Of course, the Chinese iLife robot vacuum cleaners need no introduction. Fans of these devices are familiar with many previous popular models, including iLife V5s Pro, A6, V7s Pro, V8s, etc.
High-tech iLife Innovation Ltd was founded in 2007 and specializes in robotic cleaning technology. Today this company has sales networks all over the world. Additionally, as one of the leaders in the robot vacuums segment, iLife actively implements and promotes a Smart Home Ecosystem.
As known, the engineers of this company traditionally pay much attention to the mopping floor function. In 2018, the company announced the first wiping iLife W400 robot with a full mopping floor option.
In fact, mopping floor is the main function of this model. But, of course, such specialization significantly influenced its design and operation. For example, a large height of 4.7 in due to the size of the water containers significantly limits the ability to clean under low-profile furniture. For comparison, the height of the iLife A7 does not exceed 3 inches. The small diameter of the wheels limits the height of the obstacles to be overcome, which does not exceed 3 mm. Robot requires care after each cleaning cycle due to the emptying the container from the dirty water. In addition, the robot does not support automatic charging mode. But on the other hand, it simplifies the choice of location for the charging station, because any store room with a socket is perfect for this purpose.
But, of course, the solution to the problem of daily laborious and unhygienic mopping floor fully compensates for these minor inconveniences. In fact, the iLife W400 is the first budget robot with this feature. Of course, the popular iRobot Scooba series is much more efficient and more functional. But it belongs to the top segment with a higher price and does not compete with the iLife W400, the price of which varies in the range of $ 200-250.
The black plastic case with a matte finish has a round shape with a small ledge at the back.
The small diameter of the wheel, low clearance and the absence of bevels on the bottom completely correspond to the function of mopping floors, but does not provide effective overcoming the obstacles. On the other hand, engineers did not set themselves this task, because the robot is not designed, for example, to clean carpets and, accordingly, it should not cross the floor / carpet border.
A spring-loaded bumper in the front half activates mechanical obstacle sensors. Low edge bumper significantly limits the robot movement, preventing it from getting stuck in hard-to-reach places.
Spring-loaded axles of the driving wheels are located on the same diameter for a full turn on the spot, ensuring high maneuverability.
In fact, the robot consists of two large parts, including a platform with drives and a compartment with containers for clean and dirty water.
The clamp provides their simple separation. In addition, the pictures on the top panel contain instructions for their proper assembly.
Controls and other features
Buttons from translucent plastic on the top panel provide convenient control. The icons for the current mode, the battery status and the fill level of the clean water tank are illuminated by colored LEDs.
Additionally, the robot informs about its condition using voice messages in English. Unfortunately, sound alerts do not turn off.
The vacuum cleaner also has a small IR remote control.
It provides robot motion control in standby mode. The upper arrow corresponds to the forward movement, the lower arrow provides a 180 degree turn. In this mode, the water pump and brush drive are disabled, so it only provides movement without cleaning.
A lithium-ion battery provides approximately 90 minutes of cleaning. A full battery charge lasts five hours.
The robot cleans very quietly. The noise level does not exceed 55 dB at a distance of 4 feet.
845 ml of clean water in a container provides approximately 215 sq ft of cleaning.
The scraper made of elastic plastic is fixed on a strip of aluminum profile, which is fixed with the help of two magnets.
Care includes emptying the dirty water container, rinsing it, cleaning the filter if necessary, and transferring the robot to the charging station.
The model uses an innovative TidalPower Cleaning System.
TidalPower technology contains 4 steps:
Six tiny nozzles let out water from the container to the floor;
The ultra-thin fiber brush rotates quickly, scrubbing the floor;
Pump with built-in brushless motor effectively sucks dirty water;
The scraper removes residual stains and water marks.
In addition, the robot uses an innovative Clean/Dirty Water Separation system, which includes two containers for clean and dirty water.
iLife W400 supports all traditional cleaning modes:
– Path Mode or Zigzag mode.
The robot drives the premises in straight lines, turns around 90 ° in the event of obstacles and then continues straight on;
– Area Mode.
A certain cleaning area with a size of 16×16 feet;
– Spot Mode.
The W400 moves around itself in an ascending spiral path, cleaning a 30 x 30 inches plot. This mode is intended for enhanced cleaning of a highly contaminated area.
– Edge Mode or wall function.
The robot moves along the room perimeter, cleaning near the walls.
At the end of each program, the robot returns to the starting point.
– solving the problem of laborious and unhygienic daily mopping floors;
– very comfortable design;
– relatively low price;
– high quality cleaning;
– high battery capacity ensures long battery life, which is convenient for cleaning large rooms;
– the ability to add detergents;
– a full set of popular modes.
– low level of automation;
– no dry mode;
– no blocking of the water supply valve during shutdown;
– the area on the sides of the roller brush are inaccessible for cleaning;
– low robot passability (height of obstacles not more than 3 mm);
– relatively high height limits the cleaning under low furniture.
The iLife W400 provides high quality of mopping floors that dramatically exceeds the universal hybrid models with dry / wet modes. Unfortunately, this model is not effective for cleaning coarse debris, heavy dirt and carpets. But in this case, it is perfectly as a supplement to a traditional vacuum cleaner.
This fun video from the manufacturer demonstrates the iLife W400 operation.