How Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Work – 2024 Guide

Vacuum cleaning is so boring, and sometimes it can be very hard and demanding, depending on the machine you own. Many people who at least tried cleaning their homes this way were so happy when the robot vacuum cleaners were invented. It’s practically a small machine that you can leave to do its job, while you can rest, or do something else. The traditional machines can be really big and heavy, and you can hurt your back while trying to move it from one spot in your home to another.

There are a lot of brands and companies who are offering this type of cleaner for a competitive price, and of course, good quality. You can read more about one of the most popular and affordable brands on if you are interested to invest in one device like this. Also, you need to remember that they are intelligent machines, due to their sensors, but also, you can only use them for floor cleaning. The machines have self-drive mode, but you can remote control it if needed. Depending on the model, it can just collect the dust, dirt, and particles from the floor, and more advanced models have a UV sterilization option.

Another one benefit of the traditional vacuum cleaners is that this one won’t make a lot of noise, and at the same time, you don’t need to control it a lot. The sensors will show the machine to take another route if it bumps into the wall, or some piece of furniture, which is not the case with the huge machine you already have. This invention is pretty new too since the first model was founded in 1990, and it was finally ready to be released in 2002, after they solved some problems like detecting the stairs, to prevent falling and damages. Even though it’s not the most perfect cleaner you can find on the market, because bigger pieces of dirt can be detected as a wall or furniture, the truth is that most of the people who already invested in robotic vacuum machine are pretty satisfied with the performance.

Source: Dick Smith

How does it work?

You’ve probably seen that its usual shape is round and it looks like a disc, that is using spinning brushes to move around your home, and role even in the angles, so it can attract the debris and collect it inside, in a waste cartridge. It can collect small particles of food, dirt, pet fur hair, dust, and so on. Since it’s small and portable, you need to empty the bin quite often. When you turn on the machine, the sensors “decide” where to start. Also, the very same sensors may detect if they cleaned some area in the room, so they won’t go over the same spot a few times.

The basic model can be controlled with a controller, or it can automatically use the features, by estimating what it has to do. The new models can be synced with your smartphone, so you can control it while you watch TV, or you take a rest after a long working day. The device can “see” the dirt through the sensors, and it needs enough space to clean the room well. The sensors are helping it to discover the areas that aren’t cleaned already, and to detect the walls and furniture, to avoid bumping, and causing damage.


Obstacle sensors are helping the robot vacuum cleaner to detect the table, chairs, sofas, walls, doors, and other things that you leave on the ground, and avoid them while cleaning. These sensors are practically telling the device how to plan the path, so it can effectively clean the whole room. On the other hand, the cliff sensors are helping the device not to fall over the stairs, by measuring the distance between the spots, and estimating if there is a risk of falling “off the cliff”, so it can get back on the trace. There are also sensors that are helping your smartphone to keep track of how many meters the cleaner is going through one cleaning cycle.

Newer models are more effective in detecting the dirt and all the other objects in the room, and they really come with a competitive price, that some people consider extremely high, compared to the traditional cleaners’ price. But, these devices can use a smart system to memorize the usual path and the type of dirt that can often be found in your home, and sometimes even notify you if they collect something unusual for them.

Source: Dreame

Once you decide you are ready for this type of cleaner for your home, you need to:

  1. Research between the different brands and models. Hearing another person’s opinion is also very helpful for you, especially if you are ready to invest some significant amount of money in it. Ask the sales operator about the options, and try to precisely tell them the size of your home, and other things, like owning a pet, or having kids, so they can help you choose the model that is most appropriate for you.
  2. Some companies will offer a trial cleaning presentation, and if it wasn’t a pandemic, we would highly recommend accepting that option. The agents will bring a few compatible models; to try how they would work in your rooms. By this, you can see which one device you prefer and think works better for you. But, knowing that social distancing is the number one protection measure during this pandemic, we will recommend you to skip this step, for now, knowing how risky it can be.

    Source: Homecrux
  3. Most of the models will provide the best performance during the day or with the lights turned on, because that helps the sensors to detect the dirt and prevent bumping in walls and furniture. For example, some of the owners are charging the device overnight, and leave it to clean the room while they are out for work.
  4. Cleaning the trash bin and maintain the machine regularly will ensure long durability, which is the most important feature the customers are looking for when investing that much money on something. Don’t leave the debris inside the device, because sometimes the dirt is an ideal place for the mold and bacteria to grow, and be spread all over your home through the next cleaning.

    Source: ZACO Robot Shop

There are a lot more things that can be told about this type of cleaner, but those features depend on the model you will choose. So, don’t hurry to buy your first robotic vacuum cleaner, and try to take in mind all the important things we mentioned in this guide, so you can be sure you are getting the best one for you.