Robotic vacuum cleaners are appear at all sorts of new price points, with the Dyson Eye topping out with its price (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) and this Rollibot down at a mere fraction of the cost, making it seem quite the bargain.
Focused on being small and compact, the Rollibot goes a little further than most by offering to sweep, mop, and sanitize your floors without you having to lift more than the odd helping finger.
The Rollibot is available in black or white and is the typical pizza or puck shaped design. It comes with a remote control to program it, and around 100 minutes of floor-cleaning life before it requires recharging.
Primarily, it uses a zig-zag pattern to clean and fairly zips around a floor or thin carpet, before heading home to recharge.
It comes with auto-clean, spot and edge modes to supplement the main zig-zag, all operated from the remote control. The unit measures 13.4 x 3.3 x 13.4 inches and weighs around 7.5lbs. A mini version is available that is 11.9” wide.
Features of the Rollibot
- Double Side Brushes: The Rollibot uses double sided brushes and a three-section design to trap more dust, pet hair, detritus and dirt through its high suction power engine.
- Ultraviolet Lamp: Something that sounds pretty distinctive is the use of an ultraviolet lamp that is used to kill off bacteria and germs, that may be lurking on your floor.
- Mopping Capability: There’s also a mopping attachment, complete with a micro-fiber cleaning cloth that can help clean up some of the stickier dirt or stains that can blight a kitchen floor, for example.
- Double HEPA Filter: The Rollibot uses a double filter dustbin to trap the dust, with a HEPA air filter to keep most allergens from escaping back into the air! Both are easy to remove and clean, with cheap replacements if they start to look a bit past it.
- Remote Control: There’s a remote control and buttons on top, you can actually take manual control of the Rollibot with it to focus on a specific area. The whole unit covered by a one-year warranty.
- Return to Base: The bot finds its way back to base via an IR sensor, and will bounce off your furniture via a bump sensor.
Key Pros and Cons
Pros of the Rollbot
- With a variety of modes, the Rollibot will clean pretty much where you want it to, or you can program it to clean while you’re out and then manually task it to do any areas it missed.
- The use of a medical grade UV germicidal lamp to sterilize your floor from the likes of e-coli, and other germs or bacteria sound pretty cool. If you have dogs that paddle their wee back into the house or grubby children, that’s a great bonus. Unfortunately we lack a science lab to prove just how effective this is, but we’re sure that every little helps.
- This robot sweeper also comes with has rubberized covers on the underside to help protect your wood flooring or other surfaces. We can’t say we’ve seen much damage from other models, but going the extra step to protect surface is a good thing.
- This type of cleaner doesn’t have a roller head, so won’t trap threads or the edging on throws or rugs. It can still suck them up, but should be able to pull away and continue on, without damaging them.
- As a bonus, even as a relatively low-cost model, the package comes with two replacement brush-heads plus a spare HEPA filter for the bin.
Cons of the Rollibot
- The Rollibot isn’t the most flexible of droid cleaners, and can’t mount even a modest carpet when moving from a hard floor, definitely better if you just have a flat floor.
- Without a rolling cleaner underneath, there’s only a narrow vent sucking in the dust, if a hairball misses that, it will come out the other side. This is another weakness if you were planning to use it on a carpet.
- The mop will work on small areas, but anything larger it dries out too quickly, so you are in a running battle to keep it moist.
- The Rollibot is a pretty noisy beast, this isn’t something you will want to set to run at 2AM for a quiet clean. It also makes an annoying sound (like an old Windows XP alert, which is rather disconcerting) when it bumps against something, which isn’t needed.
- Finally, despite the IR sensors for getting home, it can get lost and not detect where the charger is, but that’s the same with quite a few models. For the first few uses we’d suggest you definitely keep an eye on it, to see what could go wrong.
The Rollibot seems pretty much on a par with Anker and the iLife A4, but you might also want to consider a Haier or Bissell SmartClean for only slightly more money. The market has clearly matured over the last year and there are plenty of choices at all price points.
Disclaimer: All of these “budget” robots leave some things to be desired, especially when compared to the latest Botvac’s, Dyson’s, and Roomba’s. As long as you know what you are getting (and what you aren’t getting), they can still be right for your needs.
If you want to stretch your budget a bit, the Roomba 650 has become one of the most affordable Roomba’s. It has hundreds of positive reviews and offers some advanced scheduling features, not present on the Rollibot. You can check out my full review here, or (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).
Final Call on the Rollibot
Fast and efficient, there is plenty of on-the-job smartness with the Rollibot that it can easily become a welcome cleaning buddy around the home. Sure it might lack some of the bells and whistles of smarter models, but the majority of users really don’t need them.
As long as you don’t mind regularly cleaning out the bin, and guiding it to the spots that might have got missed, it provides good results. From time to time it might need rescuing, if it gets beached of a rug edge.
At the very least Rollibot differentiates itself with the UV light and mop, which may prove useful. Hopefully other vendors will try to figure out what else is possible, in this vein. But as a cleaner is it fast and fairly efficient for general use. If you are interested in purchasing, be sure to check this listing first.