My first incursion into smart home couldn't have had a better protagonist. The Roborock S6 vacuum robot has been a joy for a beginner like me. It's easy to use and effective. The smart vacuum cleaner from the company that was born thanks to Xiaomi (which is one of its investors) has been a good companion, although it has given me some displeasure. Or rather, my dog.
- ✓Easy to use
- ✓Good suction power
- ✓Scheduled and zone cleaning
- ✓Water scrub module
- ✓Can scale obstacles
- ✓Maps your house
- ✓Restricted access areas and barrier tape
- ✕It sometimes gets lost
- ✕It's not so quiet
It's not cheap, but it's worth it
The Roborock S6 arrives on the market today. First, it will make its debut appearance in Spain, France and Germany, then it will embark on the conquest of other territories. To buy one, just go to the official Roborock website or Amazon and be willing to pay the 549 euros. It's not cheap, but it does not reach the exorbitant prices of other robots of its kind, such as the iRobot Roomba i7+. Plus, it offers a lot for the price. Roborock follows in the footsteps of Xiaomi in offering quality at competitive prices.
In the box we find:
- Spare filter
- Adjustable water tank
- Scrubbing cloth
- Mounting plate for disposable scrub cloths
- 2 disposable scrub cloths
- 2 spare water filters
- Moisture-proof mat
As part of its ambitious expansion plan in Europe, Roborock products will also be found in stores such as Amazon, MediaMarkt and Fnac Darty, among others.
One of a kind?
The Roborock S6 looks very similar to other smart vacuum cleaners. There is little room left for design innovation in the world of robot vacuum cleaners, although those little added touches have made this one stand out from the rest and earned it the "Design Excellence" award at the 2019 iF Design Awards. The Roborock S6 is simple yet elegant and very minimalist. But it reminds me a lot of Xiaomi's smart vacuum cleaners.
What stands out with this robot vacuum cleaner - which sweeps and also scrubs - is that it is equipped with a navigation system guided by a high precision laser that allows it to map the rooms of your house in real time thanks to its routing algorithms, significantly improved over those of the previous generation (Roborock S5). By using these maps, the dynamic route planning system is able to plan the most efficient route through your home to suit the needs of each room and clean it up as quickly as possible. And I have to say, it's fast for a while. In 45 minutes it's got a real look at my house. To give you an idea, my house is about 65 square meters.
The cleaning route followed by the Roborock S6 is based on lines, i.e. it leaves a point, goes to the opposite wall and returns. And so on and so on as if drawing a grill. This leaves almost no corner untouched. In addition, its main brush with rubber parts makes it fit for any surface, even carpets, and its sensors are able to recognize what it is over and automatically change the way it cleans. Its powerful wheels allow it to climb steps of considerable size. I'm just telling you that it once passed over my foot, that it always jumps the legs of my clotheshorse and that it is able to pass under the pallets that I have as a bed base.
Easy to use and clean, but complicated with my dog
As with many devices in the smart home ecosystem, or at least for me, the set up is crucial. If it's too complicated or I have to read a big book of instructions I quickly give up. But that didn't happen with the Roborock. You take it out of the box, connect the charging base to the mains and activate it. Just like that.
And the action begins. With a suction power of 2,000Pa, it is ideal for deep cleaning. It can even handle practically all the hairs of my 55kg dog! I say practically because there's always one hair left, but that's something I'm used to. there's no vacuum cleaner that can match Hercules' coat. But if you don't have a dog like mine at home, the Roborock S6 will be more than enough to leave your floors gleaming.
And talking about my dog here is no coincidence. Having a new guest on our floor has put him a little on alert. I'll never forget that face when he saw the robot move... As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Meet Hercules, my dog, running away from the Roborock S6. It's clear that, at the moment, they are not very close friends.
