ECOVACS R95 — a smart cleaning experience

ECOVACS R95 — a smart cleaning experience

Dec 27, 2017

I got in on the smart home movement before it really was a defined thing. I mean, I’d love to writing about technology is the reason, but the truth is that I am a gadget freak.

As such, I have tried several items and products that were great in theory, but probably a bit too early for mass consumption at the time… at least for my usage at that time. Take robotic vacuums for instance; loved them, but my first foray into them tech aeons ago was less than satisfactory. The robots where great to watch, but weren’t especially smart, and when it was all said and done, I wasn’t opposed to just doing the deed with the trusty upright.

Things have changed. With recent changes and the maturing of the smart home, robotic vacuums are in vogue, and really useful. In fact, recent numbers suggest they are close to mainstream.

Enter ECOVACS Deebot R95, one of the latest robotic rollers from the established tech company.

It’s a weighty piece, but not unwieldy, similar in stylings to the default look we associate with robotic vacuums: flying saucer-ish, and a little thick in the waist. It has a grey finish over mostly black, and comes with a stationary charging dock. The bottom has two wheels, and other parts and pieces to help it get the job done.

The job? Cleaning your floors… duh. After the charging period, the thing calls for it to be started via the prominent “Auto” button on top. After some tinkering (which involved manually re-docking, searching for and downloading the app on Google Play, and re-staring the process via said app), I was able to get it going and simultaneously observe it in action.

deebot1

Deebot uses its lasers to map out a virtual path of the room, and then proceeds to “grey” out the area as it works. I admit, I spent an unusually long time watching the virtual process on my smartphone. It attempts to go anywhere it can fit into, and deftly works around physical objects in its way. It does eat up smaller things, and can get stopped by things it cannot digest, like the errant cable. When this happens, it is not too shy to announce its inability to move, and requests that the offending material be removed manually.

As long as the area to be cleaned is reasonably free of palmable objects — more or less the same type of objects one would pre-pick prior to using a “traditional” upright vacuum — Deebot does its thing capably. The dirt receptacle is fit with a filter, and it is not the largest. It makes sense to empty it out after each cleaning, in my estimation.

One great aspect is the ability to use it on different floors. It can mop too, with the right pieces attached.

My favorite feature, beyond the app-related control, is the Amazon Alexa functionality. It is possible to get Deebot working via voice command. Pretty nifty.

A few nitpicky drawbacks… first, the dirt receptacle is relatively tiny, which explains why the manufacturer strongly suggests emptying after each use. Also, the included documentation didn’t mention the companion app, the use of which absolutely makes setup infinitely easier.

Tre Lawrence
Tech fiend that isn't too cool for ramen noodles...
Connect with Tre Lawrence // email // www