This robot vacuum solves Roomba’s biggest problem: getting stuck – CNET

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The Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI from Ecovacs is a sophisticated robot vacuum cleaner.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Robotic vacuum cleaner are practical tools to keep your home tidy with little effort. But often get stuck or get caught by ordinary household items. And that forces you to get off the couch and investigate – unacceptable. The new Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI from Ecovacs is different. This $ 800 machine is smart enough to identify and avoid potential obstacles.

According to Ecovacs, this is possible due to the T8’s sophisticated navigation system. It is based on information collected by lasers, collision and cliff sensors and an integrated HD video camera. More importantly, the robot has the intelligence to tie all this data together and then interpret what it sees.

So if there is a pile of dirty clothes on the floor, the T8 will bypass it. The same applies to shoes, wires and cords, carpets and oddly designed chairs. At least that’s the theory. And I have to say now that a clever cleaning robot certainly sounds tempting.

How many people am i crouched down to stay healthy at home with my family. I’m not going to lie: the chaos and disorder here are getting bigger. So I was very excited to see if this smarter vacuum could handle the situation or even improve it. That’s how it went.

There is a large HD video camera on the front of the Osmo T8.

Brian Bennett / CNET

An eye for anger

At first glance, the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI looks like many other robot vacuum cleaners. It is round, flat and shaped like a cake plate. A tower protrudes from the top of the machine and houses a rotating laser that drives the lidar navigation subsystem of the vacuum. You will also find the usual selection of cliff and collision sensors that many vacuum cleaners have.

Here is a view of the Neato Botvac D6 Connected, which is connected to its lidar mapping system in our test room.

Brian Bennett / CNET

What distinguishes the T8 is its look. Robotic vacuum cleaners with lenses are not new. They have had many models for years, including iRobot Roombas and previous Ecovac Deebots. Technically speaking, these products have optical sensors, not cameras. Its main purpose is not to take realistic pictures. They take photos to navigate while moving and use algorithms to mark walls, ceilings and other reference points.

The T8 has a 720p HD camera instead. With this high resolution, the robot can actually see and avoid obstacles. And at the moment my house is full of these pitfalls. At any time, children’s shoes, toys, books, paper, as you call it, are piled up; I also like hardwood floors and deep-pile carpets (don’t judge). The latter in particular can be a challenge even for the most robust vacuum cleaners.

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It took a while for the Osmo T8 to create a floor plan. In the meantime, the robot generated reports with instructions for removing clutter.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Overloading home, no problem

Getting to know the Ozmo T8 with my home took much longer than I thought. The first step was to set it up in a room with a free outlet (my dining room). Next, the robot should create a map to navigate my house. This is done by trying to cleanse, research and learn over time.

The time required for this depends on the distance covered. Most of the vacuum cleaners I’ve used require two or three cleaning runs to create a floor plan. And if it’s just a room like ours Robot vacuum test roomYou can do this in just a 25-minute cleaning cycle.

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After the card was complete, functions such as virtual borders, restricted areas and cleaning zones were released.

Brian Bennett / CNET

It took five cleaning sessions, each between 90 minutes and 2 hours, for the T8 to completely map the first floor of my house. And like other robots, its special functions are only available after a floor plan has been created. This includes functions such as the construction of virtual walls and protection zones, the cleaning of target areas and the marking of rooms.

As soon as the Osmo T8 had its map, its navigation was almost error-free. Obstacles and surfaces, which often include other vacuum cleaners such as deep-pile carpets and tangled power cords, have not affected the T8 in any way. These are dangers that even flagship robots like the one can spot iRobot Roomba S9 Plus and Neato Botvac D7.

When cleaning the Ozmo T8, problematic objects are identified and avoided.

Brian Bennett / CNET

After cleaning is complete, the robot app will display a report with the potential problem areas that have been identified. For example, all shoes, cords and carpets that you may want to clean up before the next cleaning are identified

There were only one problem with the T8 in eight full cleaning sessions. The machine had somehow encountered a hard plastic squid. The multiple tentacles of the diving toy turned out to be too much for the main brush and stopped the robot in its tracks.

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The robot comes with a water tank and a fabric pad for wet wiping.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Yes, it wipes too

Another useful feature of the Ozmo T8 is its wipe function. On the back of the machine there is a water tank and a microfiber scrubbing attachment. When both are installed, the T8 can vacuum and wipe at the same time. In this mode, the robot is smart enough to stick to hard floors and avoid carpets or carpets.

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The microfiber cloth is located on the underside of the robot and on the back.

Brian Bennett / CNET

According to Ecovacs, wiping removes 99.2% of the bacteria from the floor. I cannot confirm that myself. What I can say is that wiping removed greasy or slippery spots, especially in the kitchen.

The app crashed very much.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Glitchy software

For all the sophisticated functions of the Ozmo T8, its mobile app must work. I used the app on mine Pixel 3 XL Running Android 10. Every time I started the app cold (not running in the background), it couldn’t open. I was always successful on the second try, but it was annoying.

The biggest problem was the “Visual Butler” mode. With this feature, you can supposedly drive the robot to places in your home while providing an HD video stream. I could never get it to work and the video connection always expired.

Ecovacs said it was aware of the problem and some units were experiencing a breakdown. The company plans to remedy the shortcoming with an upcoming software update. Frankly, I think it’s a little problem. With so many people stuck at home The demand for remote monitoring of your pets is currently quite low. And there is always the security risk of adding another connected sensor in your home.

More cleaning, less effort

The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI is not quite as incredible as you would expect from its lively marketing. Still, I’m still pretty impressed with how well it gets around and how little it gets stuck. It means less headache for you. That alone is a big reason to take a closer look at this model.

Even the fanciest flagship robotic vacuum cleaners have a lot more problems than they should. I realize that the T8 spends more time chasing dirt than sitting in the corner. And that is intelligence that other vacuum cleaners can imitate well. I’m looking at you, Neato Botvac D7 and iRobot Roomba S9 Plus.


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