Despite the quarantine, the virtual CES 2021 has successfully familiarized experts with the innovative successes of the main leaders in the consumer electronics segment. Traditionally, high-tech TVs, robot vacuums, smart gadgets and smartphones have been in the spotlight.
The robot vacuums segment has been developing rapidly since 2002, when the American iRobot and the Swedish Electrolux introduced the Roomba and Trilobite, respectively. Over the past 20 years, these robots has evolved from expensive, clumsy and low-powered fun toy for pets to a modern high-performance multi-functional device. Modern premium models with efficient navigation provide almost fully automatic cleaning for all types of floors and carpets, including wet mopping.
Traditionally, the huge assortment of modern robots can be divided into budget, medium and premium segments.
As a rule, all premium models are multifunctional (vacuuming & mop), provide a sufficiently high suction power from 2000 Pa and above, use a lidar (laser rangefinder) and / or a camera for navigation, have a wide range of different sensors and support mapping with a mobile app. In addition, almost all companies equip their flagships with various additional functions, including self-emptying dock, voice control, zoning, etc.
Mid-range robots typically have lower suction power, easier navigation and simplified mop mode. They are effective enough to clean rooms without high-pile carpets. The power of budget vacuums usually varies in the range of 1000 – 1500 Pa. They are mainly intended for dry cleaning of small rooms with hard floors.
Probably, the self-emptying dock is becoming the new standard in the premium segment. As known, iRobot first introduced it in Roomba i7+ in September 2018. The cost of the optional self-emptying dock was about $ 200. In may 2019, the company launched the second generation, presenting a much more powerful Roomba s9+ with increased runtime to 120 minutes. Of course, this option radically expands the automation level for daily scheduled cleaning.
At CES 2021, Xiaomi Roborock S7 and Samsung JetBot 90 AI+ generated the most interest from experts.
Xiaomi Roborock S7
As known, Roborock is part of the Xiaomi Ecosystem, and specializes in the development and production of robot vacuum. But Xiaomi also manufactures vacuums under its own brand. The complete list of Xiaomi vacuums includes the Xiaomi Roborock E and S series, and the Xiaomi MiJia series.
Roborock E and S series belong to different price segments. The budget E series adopts a dual gyroscope positioning and navigation system. The Roborock S series uses a more efficient LDS (Laser Distance Sensor or Lidar). Today it includes the S4, S5, S6, S6 Max, S6 Pure, and S6 MaxV models. The list of differences between previous S6 models includes:
– compared to the S6, the Roborock S6 Pure (2020) is cheaper due to fewer sensors, louder (65 dB vs 58 dB), holds more water (180 vs 140 ml), but less garbage (460 vs 480 ml);
– Roborock S6 MaxV uses LDS and an bumper camera to detect objects on the floor.
The flagship Roborock S7 2021 continues the S series. Its sale in America starts on March 24, 2021. Like the Roborock S6 MaxV, S7 will cost about $ 650. But unlike it, the S7 uses only lidar without a built-in camera. The company offers a model in black or white, but the self-emptying dock will only be available in black.
Its specs are similar to the S6 MaxV. S7 provides suction power of 2500Pa, has 470ml dust compartment and 300ml water tank. Its Li-Ion 5,200 mAh battery provides up to 3 hours runtime. The model supports the mop mode. A new RR Mason 7.0 algorithm reduces route duplication, increasing cleaning efficiency.
S7 is controlled from the controls on the device or via Mi Home app, and works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri.
1. Probably the self-emptying dock is one of the major improvements.
Today it’s at the final stage of development. Of course, the company promises its compatibility with most Roborock models, including the S7. Unfortunately, the company did not specify the $ 650 package. Of course, this factor will significantly affect the model competitiveness. For comparison, a similar dock for the Roomba s9 costs $ 200. Accordingly, the optional dock will increase the price to about $ 850. But, of course, it will significantly increase the level of cleaning automation. Its garbage bag lasts for about one month.
2. The innovative VibraRise function (Sonic Mopping) is designed to clean stubborn dirt.
50Hz vibration provides up to 3,000 vibrations of microfiber in the horizontal plane per minute. According to the company, this mode will increase cleaning performance by about 65%. But only testing will demonstrate the real performance of this technology.
3. Intelligent mop lift feature lifts the microfiber by 5mm after finishing mopping, or when moved to carpet or charging dock.
Of course, the auto protection of the dock and carpets from water is very convenient.
4. Ultrasonic Carpet Recognition Sensor provides mapping of carpets on a map, replacing traditional programming of cleaning zones.
5. According to the company, the new silicone brush without bristles completely eliminates hair and wool wrap around the roller.
6. The water tank with new piezoelectric control uses a peristaltic pump scheme, which improves control precision, reduces low noise, and prevents clogging. As a result, accurate water spraying provides optimum humidity mop during mopping.
Samsung JetBot 90 AI+
The previous Samsung POWERbot R7070 was presented in 2017. At CES 2021, the South Korean giant’s silence ended, and Samsung announced the newest JetBot 90 AI+.
Unfortunately, information is very scarce. This robot will use a self-emptying dock, the container capacity of which is designed for several months. The digital inverter motor provides 30 AW suction power. The patented Jet Cyclone system provides air purification. JetBot 90 works with the Samsung SmartThings app, uses lidar for mapping, zoning and navigation, and a front-facing camera for object recognition.
Additionally, the camera can work in video surveillance mode, transmitting the image to a smartphone.
Its design is similar to the legendary Dyson 360 Eye.
Unfortunately, the high profile drastically limits its ability to clean under low profile furniture. But the large body can accommodate a block with combined turbo brush. The front brush takes up almost the entire body width. The D-shape is very effective for cleaning corners. Probably, JetBot does not support mop mode, because the company didn’t show it.
In fact, Samsung JetBot 90 AI+ became the first intelligent robot on the Intel AI platform. Probably, its smart functionality will amaze the imagination, but today there is no information.
The system automatically adjusts the route to optimize cleaning. For identification, robot uses a database of more than 1 million objects. In fact, a similar system is implemented in the Roborock S6 MaxV. The front camera checks the object contours with the data in the database, then the algorithm selects the optimal solution.
Lidar determines the location of objects and the distance to them. The camera and AI will be able to provide excellent maneuverability and confident overcoming of obstacles.
At CES 2021, Samsung and Xiaomi Roborock confirmed their status as innovation leaders.
If the Roborock S7 comes with a self-emptying dock at up to $ 650, then the VibraRise (Sonic Mopping) feature, intelligent mop lift feature and Ultrasonic Carpet Recognition sensor will provide this model with excellent marketing prospects.
Evaluation of the prospects for Samsung JetBot 90 AI+ is hardly correct without its price, but this model has already become the first intelligent robot on the Intel AI platform. Real-time video monitoring with a smartphone, an excellent inverter motor, an efficient Jet Cyclone system, a front camera and a database of 1 million objects are fully consistent with the premium level.
This video introduces Samsung JetBot 90 AI+.