Modern household devices are becoming more technologically advanced, and the list of their capabilities is growing exponentially. For example, many housewives are happy to use multicookers with the function of control and programming via a smartphone. It is much more convenient, and you can do much more cooking programs.
Now you can already find climate control systems in the house, a washing machine configured via Wi-Fi, a kitchen hood and a coffee maker. Moreover, all these devices are easily combined into a single system called “Smart Home”, which makes their management convenient and simple. The cost of such a system, according to manufacturers, is not much higher than that of conventional devices.
At the same time, the help of robotic systems in home life does not come as quickly as we would like. If the first automatic washing machine appeared in 1947, then automation in the cleaning system came only in 2002, when the first robot vacuum cleaner was introduced. Even then, he received a standard set of functions that are still present in almost all models from different manufacturers. At the same time, the first vacuum cleaner in its classic form was introduced by Hoover in 1908. Now this manufacturer has in its assortment several models of robotic vacuum cleaners.
Hoover RoboCom 3: basic feature set
We tested the base model Hoover RoboCom 3 (RBC 040 019), which has one side brush and is equipped with a medium-capacity battery. You can control the robot using the touch panel on the body or via the remote control.
On the Russian market, you can also find a model equipped with a Wi-Fi module, which makes it possible to control the device through a mobile application on a smartphone, and a more capacious battery (RBC090/1, a more expensive model of 2016).
Among the declared functions of our test copy are automatic cleaning of the room, cleaning of a given area by specifying the desired point, manual control of the movement of the vacuum cleaner using the remote control, and programming of cleaning for a week.
Most robotic vacuum cleaners on the market are limited to a standard set of buttons for setting up and controlling the device. Our test subject in this sense well outperformed the competitors: on the upper side of the vacuum cleaner there is an information LCD screen with luminous symbols and a touch control panel. On the screen, the user can see the status of the battery and its charging, the display of the “Turbo” mode, the current cleaning scheduling settings and the indicator of the connected remote control.
The robot vacuum cleaner is equipped with one side 3‑blade brush to collect dust from the right side for cleaning around furniture and baseboards. In the center under the housing, dust is collected by a tandem of a 4‑lamellar silicone shaft and a cylindrical spiral brush.
As the robot moves, the dust is gently swept away and sucked into a small quick-release dust container equipped with a HEPA filter to protect the motor and clean the exhaust air.
On the bottom of the case there is access to the battery — to remove it, just unscrew a couple of screws. This operation may be required if you do not plan to use the device for a long time, for example, if you leave your apartment for more than 3 months. Removing the battery will prevent it from being completely discharged.
Along the perimeter of the lower surface and on the side faces, there are sensors for assessing the surface and movement. On the top of the case there are IR sensors for obstacles and searching for a base station.
The vacuum cleaner is equipped with a remote control with which you can quickly set the current time on the device, program the start of the cleaning process during the week, and also directly control the vacuum cleaner, as if you were doing it with a radio-controlled machine.
Setup, control and programming
Before starting the robot for cleaning, the manufacturer recommends fully charging its battery, which lasts about 3 hours. It is not very convenient that even with a fully charged battery, the charging process light on the base station continues to flash.
To connect the remote control to the robot vacuum cleaner, you need to enable synchronization on the device itself by holding the button with the image of the remote control on the touch panel for a long time (about 4 s). If you press it briefly, the Turbo mode will turn on, in which the vacuum cleaner moves about twice as fast. We liked this mode the most, because. allows you to achieve cleanliness in the room in just 15–20 minutes. However, when programming for a week, only the standard driving mode is available.
The device has the ability to set the cleaning of a specific place in the room — spot cleaning mode. This mode is used for intensive cleaning of a limited area. At the same time, the robot moves along an ellipse with a constant increase in the radius of movement.
The manufacturer claims four types of movement: zigzag, edge, elliptical and square. They are applied automatically by the machine and there is no way for the user to select them manually. In our opinion, it would be nice to add such an opportunity, because. the chaotic movement of the vacuum cleaner still does not guarantee cleaning of the entire floor surface.
Perhaps the most interesting feature in Hoover RoboCom 3 is its programming for cleaning during the week. But first you need to set the current date on it. You can do both with the remote control only. For settings, the up and down arrows are mainly used, for confirmation — the OK button. To select the day of the cleaning week, use the “right” arrow; to cancel the day, use the “left” arrow.
Artificial intelligence and movement algorithm
The manufacturer has incorporated an AAI infrared navigation system (“Advanced Algorithmic Intelligence”) into the device, which allows you to combine the movement scheme, depending on the data received from the sensors.
