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About a year ago, I got an email asking if I wanted to try a robot vacuum. I’d immediately pictured a Lego-like contraption with machine-looking arms and legs marching around my apartment sucking things up through its feet. I was keen.
The robot vacuum I tried, the Deebot N8 Pro by Ecovacs Robots, was nothing like I’d imagined. It was a sleek device, about the size of a pizza, with brushes at the bottom of it that whirred around my floor. When it got near objects like table legs or something I’d left on the floor, it realised they were there and then either backed away or moved to the right or left of it.
While I thought I’d test it out a few times to be able to write this story, I was surprised to find how much I used and continued to use it. It was so easy to charge it at its portable docking station, fill up its water tank and then let it (I nicknamed it ‘Walter’) loose.
It mopped, sucked up dirt and could be controlled through an app on my phone, meaning I could have it clean a room, even if I wasn’t at home. What used to take me an hour to do — vacuuming and mopping my floors — took the time it took to charge and fill up its water tank. You can read my full (non-techy, I have to add) review of Deebot N8Pro here.
And while I thought it couldn’t get any more simple and convenient — oh, it has. On April 21, 2022, Ecovacs unveiled its latest model: the Deebot X1 Omni (usually $2,499, but now on sale for $2,099 — just in time for AfterPpy Day). A personal cleaning butler, the device does everything the Deebot N8 does, but also so much more — including the ability to be voice-controlled, using an interactive assistant called YIKO, as well as emptying its bin and refilling its water itself at its Omni station.
“The Deebot X1 Omni is the true culmination of Ecovacs’ decades of learnings in the industry and takes home services robotics to the next level as we strive to bring unparalleled automation, convenience and benefits into our daily lives,” says Karen Powell, Head of Ecovacs Robotics in Australia and New Zealand.
Australia is one of the first countries to be introduced to the new X1 family, reflecting “our unwavering commitment to keeping driving innovation and raising the bar”, Powell says.
The new Deebot comes with an Omni station that it leaves and returns to after every cleaning round. There, the Deebot will automatically store the wastewater and refill the water tank. The station will also wash the mop and dry it using hot air so it removes any odours.
Also included in the new device is mopping technology that can wipe away coffee and soy sauce stains that have solidified and set, and AIVI 3D Technology which works to advance mapping and obstacle detection technology. All of it is packaged in a white or black design created by the renowned Jacob Jensen Design House, the same designers behind Bang and Olufsen products.
The Deebot X1 Omni is now available at Bing Lee, Godfreys, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Ecovacs Australia online for $2,499, though it’s currently on sale on Amazon for $2,099. And if that’s out of your price range right now, and you’re more interested in a starter robot vacuum, we’ve got two more affordable options below.
MyGenie ZX1000 Robotic Vacuum, $179.10, was $199
MyGenie is exactly what it sounds like, making your first wish come true, saying goodbye to hoovering. MyGenie also uses the two-in-two function and, after hoovering, can dry and wet mop your floors. Find a schedule that works for you and program your vacuum to do its daily hoover first thing in the morning. It lasts two hours when fully charged.
Kogan SmarterHome G50 Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop, $229, was $399
Kogan too has dipped its toes in the pond, engineering its own smart robot vacuum cleaner and mop at an affordable price. Just like some of its competitors, Kogan’s SmarterHome cleaner can be controlled through your phone, with the ability to map out the rooms in your home. It’s engineered with powerful 1800KPA and mopping power, which is powerful enough for most modest-sized homes or apartments.
There are four cleaning modes and three suction modes that your vacuum can choose between as the most efficient, depending on the surface it’s on. And, once it’s finished its job, it will go straight back to its charging dock.