Alongside the Roborock S7 announcement in January, the company also announced its Auto Empty Dock, that would be sold separately. And debut later this year. Well, here we are. Later this year, and we have the Auto Empty Dock in-hand. We still don’t have a firm release date for the dock, but it should be very soon.
The Auto Empty Dock is rather unique, and a bit different from other self-empty and auto-empty docks that are on the market. As you’ll notice there are two canisters on the dock. The left side is the HEPA filter, with the right side being the dust bag that collects all of the dust, dirt and debris that the Roborock S7 picks up.
What’s neat here, is that the right side slides off of the dock, making it easier to remove the bag and replace it. Without having to worry about spilling dirt all over the floor. This is also good for those with allergies.
On the front, there is a long indicator light between the two canisters on the dock. This indicates is being used as a solid white color. And it’ll flash white while it is emptying the dustbin. When it’s charging, the light doesn’t light up. The likely reason for that is because the indicator light on the S7 is right below it, and indicates that it is charging. When you have either side of the dock open, or the dustbin removed from the dock, it will show a red indicator light.
The back of the dock has a nice way to coil the power cord so you don’t have cords all over the place in your home. It’s really useful for those that have their dock next to the outlet, and don’t need a lot of slack on the power cord.
There are new options in the Roborock app
With the Roborock Auto Empty Dock, it also brings in a few new options to the Roborock app. For one, on the main screen, you’ll now see an option to empty the dustbin in the bottom left-hand corner of the app. Next to the “Clean” button. So if for some reason the dock did not automatically empty the dustbin, you can click on the “Empty Dustbin” to have it empty itself.
If you tap on the overflow menu in the right hand corner, and then tap on “Auto-empty settings” you’ll see a few more options for the Auto Empty Dock. In this screen, you can turn it off completely, and adjust the empty mode.
By default, the Auto Empty Dock will use the “Smart” option. Which Roborock claims is the “best empty mode for your home”. Then there’s Light, Balanced and Max. Light will be great for smaller homes, and may leave some dirt in the dustbin. Balanced is great for medium sized homes and balances emptying speed and performance. Then Max is more suitable for larger homes, and uses the strongest emptying power for the longest time.
It’s powerful and loud!
If you tend to have your Roborock robot vacuum clean around your home when others are sleeping, you’ll want to make sure you turn off the automatic emptying of the dustbin. As it is quite loud.
The reason for this is, the Auto Empty Dock is essentially sucking all of the dirt, dust and debris from the dustbin through the roller on the bottom of the Roborock S7. So it needs to be quite powerful to do this, and thus it is quite loud. This isn’t unique to Roborock’s Auto Empty Dock either, as we’ve seen others that are also quite loud. And it’s just the nature of how these things work.
Because of this loud suction, the Auto Empty Dock is able to empty debris as large as an M5 screw. That’s a fairly large screw, and really impressive actually.
When can I buy it?
While we can’t say for sure yet, we expect the Auto Empty Dock to be available next month. And it is expected to be priced around $299.
That is going to be more expensive than the iRobot dock, by about $50. Which is not common for Roborock, typically they are cheaper than the competition. However, Roborock is the only one that has a HEPA filter inside their Auto Empty Dock. Which makes it larger, and more expensive. Essentially you’re getting a better product for the slightly higher price. Not to mention the fact that this will be compatible with future Roborock robot vacuums, and not limited to just the S7. Whereas iRobot makes a new one for each model robot vacuum they release.
We should be getting some confirmation from Roborock in the coming weeks about pricing and availability.