Robotic Vacuums

BObi by Bobsweep Review – Is the BObi a Competent Vacuum?

bobi by bobsweep reviewDefinitely winning the award – were there one – for the cutest sounding product name, the BObi is the latest floor sanitisation and cleaning robot offering from Canadian company Bobsweep.  Best known for their Bobsweep Standard and Bobsweep Pethair models, the company hopes to clean up (pun intended) with their newest stablemate.  Bobsweep have gained a reputation for useful, usable robotic vacuum cleaners that have more capabilities than many others on the market and the Standard is way up there with the best, but even this has to move aside in the long shadow cast by the BObi. The following is my first stand-alone look at the BObi, in this BObi by Bobsweep review.

While there now many robotic vacuums on the market there are few like the BObi can do all things expected at the same time.  Vacuuming, sweeping and mopping autonomously when you program it to do so, and with the extra kicker of having an ultra violet (UV) sanitizer, you can be sure that your house is as clean as it gets!  With a powerful but remarkably quiet – measuring between just 60 and 70 decibels – motor, the BObi will pick up anything you care to leave on your floor.  From pizza crumbs to pet hair, BObi sweeps over it and leaves nothing in its wake.

The huge surge in companies manufacturing automated vacuum cleaners is testament to the general public’s interest in the devices. As we lead increasingly frantic lifestyles, we find that we have less time to do basic tasks and turn increasingly to robots and automated equipment to do it for us.  But market forces drive and product development and it can’t be denied that some products are better than others.

It is possible to pick up a robot vacuum for a couple of hundred dollars, but for that price you will get a fairly pedestrian device that will push around as much dirt as it manages to pick up, and it certainly won’t have the bells and whistles that a more expensive machine will be fitted with as standard.  As with many products, you pays your money and you takes your choice.  If you happen to decide to spend a little more, and choose BObi, you will more than likely end up enchanted with your purchase.

Specs: Out of the box and just 12 inches in diameter and three inches thick, the BObi is a neat little package that belies its power and capacity.   It is fully programmable and can be made to do the whole deep cleaning cycle at any time, and since it is so quiet running in the depths of the night isn’t a problem unless you happen to include the bedrooms in the cycle and then it may well wake you as it glides under the bed and round the furniture.

Scheduling: Programming is carried out via the supplied remote control and is simplicity itself; you select the day, the time and the period of time – easy. The remote unit also allows selection of cleaning modes and can be used to direct BObi to areas that you want cleaned again, should it not have managed to scrub off a floor mark the first time.   Those times are few and far between though as the combination cleaning unit has excellent dirt sensors and rarely fails to deliver anything other than excellent service.

Floor Types: BObi is designed to work on many different floor types – carpet- hardwood, marble, and linoleum included – and will automatically adjust its cleaning head and operations to match what is underneath it.

Navigation: Navigation is completed out by a combination of IR sensors and virtual walls which tell BObi when to stop.  These work very well and the unit is able to manoeuvre its way round the cleaning area without bumping into your ornaments, and managing to get right into the corners thanks to its side-sweeping brushes that drag dirt and dust into the main sweeper brush.  The mains sweeper itself is sturdy and bristly enough to pick up the finest of pet hairs and dust.  All robot vacuums have spatial awareness sensors but some are not very good at all, steering rather haphazardly around your rooms and banging into anything smaller than the very walls, but this has been refined with BObi, which glides around in a ballet of perfect cleaning.  BObi is fitted with 80 radio frequency sensors which ensures that it stays where it is supposed to, doesn’t bump into things in your room, and certainly doesn’t fall down the stairs, so you can do upstairs rooms with confidence too.  BObi can work in rooms of all sizes but works best in relatively uncluttered areas of under 1,000 square feet, but that’s a pretty huge area to cover anyway.

Pet Hair Terminator: Where the BObi really scores though is in its ability to vacuum while it sweeps and then mops too.  But that’s not the whole story and you can be sure that your area is really clean by virtue of the ultra violet light that sanitises the hardiest of bugs.  This factor, together with BObi’s ability to deep cleanse pet hair makes it the machine of choice for cat, dog, and even hamster owners, and it comes with Hepa filtration so you can be sure that it will really remove allergens and other sub-micron particles.  Bobsweep recommend that the Hepa filters are changed for fresh ones every three to six months, depending upon usage.

