The more a robot vacuum can do without you having to babysit it, the more they add value to your life. That’s why setting up a schedule for the robot to clean your entire house while you’re away is crucial in terms of life improvement.
So, if you have a big house with multiple rooms you would like to have a robot that can clean one room and then go to the other one autonomously. Fortunately, nowadays robots that can clean multiple rooms are becoming more and more common, thus cheaper.
But beware because many robots on the market are advertised as capable of handling multiple rooms just because there’s no formal impediment to that. Truth is some of them are just terrible at it.
In fact, depending on your budget, your robot will be good or not so good at cleaning more than one room.
That’s why the question should not be whether they can handle it, but how well they handle it.
So, when you see a robot that meets your budget, you should not ask if they can handle multiple rooms, but if they have the software capabilities to deliver on a high level in this sense.
Let’s see what’s needed from a robot vacuum to say that it can handle multiple rooms.
I’ll tell you in advance, that in the last paragraph I’ll talk about the best options for multiple room cleaning, but if you want to know more about budget robots and what they can do, keep reading the next paragraphs.
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Which robot vacuum can do multiple rooms
As I said earlier, many robots are sold and advertised as if they’re able to handle multiple rooms just because there’s nothing preventing them from doing so.
What does this mean?
Robots that can do multiple rooms, and do it well, are equipped with a technology that lets them map your house and navigate in an efficient and systematic way.
So, there are robots that navigate using what I call random navigation systems, and robots that use either a laser or a camera to understand where they are and move accordingly.
In terms of coverage, there’s a night and day difference if we’re talking about multiple rooms, but not if we talk about a small room.
That’s why if you’re on a tight budget, but your house only has three small rooms, navigation capabilities might not be your priority. Because a random navigation robot should be able to handle three not so large rooms with little friction.
So, let’s see what are the main differences between robots with navigation capabilities and robots with random navigation.
Read also: Can Robot Vacuums Go over Rugs?
Random navigation robots are those robot vacuums that navigate bouncing around randomly in your house, eventually covering all the cleaning areas.
Don’t get me wrong when I say that they bounce around. The first Roomba was a random navigation robot but it was programmed to take 300 decisions per second.
In fact, even if they don’t seem to be very smart, they’re normally able to cover an entire room in more or less the same time required by smart navigation robot vacuums.
But when we talk about multiple rooms, there’s nothing to guarantee that the robot will manage to bounce in the direction of the door and go to the next room. So, nothing is preventing the robot from going into another room, but there are things that can go wrong.
What if your robot goes to the other room and starts cleaning it before even finishing the first one?
What if it manages to go to the next room, but never bounces in the direction of the third or fourth room?
And more importantly, what if the battery ends before completing the job? This is actually the biggest problem with random navigation robots and we’ll see how it affects coverage performances in the next paragraph.
Random navigation robots are good at cleaning, and somehow they manage to cover an entire room in the same time required by smart robots.
The problem is that they don’t know where they’ve already cleaned and where they haven’t.
This means that if you have a big house, and your robot doesn’t complete the job before the battery ends, it will automatically return to its docking station, but it will not resume where it left off.
Even more so if you have a house with lots of carpets that will require your robot to work on its highest power mode.
On the contrary, smart navigation robots always know where they’ve cleaned and where they haven’t. So, they’re able to recharge and resume where they left off, making battery life irrelevant to coverage and cleaning performances.
So, can a random navigation robot vacuum handle multiple rooms? Yes, but they’re just not very good at it.
Robot vacuums with mapping capabilities
Robot vacuums with mapping capabilities are not just able to clean multiple rooms, they’re also very good at it.
What does mapping capabilities mean: that robots are equipped with either LiDAR or vSLAM technology to navigate through your house and create a map that lets you see the cleaning path and lets the robot move in efficient straight lines.
In terms of benefits, this translates into a robot that after finishing one room will proceed to the next one. But also that you will be able, after dividing each room in the map, to tell the robot to clean a specific room or area.
Read also: Can Robot Vacuums Go Over High Thresholds?
In this sense high end Roombas are some of the best options on the market. Because through virtual assistants such as Google Assistant or Alexa you can tell the robot to go clean a specific room or area with voice commands.
Also, since they map your house and navigate systematically, they can also recharge and resume where they left off, should the battery not last enough time to complete your entire house.
Some robots, such as the Ecovacs N8 and N8 Pro, also offer the possibility to customize the intensity of the cleaning session in a specific room.
There are great options on the market for multiple room cleaning, but if you really don’t want to settle and you have a tight budget, nowadays you can get a fairly good robot for $300 with mapping capabilities.
It’s the case of the Xiaomi Vacuum Mop Pro, a review of which will be soon released on this website. Stay tuned.
Alessandro Eric Russo is a technology content writer with a passion for home automation devices that bring Artificial Intelligence into our lives in a meaningful way.