Laughter and anecdotes aside, having an animal of that size at home complicates things a bit when it comes to having a robot vacuum cleaner. It has to be emptied and cleaned much more often than usual, not to mention the hairs that get stuck in the wheels. However, the process is so easy and not at all cumbersome that it has not been a problem for me to empty the dust deposit that is removed with a simple click, and returns to its place in the same way.
Time to retire the mop?
As I mentioned briefly before, the Roborock S6 besides vacuuming, scrubs. Although take this with a pinch of salt. And I'm sorry, but there's nothing like a 'Fregona Microfibra'. And that's something I've missed since I've lived in Germany. Yes, that Spanish invention makes me sweat ink every time I have to buy one here in Berlin. It's the best mop ever, and it's better the one the Roborock has built in.
To be able to "scrub" the floor you just have to take the water tank, fill it and attach it to the front of the Roborock S6 with a single click. It couldn't be easier. Then you activate the function and that's it. However, you can't forget to remove this additional deposit when the robot finishes its task. You'll also need to wash the mop yourself.
For vacuum function, you have different cleaning modes or intensities, such as: Silent, Balanced, Turbo or Max. Obviously the first one is for the night or times when you want to hear less noise, although the Roborock S6 is still not silent. I'm sorry, even if it's 50% less noisy than its predecessor - as the company says - I can't fall asleep with it moving around and cleaning the house.
Xiaomi Mi Home, the soul of the machine
Without a doubt, one of the best things that smart home devices offer is the possibility of controlling them from your smartphone. The Roborock S6 was not going to be an exception, and you only have to download the Xiaomi Home app to have all the control of the machine in your hands, from anywhere.
It was easy to set up and use, and the Xiaomi app is the key to entering the soul of the Roborock S6. Through it you will be able to designate the different zones of your house, to configure the restricted access (places you do not want that the vacuum cleaner to go) and to program the hours in which you want it to clean your house. Or, like me, to activate it from work on the days I'm going to have a 'surprise' visit in the afternoon. Although I only do this when I know for sure that the door to the room where my new technological friend sleeps is closed. You have already seen that Hercules is not very comfortable with it and I do not want unexpected accidents happening when I'm not there.
It also offers a remote control mode for the vacuum cleaner that I admit I only used to go after Hercules to see what was would happen, but it could be useful at times. Although, with the specific destination zone cleaning feature you only have to mark a point on your home map and voilá! it will go, clean it and return to its charging station. Or supposedly, because I have to say that the first few times it was lost in my house and was unable to find the base... We'll forgive him.
Three hours running non-stop before it dies
The battery life of the Roborock S6 is another positive point. Its 5,200 mAh lithium-ion battery lasts almost three hours on a single charge, but only in Quiet mode (the weakest setting). In this time the robot vacuum cleaner is able to leave you an almost perfect house up to three times, while you can dedicate yourself to other things. And believe me, three hours is a lot of time, especially when you want to clean your floor on a Saturday morning after the chaos that comes with a week's work and a 55-kilo dog running around. But I've never had it running for so long, I have to say. It wasn't necessary.
Roborock S6 technical specifications
|Dimensions:||96.5 x 353 x 350 mm|
|Battery size:||5200 mAh|
Final verdict: Put a Roborock in your life
For a smart home skeptic like me, I was unsure what living with a vacuum robot would be like. But I have to admit, the Roborock S6 is a good roommate. It's efficient, quiet and cleans the whole house just by telling it once. What more can you ask of someone you share your home with?
It's also very nice, I have to say, to live with a robot that takes great care of every detail of my house. But I'm not sure that Hercules will get used to it, so putting it into operation while I'm away from home so that it goes to work without my supervision is not something I've dared to do yet, but maybe in the future...
If you don't have the time and like everything to be shiny (or almost), I can't help but recommend this. In addition, the price, although not cheap, is not so nonsensical for everything it offers. The Roborock S6 is a big yes for me. Yes to cleaning with little effort. Yes to being able to spend your precious time on other things. So, folks, don't wait any longer... the robot cleaner to the rescue! Although no robot could ever clean your home as well as you could...