Robotic Vacuums

Bobsweep Junior Review – Pros and Cons of Junior by Bobsweep

(Last Updated On: March 24, 2017)

Junior by bObsweep is certainly one of the cheapest robot vacuums available.

Part of the allure of the Junior is the attractive price point, relative to both other Bobsweep models and competitors like iRobot Roomba and Neato Botvac.

First Appearances: Design and looks

The bObsweep Junior has a circular form, with a black and white hard plastic and metal build.  On top, you would find the cleaning mode buttons, as well as the check up button.  You also have a small screen that displays the robot vacuum’s status, its battery level, and a list of alert messages that tells you what is wrong when something does go wrong.

Underneath, you would see the wheels, the main brush, and the side brush.

The bObsweep Junior is 13.78 inches in diameter and 3.94 inches high.  It is slightly narrower and taller than any Roomba robot vacuum model.

Getting Started: Cleaning modes

You can decide how your bObsweep Junior goes to work by choosing one of its three cleaning modes, either on the unit itself or through the remote control.

By default, the bObsweep Junior uses the “Go!” mode, which allows the vacuum to clean for an hour and then return to its base to recharge when the battery dwindles down to 15%.  Go! is good for cleaning large areas.

“Waffle” mode is the bObsweep equivalent of spot-cleaning.  In Waffle mode, the bObsweep Junior repeatedly goes over an area measuring three square feet for three minutes, giving that particular area a thorough clean.

Meanwhile, in “Wall Track” mode, the bObsweep Junior follows your walls to clean the perimeters of your room for 10 minutes.

Remote control

bObsweep Junior comes with a remote control that is also circular in shape and has 12 soft-touch buttons.  It keeps you from having to bend down in order to operate your robot vacuum.

Through the remote control, you can direct your bObsweep Junior’s movements and make the robot vacuum go forward, backwards, left or right.  You can stop or resume cleaning, or you can choose a cleaning mode.

You can also tell the robot vacuum to recharge or to change the speed in which it cleans.  If you want to stop your bObsweep Junior from beeping while it is on standby, you can press the mute button on the remote.

Sensors

A set of sensors are used to help the bObsweep Junior find its way around your room.  It has four edge sensors that keeps it from falling off stairs and help it avoid edges.  It also has five wall sensors that help it stay close to your walls.  The bObsweep Junior has touch sensors, too.

Onboard Diagnostics

The bObsweep Junior has a Checkup button that allows you to diagnose if there is some maintenance that you need to do.  You just hold down the Checkup button and flip the power switch to ON.  You will hear three short beeps that will indicate that the robot vacuum is now performing a self check up.

One of the things to like about the bObsweep Junior is that it does not use coded error messages, such as ERR1 or E01, like some robot vacuums do.  Instead, it uses words.

Right on its small screen, the bObsweep Junior lists down a variety of error messages that light up when something is wrong.  Appropriately, these items are introduced by “Oops! I feel there’s something funny going on with my…” and then the list of error messages.

 

Here’s what error messages indicating particular parts mean:

  • Edge Sensors: This means that you need to wipe the sensors clean. It also means that the bObsweep Junior is confused by the dark colored floors, which would require you to turn off the edge sensors for the robot vacuum to work properly.
  • Touch Sensors: This means that something is trapped under the front bumper and you would need to tap the bumper to pry the object free or use compressed air to remove it.
  • Left or Right Wheel: This means that either one of its wheels might be jammed and you would need to use the cleaning tool to unjam it.
  • Main Brush: This means that the robot vacuum is having problems moving the brush, and you would need to clean the brush or replace it.
  • Obstacle Sensors: This means that you need to clean the wall sensors
  • Dustbin: This means that the dustbin might have been removed or not put in properly.  Or it might need to be emptied.
  • Mainboard: This means that the robot vacuum is having issues with the central computer. You may need to consult the company’s support team.
  • Power System: This means that you might need to replace or recharge the battery, or that there might be a loose connection somewhere.

What’s in the box

The good news is that everything you need is in the box, including the screwdriver and screws and the documentation or guide you can refer to when operating the bObsweep Junior.

Each box comes with the:

  • bObsweep Junior unit
  • Charging station
  • Power adapter
  • Remote control
  • 2 side brushes
  • Blindfold
  • Bumper stickers
  • Spare main brush
  • Spare HEPA filter
  • Cleaning tool
  • Flat head screwdriver and screws
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty Card

Things the bObsweep Junior Does Well

  • Attractive Price: The price puts the bObsweep Junior within reach or within the affordable range for most people and it has the features that get the job done.  This robot vacuum is for those who are just looking for a robot vacuum that would clean their house and not bother with more advanced features such as an on-board camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, or a companion mobile app.
  • Good Design: The bObsweep Junior has a great design, with the main brush taking up a majority of its width, allowing it to clean a wider area in a single pass.  Meanwhile, the side brushes can help clean the walls, corners and edges.
  • HEPA Filtration: The bObsweep Junior uses HEPA filter, which can trap smaller particles at around 0.3 microns.  In contrast, human hair is around 50 to 150 microns in diameter, so you could imagine just how effective the filter is in trapping dust and dirt.  You can also schedule your cleaning times, allowing you to leave the bObsweep Junior to clean while you are at work or out of the house.
  • Larger Dust Bin: The bObsweep includes a one-liter dust bin, which is more than three times the size of the dust bins you find in most robot vacuums.  By contrast, the Roomba 980 has a dust bin capacity of only 0.6 liters.  This means that you need to empty out the dust bin less frequently!
  • Relatively Quiet: Lastly, the bObsweep Junior works silently.  Or at least it is quieter than most other robot vacuums.  It registered only 60 decibels of noise, way lower than the Roomba 980’s 78 decibels and the Neato Botvac Connected’s 77 decibels.

What could be better?

  • Not Very Smart Navigation: If you are using the bObsweep Junior on dark colored floors, there is a big possibility that it gets confused and would stop cleaning.  There is a quick workaround to solve the problem and that is to disable the edge detecting sensors.
  • Problems with Floor Type Identification: Doing so, in turn, becomes a problem if you have dark-colored floors and stairs on the same level as deactivated edge sensors mean that your bObsweep Junior might be taking a tumble.  It may also be a problem if you have different types of floors.  It may be cleaning your carpet just fine, only to stop when it reaches your hardwood floors.  Moreover, you can drive the bObsweep Junior around using the remote control and if you happen to put it in reverse and drive it to the edge, it will fall off.
  • Not so Automated: Also, the bObsweep Junior needs a lot of maintenance.  There are times when things can get lodged into the crevices of its bumpers, and it is easy for the sensors to trip on something and sound an error message.  The good news is that once it sounds an error message, it is easy to understand what it wants you to do.  Furthermore, the brushes and the dust bin require periodic maintenance.

Final thoughts on the bObsweep Junior

At its price point, the bObsweep Junior is a great choice for homeowners.  While it may not have the same suction power as higher-end robot vacuums do, it delivers a decent maintenance clean.  Plus, it has some great features such as the scheduling and the sensors, and its ease-of-use is a definite plus.

Bottom Line: For what it is, it’s a decent option. Personally, I would much prefer something a bit smarter, capable of full level cleaning (multiple rooms), but these tend to be much more expensive.

As a slightly more expensive upgrade, I would also consider the new Botvac D3 or for a comparable, less expensive, alternative, I’d look at the iLIFE A4.

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!

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