One way is to link up with your home assistant and, after that, give commands.
The second way is to press the Clean and Dock button on the device.
Another way is to commence and stop cleaning via the app.
There are more settings within the app for making further choices based on your requirements. For instance, you could toggle the suction strength. When the Shark floor cleaner is in cleaning mode, you can hit “find my Robot,” and it will play a tune loudly so that you can locate where in the home it’s currently hiding. Also, the history tab will show a calendar and provide stats/info for the month’s total cleaning history. You may click on a specific date to see the breakdown for that day.

Pairing the device to a Wi-Fi or smart device isn’t required to start cleaning; it’s, however, necessary for accessing extra features to include scheduled cleaning and zone cleaning.
Do take note that the SharkClean app sometimes may not recognize connections. Or the SharkClean app may connect, only to lose connection shortly afterward.


Deals & offers

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To maintain peak performance, some effort, albeit minimal, is required on your part. Here’s how to maintain the Shark IQ:


Without mincing words, the mapping of the Shark floor cleaner lacks, particularly when you consider the time it takes and the accuracy of the map.
Shark noted that mapping could take several runs. Also, the usability of the created map leaves a lot to be desired.
And while it’s possible to run the Shark automatic vacuum in a multi-level home, be aware it can currently only save one map.


Getting confused in dark environments is one of the problems of camera-based navigation robots. It turns out the Shark IQ robot is camera-based.

Another navigation issue of the Shark robot entails not returning to its base consistently, plus it gets stuck far too frequently, at least compared to other robot vacuums in its category.

Pick-up performance/cleaning test

The Shark IQ picks up fine sand, dust, dirt particles, and other debris off of hardwood, vinyl, tile, laminate, and other similar surfaces.

Also, carpet cleaning on the rv1001ae is pretty decent—low, medium, or high pile carpet.

Another favorite thing about the Shark is its ability to sweep hair, both human and dog. That, plus its unique self-cleaning brush design. As a result, the Shark IQ robot is a perfect choice if you suspect yours, wife’s or daughter’s hair is invasive.
Watch this video for better insight into the vacuuming abilities of the Shark IQ smart robot:


The Shark IQ without the emptying tower (r100ae/rv1001) sells for ±$300 at Amazon. The Shark IQ with the clean base (r101ae/rv1001ae) is ±$500.

Parts & accessories

As recommended by the OEM or when it makes sense, you will be replacing parts to include batteries, extractors, brushes, wheels, etc. Shark’s booklet lists part-numbers and where to get replacements. Alternatively, you can go here.


Having found a suitable location for the dock, plug the dock to a power source. Next up: start charging the Shark IQ r1001ae.

While charging is ongoing, you can proceed by downloading the SharkClean app.

In the SharkClean app, you can:

  • Register and rename the Shark IQ robot
  • Reset mapping data
  • Adjust the volume level of the notifications
  • Receive notifications if the robot has errors while running
  • Instruct the Shark IQ to evacuate more frequently. This setting can be turned on for homes with high debris or for pet owners with heavy shedder dog/cat breeds.


Use these tips for troubleshooting common problems (charging, docking, and navigation) of the Shark IQ robot.

Shark IQ robot frequently asked questions & answers

Q: Is the Shark IQ robot good?

A: The Shark IQ robot is great but not flawless. It’s affordable and has impressive cleaning capability, but then the software needs improvement.

Q: How much does a Shark IQ robot cost?

A: On Amazon and as of the time of this writing, the Shark IQ robot with the self-emptying base costs somewhere around $500

Q: How does the shark IQ robot work?

A: The Shark IQ robot works pretty much like most robot vacuums: Launches from its dock; maps the area while cleaning; returns home for recharging or evacuation; resumes cleaning; docks upon completing the assigned vacuuming task.

Q: Which is better, Shark IQ or Roomba?

A: The Roomba is better in my opinion. The Roomba i7+ self-emptying robot vacuum cleaner excels over the Shark IQ in key areas to include software and product support. The only aspect Shark IQ is ‘better’ would be in terms of its pricing.

Q: Does Shark IQ robot work on carpet?

A: Yes, the Shark IQ robot works on carpets. Do also keep in mind, that as with robot vacuums with camera-based navigation, the Shark IQ robot may struggle with black carpets or carpets with dark stains.

Q: Is the Shark IQ robot loud?

A: The Shark IQ on high power is a loud machine at 70 decibels. If you think noise will be an issue, you may consider running the Shark IQ robot on your way out. The Roborock S6 which doesn’t have a self-emptying function is a quiet alternative to the Shark IQ robot. S6’s noise level is just under 60 decibels.

Q: Will Shark IQ fall down the stairs?

A: If the cliff detecting sensors of the Shark IQ robot cleaner isn’t blocked. It shouldn’t fall down the stairs.

Q: How do I empty the Shark IQ robot?

A: Follow the steps in this video:

Q: What’s the difference between Shark r100ae and Shark r101ae?

A: One (the Shark r101ae) has the automatic dirt disposal function while the other (the Shark r100ae) doesn’t.

Q: Will the Shark IQ work with any other of the Shark vacuums?

A: The Shark IQ works only with the model it ships with. The same is obtainable of other self-emptying floor robot cleaners to include the Roomba i7+ and s9+.

Shark IQ r101ae alternatives

With price being one of the upsides of the Shark IQ robot. On the downside are issues bordering on software and product support.

If you have the budget, the Roomba i7+ is by far a better self-emptying robot vacuum alternative to the Shark r101ae. If you don’t have the budget, you can take a look at the Proscenic M7 Pro.

The map and navigation of the i7+ are more refined. As a result, vacuuming is effortless and efficient. Not only that, but the Roomba i7+ also has the smart top-up function for quick recharging and faster cleaning plus it’s quiet.


Is the Shark IQ robot worth it? The answer depends on what’s important to you. If it’s pricing and the auto dirt disposal function, the Shark robot makes sense. If features, reliable performance, product, or customer support are of a priority, better to go with the Roomba i7+ or the Proscenic M7 Pro.

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