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Do Dust Ruffles Stop Robot Vacuums?


With the ability to semi-autonomously clean and self-navigate, robot vacuums are often left alone in rooms to do their cleaning business. However, when left in the bedroom, are robot vacuums capable enough to clean under beds without dust ruffles stopping them from going underneath?

Dust ruffles or bed skirts are decorative bedding items that are gathered and pleated at the bottom of a bed for added luxury. It also has the purpose to keep dust from gathering under the bed hence, the name dust ruffle. Although, some dust can still find its way underneath, which is why we would like for our robot vacuums to still be able to clean this area.

With the way robot vacuums work, one would think they won’t be able to move through dust ruffles because of the possibility of it being detected as an obstacle or a wall, but these smart cleaning devices have obstacle sensors that can help them detect when they should avoid an area or slow down before approaching an area.

As a result, robot vacuums can gently go through dust ruffles and similar soft cloths like curtains and bed skirts to clean what’s underneath. Although, do take note that the model of the robot vacuum will play a huge part in both the cleaning quality and obstacle detection ability.

How Can Obstacle Sensors Help Robot Vacuums Clean Under the Bed?

As robot vacuums are left to clean on their own, they will often encounter objects and items along their cleaning path. These are what we call “obstacles” for robot vacuums as they would need to maneuver around these objects on their own with minimal to no help from us.

With that said, robot vacuums have built-in obstacle sensors to help them avoid bumping into items and furniture. Of course, no robot vacuum is free from flaws so despite having such features, these devices still have shock-absorbing bumpers located near these sensors.

The obstacle sensors will be triggered when it’s nearing or about to make an impact on an object. This would direct the robot vacuum to go elsewhere and find another cleaning path. With regard to dust ruffles and bed skirts, a robot vacuum’s obstacle sensors will detect the cloth as something soft.

The obstacle sensors will then trigger the robot vacuum to slow down and gently approach the area rather than avoid it. This allows a robot vacuum to enter under the bed and start cleaning without making any damage to the dust ruffle.

Final Note

Do Dust Ruffles Stop Robot Vacuums?

Due to the obstacle sensors of robot vacuums, these smart cleaning devices can make their way underneath a bed even if a dust ruffle is present. However, to make sure that your robot vacuum doesn’t come across any accidents or mishaps, it’s best to be familiar with the basic operating instructions for robot vacuums and monitor them every now and then.

Linda Takahashi

American-born New Yorker Linda Johnson has been fascinated with robotic machines since she was a teenager, when her father, a surgeon, would introduce to her the machines that he used to perform keyhole surgeries. This interest led her to pursue a tech degree at the University of Washington, where she met Sota Takahashi. They married and now have two children. Linda’s father developed dementia later on and was given a robot pet as a companion. She saw how much having a robot pet friend helped her father, which is what led her to create this website and advocate to spread word about robot pets and how they can help both children and the elderly.

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