Robot vacuums have become a permanent fixture in many homes – that’s why we’re going to go over some of top tips and tricks to get the most of your robotic helper and keep it running smoothly. Back in the days when we saw the first Star Wars movies on the big screens, we might have imagined robotic house-keeping help in the 2020’s as something resembling a shiny golden C-3PO with a vacuum accessory attached, what we actually have in the second decade of the new millennium are small, sleek, robotic vacuums which require much less human interaction than what we probably would have found with a nosy protocol droid. Still, today’s best robot vacuums do require a small amount of human intervention in order to function at their best.

Before you purchase a robot vacuum cleaner, you should carefully read all the specs and find the best robot vacuum for your home. You know the specifics of your space, and should find the robot vacuum that offers what you need most. For example, if your home is large, with big areas to vacuum, you’ll want a robot vacuum with a large battery life to limit the number of times your vacuum needs to return to the dock for recharging. A larger dust bin capacity size is also helpful for larger spaces so you don’t have to empty it as often.

If you have more hard surface floors than carpets, you may want to choose a robot vacuum with a mop attachment and water tank option. If you have pets, a robot vacuum with a HEPA filter and roller brushes that are specified as good for pet hair pick-up is essential. If your home has a lot of collectibles, or breakables, then a vacuum with border building technologies to prevent it from entering specified areas is helpful.

Robot Vacuums Vs Cords, Pets, Obstacles And More

Most of today’s best robot vacuums come with mapping technology which allows them to map out your space and develop and commit to memory the best plan of action for the most efficient vacuuming. It’s a good idea to watch your new robot vacuum at work the first few times it vacuums a room, and then support its efforts by noticing things that get in its way and correcting the problems as much as possible. For example, if your robot vacuum is getting caught on electrical cords or low-lying phone chargers, you can try to move these out of the way. If it’s having trouble getting between narrow chair legs, you can tip the chairs up before a vacuum session. Even the best robot vacuums can get caught on shaggy area rugs. These should be rolled out of the way or taped down before being vacuumed.

Most of the best robot vacuums have self-charging technologies which allow them to recognize a low battery level and return to their dock to recharge before continuing if a cleaning chore was left unfinished. But sometimes they can get lost or trapped away from their dock. Placing your dock on a flat, easily accessed area will help the vacuum to more easily return to its dock. It’s best to place the dock against a wall so the returning vacuum won’t push it over while trying to dock. Check to be sure no one has placed obstacles such as shoes, toys, or backpacks on the floor in front of your dock. The area immediately surrounding the charging dock should be kept clear so that your vacuum can easily maneuver itself onto the dock. Keep both the dock’s charging contacts and the optical sensors on your vacuum cleaner wiped clean so that your vacuum can more easily find it and dock properly.

It’s important to keep your vacuum away from water spills which can interfere with its electronics and cause damage. Pet water bowls should be out of reach, or electronic barriers erected around them to protect your vacuum’s electronics. Robot Vacuums should get updates whenever they are available. This will keep your vacuum running at its best and also protect your own information such as the floor plan maps stored in your vacuum’s memory. Your robot vacuum will work very efficiently for you if you put in the small amount of effort it takes to give it a good start, and help it on its way. Then you can grab your popcorn and remote control and just let it do its thing.

Next: The Best Robot Vacuums (Updated 2020)