To start cleaning immediately, just press the Auto button either on the remote control or on the device panel. After that, the robot will leave the charging station (if it was on it), proceed approximately to the middle of the room, inspect it, turning 360 degrees in place, and turn on the standard program for cleaning the floor from dust in an unwinding spiral.
As soon as the robot touches some obstacle on its way, according to our assumptions, the program that simulates the rebound of the ball turns on, the vacuum cleaner turns to the left at 45 degrees and moves to the next obstacle. Turning is carried out both to the left and to the right. For example, the device will only turn left for the entire cleaning, but if you raise it (at the same time, the robot will squeak and report an error on the display) and lower it, the robot will turn on the algorithm with a right turn. After several straight trips, the device will crawl out again, start a circular inspection and begin to move in a spiral.
If you want to urgently finish cleaning, you just need to press the button with the image of the house (Home) on the remote control or on the device panel. The robot will turn off the rotation of the lower brush and start searching for a charging station, and then proceed to it.
Annoying Navigation Bugs
During the tests, the robot for the most part reacted in advance to obstacles and bypassed them using space sensors. At the same time, the device sometimes rested against the furniture and skidded for several seconds, apparently not receiving a signal from the sensors of the springy bumper. A slight pressure on its front rubberized edge — and the robot itself goes around the obstacle.
The manufacturer recommends freeing the room from chairs and wires before cleaning. In our case, only a massive computer chair was not removed. It was its supports that turned out to be raised high enough above the floor so that our very thin (thickness is the height, less than 70 mm) robot could drive under them. In doing so, he managed to get his first scratches on his beautiful silver back.
If the manufacturer had provided protective pads not only on the side faces (they are on the bumper), but also on the front surface, such damage could have been avoided.
Battery Life and Prevention
Although the manufacturer claims 90 minutes of battery life for the robot cleaner, our testing showed that the device is capable of cleaning for 130 minutes. After that, the robot demonstrates its energy depletion and, with the last of its strength, begins to search for and move the charging station. The manufacturer claims that it starts charging when the battery is discharged by 85%. The device can restore the energy reserve both on the base and when the power supply plug is directly connected to the socket on the case. The test charging of the “exhausted” cleaning robot lasted 3 hours, which can be considered the norm for a 1500 mAh battery.
While the device is charging, you can empty the dust container and clean the HEPA filter drawer. The package includes a special brush and 2 spare cartridges.
As experience has shown, the vacuum cleaner collects well not only dust from linen, but also sand. After vacuuming, we ran a PVA sponge over the surface of the floor and did not find a single speck of dust on it, which indicates a very high-quality work of the device.
However, larger solid objects are best picked up with a more powerful vacuum cleaner. The robot will also allow you to keep the floor clean from everyday dust during the week; it is easy to program it to automatically clean 3 days a week (although you can clean it every day).
Before or after charging, it is recommended to clean the bottom of the device after each cleaning, especially the wheels, brushes and sensors from the dust collected during the movement. This takes about five minutes, however, if you have programmed daily cleaning, this process can be somewhat annoying.
The Hoover RoboCom 3 robot vacuum cleaner made a good impression both in terms of design and build quality, and in terms of everyday use. Given the low cost of the device — about 13,000 rubles, this model can be recommended for the widest audience, because. it is easy to maintain and does not require special skills in management and programming. The robot will allow you to keep the room clean throughout the week, however, you must not forget to clean the vacuum cleaner itself. Some questions are raised by the algorithm of movement during cleaning and the operation of the device’s obstacle sensors. Also, the operation of the vacuum cleaner during the cleaning process cannot be called very quiet.
- Attractive appearance
- Convenient and easy operation and programming
- Easy to maintain
- Long battery life on a single charge
- light weight
- One edge brush
- No choice of movement algorithm
- Insufficiently accurate operation of obstacle sensors
- Relatively noisy in cleaning mode
|Display||digital with touch control panel|
|Charger||automatic, station with power supply|
|Working mode||fully automatic and manual|
|Indicators||filling the dust container, degree of charge, operating mode|
|Noise level||60 dB|
|nozzles||microfiber for polisher mode (1 pc.)|
|Housing material||plastic, soft bumper|
|Side brush||1 pc (in stock — 2 pcs.)|
|Remote control||Yes, 2 x AAA batteries (LR03) included|
|Dust container volume||0.5 l|
|Charging from the mains 220 V||Yes|
|Auth. charger search||Yes|
|Battery Charging Time||up to 4 hours|
|Battery capacity||1500 mAh|
|Battery operation||up to 90 minutes|
|Outlet HEPA filter||Yes|
|Dimensions||32.4 x 32.4 x 6.7 cm|
|The weight||2.3 kg|
You can also choose a suitable model according to other parameters in our summary rating of robotic vacuum cleaners.
A photo: manufacturing company, Andrey Kireev