While Roborock may not be the first name you think of when it comes to robot vacuums, that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t done its fair share to push the industry forward. Roborock has really changed the robot vacuum industry.
We can compare the robot vacuum industry to the smartphone industry quite easily though. iRobot is basically the Samsung of the robot vacuum industry, and Roborock is the LG of the industry. Not because they come from the same country like Samsung and LG, but because iRobot is the bigger name and what more people know. People don’t say “robot vacuum” they say “Roomba” even if it is a Neato vacuum, or a Roborock. And Roborock is similar to LG, because it generally comes out with new technologies first, and forces the industry to adapt.
As we mentioned in our Features that LG pushed the smartphone industry to adapt, from earlier this month, there are quite a few that now come standard on almost any smartphone. And the same can be said for Roborock, and robot vacuums. Here are four technologies that Roborock pioneered and has changed the robot vacuum industry. And a few technologies that we think they will pioneer in the future.
LiDAR for navigation
Roborock was not the first robot vacuum company to use navigation for vacuuming your home. Neato and iRobot did it before Roborock existed. But neither of them used LiDAR. Roborock has used LiDAR since its very first robot vacuum, even dating back to when Xiaomi’s name was on their robot vacuums.
LiDAR now seems like the easy solution for navigation, even on robot vacuums. But if we go back five or even 10 years ago, it was not as obvious. Sure LiDAR was used for autonomous vehicles navigating around things and seeing around itself. But that module was much larger, and not really suitable for something small like a robot vacuum. Or even all that great for indoor-use. Technology evolved, and made it possible.
Roborock has always has really impressive navigation on their robot vacuums, and that’s thanks largely to LiDAR. Since it was introduced on the Roborock S5 in 2018, we have seen a number of competitors starting to add it to their robot vacuums as well. Pushing the industry forward to better map out your home.
LiDAR is perhaps the biggest thing that changed the robot vacuum industry so far, that Roborock has pioneered.
This is a somewhat new feature that Roborock has rolled out in the past couple of years, but we are also starting to see it come to other robot vacuums. And it ties in nicely with LiDAR navigation. Zoned cleaning is actually a really big deal. Allowing you to tell the robot vacuum to only clean in a particular area of your home, or a specific room.
On older robot vacuums that don’t actually map out your home, you’d have to stick with “edge” cleaning, where it only went around the edges of your home. Or use the app (or a physical remote) to actually control where it is going, with a directional pad. Talk about a pain.
But, thanks to Roborock’s LiDAR navigation, Zoned Cleaning was actually really easy to do. As it knew exactly where you wanted it to go, from the app. And because your home was mapped out, it knew how to get there from the dock as well.
No-Go Zones is another feature that we’ve started to see come to other robot vacuums, that really started with Roborock. On older robot vacuums, you’d need to put down no-go zone tape, to keep the robot vacuum from going there. But with Roborock, it was all done within the app. Making it easier to keep it out of the bathroom, or the kids room (and running over toys).
Before the Roborock S5 debuted with 2000Pa suction power, most robot vacuums were using 1500Pa and very few were at 1800Pa. Which is actually very weak. Roborock came around with 2000Pa on its entire lineup (up until the S6 MaxV and S7), which forced other companies to adapt. And now, just about every robot vacuum on the market is 2000Pa or stronger.
Why is this a big deal? Well the more suction your robot vacuum has, the more it will pick up. That includes dirt, dust, pet hair and other debris. At 2000Pa, it’s actually strong enough to pick up AA batteries. So it can get the most stubborn dirt and dust off of your floor.
Mopping and Vacuuming in one
Most robot vacuums just did vacuuming. They did not include mopping, and this is likely to help keep the costs down. And as robot vacuums have come down in price over the years, many have started to add mopping to their robot vacuums. But Roborock always did this. Starting with the S5 in 2018. In fact, there are only a couple of models that don’t have a mopping module included, like the S4 Max.
Now, you’ll even see $100 robot vacuums coming out with both mopping and vacuuming included in the same robot vacuum. Though, iRobot does still tend to keep the mop separate, in its Braava lineup.
This just makes things so much easier to clean up your home. As it can sweep and mop your hardwood and laminate floors at the same time.
There are three technologies that Roborock has just started to put into its newer robot vacuums, and we believe these will be pushed on the industry as well. This includes the Sonic mopping found in the Roborock S7, the Stereo AI Camera found in the S6 MaxV, and the self-emptying dock that will debut in late 2021 for the S7. Let’s go over each one.
As mentioned, Roborock debuted Sonic Mopping on the S7 in 2021. This is a feature that we will be seeing coming to more and more robot vacuums and mops in the future, as it makes the mopping functionality a whole lot more useful. Sonic Mopping allows the mop to agitate thousands of times per minute. Making it easier to get those dried on messes off of the floor, and it means that you won’t need to go over your floors with a real mop.
Stereo AI Camera
Perhaps the most important of these three technologies, is the Stereo AI Camera, which Roborock debuted on the S6 MaxV in 2020. It uses a dual camera on the front, and artificial intelligence to avoid objects and obstacles in your home. This includes cords, scales, shoes, and even pet waste.
One of the bigger issues with robot vacuums still, is the fact that it still gets tangled up with cords and shoe laces. But that is not a problem with the Roborock S6 MaxV. And we have already seen this feature come to a few other robot vacuums, like Ecovacs.
While not the first robot vacuum with a self-emptying dock, we believe that Roborock is going to streamline this feature. iRobot does offer a self-emptying dock with a lot of their newer robot vacuums. But they are included with the robot vacuum, and different for each model.
Roborock has told us that it plans to offer a self-emptying dock that will work with the Roborock S7 and future robot vacuums. Meaning that you don’t have to get a new one when you upgrade to a new robot vacuum. And it allows them to keep the cost down by making it an optional purchase, instead of included with every robot vacuum.
While Roborock still is not the biggest robot vacuum maker in the world (iRobot has 52.4% of the market share as of late 2020), it is a very important player in the industry. Roborock has already done a lot that has changed the robot vacuum industry and we expect that to continue in the future too.
From adding LiDAR to its robot vacuums, to the stereo AI Camera, Roborock has done a lot of innovating in the robot vacuum industry and that will continue in the future. It’s amazing to see how Roborock has changed the industry in just a few short years.