Charging: Fresh out of the box, BObi takes around four to five hours to charge initially but then goes to rest on its charger base when not in use and receives a trickle charge so it should always be fully charged when you need it.  BObi is also smart enough to realize when battery power is dropping during operation, and it will return to its base to recharge if necessary.  This might happen during a very long – greater than an hour – cleaning cycle, but the little vacuum will complete its assigned tasks once recharged. BObi can go as long as an hour and half on a full charge but this will take its battery down fairly substantially and if it were to drop below the 15% capacity, it’s recommended that BObi is charged for a period of at least four hours before setting off again, to ensure the battery is in tip top condition.

Mopping: BObi is just as good at mopping as it is at sweeping and vacuuming, and will concentrate on areas that need extra special attention as well as giving a good overall clean.  It comes supplied with two cleaning mops which can be washed through with clean water once mopping is finished.

BObi Video Overview

See the following video for a demonstration of how the BObi functions and what comes included:

Pros & Cons of the BObi

Pro’s Con’s
Can be used on many different surfaces. Fairly Expensive
Very powerful vacuum action Can’t handle stairs – but then which robot vacuums can?
Hepa Filtration
Good sized dust bin.
Good battery life.
Can clean where it can get to, including under furniture it can fit under

Overview of the Key Features

Bobsweep BObi
Specifications Diameter x Height -12” x 3.2”, Weight – 6.5 Lbs (empty)
Battery type Rechargeable.
Applicable surfaces Hardwood, Tile, Linoleum, Carpet, Marble
Main features Duel-rolling brushes and side brushes for extra-tough cleaning.Hepa filtrationMop, sweep, and vacuum all in one programmable cycle.Dirt-detection radio frequency sensors for concentrated cleaning.

Responsive cleaning system cover’s areas multiple times for deep-down cleaning.

Pet hair enabled.

Ultraviolet sanitizing

Supplied items Bobsweep BObiCharging StationRechargeable BatteryAC Adapter for the battery charger

A pack of blindfold stickers

Remote Control (for programming)

2 x Air Filters

2 x Mopping Pads

User Manual

Conclusion: Is the BObi Worth It?

Bobsweep BObi is certainly not the cheapest robot vacuum available on the market, but it is definitely one of the best for ensuring cleaned and fully sanitised areas. Hitting the market after the Bobsweep Pethair model, it has lots to live up to, but manages to impress even when compared against thrilling cleaner.   It is smaller, sleeker, and performs way better than expected and could very well be a must have for every home.

If you are trying to decide between a BObi and a Roomba, I’d recommend reading my comparison on the pros and cons of each. The BObi’s no slouch and the dual functionality of mopping AND vacuuming is a key “bonus”. However, you may find (as I have) that the later generations of Roomba (700-800) are better at vacuuming, but don’t have the mop functionality built in.

While the BObi does represent a bit of an investment, and it’s not ideal for every house, because it is so quiet, and reliable in operation, it gives you the confidence to allow it to run at night or even when you are not at home, safe in the knowledge that its not going to get into difficulties or burn your house down. You can frequently find deals going on, but finding it in stores or online can be very hit or miss. NOTE: If I find a reliable place to purchase them, I’ll make a note of it here. In the meantime, please share your experience! UPDATE: See below for live pricing data from Amazon. They’ve recently started carrying it for a reliable price.

If other manufacturers can reach Bobsweep BObi’s and iRobot’s level of service and reliability, then those in the market for robotic vacuum cleaners are going to be in a very good place indeed.

bObi Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
List Price: $749.00
Price: $294.71
You Save: $454.29

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

1 Comment

  • hi,
    The Bobi is on groupon right now for 349$ and I am confused.
    I have a roomba 630 and I am pleased with it. Is the Bobi equal to the Roomba?
    I have a small step to go into my washroom about 1 inch, my roomba is able to get into this room. Is the Bobi able to do the same thing?
    The Roomba is also able to vacuum on the navy blue carpet, can the Bobi do the same?
    How about tight corners? The roomba will continue bumping its way into the area to clean? with the sensors of the Bobi will it discard the corner.

    What is your recommendation?
    Is it better than the Roomba 630?

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