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Basic Operating Instructions for Robot Vacuums


If you’re looking for a long-term but low-effort solution to keeping your home constantly clean, then robot vacuums are the smart cleaning devices you should be considering. From high-end to entry-level models, all robot vacuums are designed to semi-autonomously clean floors and navigate rooms with the least amount of human intervention needed as opposed to regular vacuum cleaners. Of course, the features and performance will vary depending on how advanced the model is.

Admittedly, operating a robot vacuum will require a learning curve as it does have smart AI technology. After all, robot vacuums work differently than the regular vacuum cleaners we have all grown accustomed to. However, operating a robot vacuum is pretty easy and need not be intimidating. With this article, we will be teaching you some of the general basic operation instructions for robot vacuums of all models.

Preparing Your Robot Vacuum

Basic Operating Instructions for Robot Vacuums

Before operating your robot vacuum, you first must read carefully the instructions manual it came with. As not all robot vacuums are built with the same tech, specs, and hardware, certain requirements will differ per model. This will inform you about important safety reminders such as the required voltage, storage instructions, and more.

After reading through the instructions manual, you may now charge your robot vacuum using the home base. You may do so by setting up the home base of your robot vacuum in the area of your house that is most strategic. Preferably, choose an area that’s on hard ground or flooring and is not closed off by doors so your robot vacuum can self-navigate its way back without your assistance.

Once the home base has been properly set up, you can now charge your robot vacuum. An extra tip, if your robot vacuum is an iRobot Roomba, regardless if it’s an iRobot Roomba i3 or iRobot Roomba S9+, it’s recommended for you to charge it overnight before its first use.

Depending on the model of your robot vacuum, some can be connected to wi-fi and have a compatible smartphone app. If your robot vacuum has one, then you should also download and install this on your phone. This will help in the navigation of your robot vacuum, setting up cleaning schedules, and remotely programming them when to start cleaning even if you’re away from home.

Most high-end robot vacuums are also compatible with assistive voice technology such as Alexa and Google Assistant so you may give out voice commands to your smart cleaning device. If your robot vacuums fall in this category, then you should set these smartphone apps or voice technology accordingly so you can fully maximize the use of your device.

Preparing the Room

Basic Operating Instructions for Robot Vacuums

While your robot vacuum is charging, you can now start preparing the room so the device won’t run into any accidents. Do keep in mind that robot vacuums self-navigate and have wheels so you will need to do certain preparations to clear its cleaning path and keep it safe from running into its demise.

The first thing you will have to do is to clear the floor or the path you wish for the robot vacuum to take. Make sure it’s free from cords, long curtains, strings, and other wires that can get a robot vacuum tangled in.

Similarly, make sure the floor also doesn’t have any furniture, toys, and items the robot vacuum can keep bumping into. Although high-end robot vacuum models make use of lasers and sensors that can detect objects so they can veer away from them, it’s still better to clear the path entirely.

Aside from clearing the floor from any obstacles, you may also prep the room by setting up virtual walls. This can be done either using the smartphone app of your robot vacuum or through boundary strips. By setting up these virtual walls, you can establish cleaning zones where your robot vacuum can enter and restricted areas where it cannot.

This will help prevent any accidents from happening such as your robot vacuum accidentally falling down the stairs or a wet area. With regard to the latter, there are hybrid robot vacuums that also act as robot mops. Unless your model can also function as such, then it’s best to keep your robot vacuum away from areas that are wet.

Test Run

Basic Operating Instructions for Robot Vacuums

Once you have prepared the room accordingly and have fully charged your robot vacuum, you can do a test run.

Through a test run, you will be able to see the limits of your robot vacuum and its capabilities. Although a robot vacuum’s manual instructions or reviews will already be able to tell you if it’s capable of cleaning carpet floors or tile floors or not, a test run is still the ultimate way in finding out for sure.

Aside from being able to find out what floor types your robot vacuum can take on, a test run will also gauge the suction power of your device. From here, you’ll be able to find out if it’s strong enough to pick up bugs, pet fur, dust bunnies, and other debris.

You can also explore the cleaning pattern you want your robot vacuum to use when doing a test run. This will instruct your robot vacuum how and where it should clean, such as the whole room, under furniture, or if it’s close to the walls. By testing these cleaning patterns, your robot vacuum can also focus on certain spots that you would like for it to pay more attention to.

Lastly, the test run will also give you an idea of how long your robot vacuum can last on a single charge. This helps in determining if your robot vacuum can work in long hallways or is ideal for cleaning just a small room. Without testing your robot vacuum’s battery life, you may end up with a device that will stop mid-cleaning because it has run out of juice.

If from the test run alone, you have encountered any problems or find that your model has a defect, then you can contact the manufacturer and check the warranty policy.

Robot Vacuum Maintenance

Basic Operating Instructions for Robot Vacuums

To make sure your robot vacuums last long, proper maintenance must be observed. After all, robot vacuums don’t always exactly come cheap so you should take proper care of them to get your money’s worth.

If your robot vacuum does not come with a self-emptying bin feature, then you should empty the bin out ideally after every cleaning. This will assure your robot vacuum filters stay clean longer and will not accumulate much dust inside. After 6 months, you can replace the bin or filter. If you suffer from allergies, then it’s recommended that you replace these after every 3 months.

To keep your robot vacuum in top shape, you should also check on the brushes now and then to make sure they’re not dull. A robot vacuum that often picks up hair strands and fur on the floor will make brushes duller faster. With this, you may replace the brushes of your robot vacuum every 6 months or so. On a similar note, you should also check on the wheels of your robot vacuum. See if it needs any cleaning or replacement.

Keep your robot vacuum running longer by checking on the battery life. Generally, the battery life of a robot vacuum can last up to 2 years before it needs any replacement. However, if you tend to use your robot vacuum more frequently, then you may need to replace this after a year.

While a robot vacuum helps keep your house clean, you should also keep said device free from dirt. Make sure the Home Base of your robot vacuum is free from dust, keep your robot vacuum polished and free from dirt, and give both items a good wipe.

Final Note

Basic Operating Instructions for Robot Vacuums

Although there are more steps required when setting up a robot vacuum as opposed to a regular vacuum cleaning, operating this smart cleaning device is still fairly easy. If you think you can benefit from a robot vacuum, then here’s a robot vacuum buying guide to help you in choosing the best robot vacuum for you!

Sota Takahashi

Sota Takahashi is a Japanese-born electrical engineer. At the age of 18, he moved to Seattle and completed his Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Washington, Seattle. Being a fan of all things tech, he channels his geeky side through this website, and with his wife Linda, shares knowledge about robot pets and how they can be lifelong and advantageous companions for both children and the elderly.

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