Price (RRP): $1799
The home of the future will come with robot butlers and maids and chefs and cleaners, but until that happens, you’ll have to settle for a robot vacuum. Is this the future now, or just some cheap gimmick?
Features and performance
Robotic vacuums aren’t exactly anything new, but they are changing, with the evolution now more about what they can do to suck things up as opposed to merely sweeping them to the side.
Samsung’s latest take on the area is in the PowerBot VR9200, an update to its robotic vacuum model that features a digital inverter motor for the vacuum technology to increase the suction amount, making this robotic vacuum more like a vacuum and less like another sweeper.
Aside for that little motor, you’ll find support for wireless with an app that the vacuum will talk to on both iOS and Android, sensors to pick up on obstacles and drops to avoid any certain disaster, and a digital camera sitting up top to map out floorpans, which will allow the robotic vacuum cleaner to make its way around your home.
A battery can be found in the unit, good for a max of 160 minutes, though that is also dependent on how high the suction is set to, of course.
Setting the PowerBot up, you don’t have much that you need to do, setting up a small slimline base that appears to rely on an infrared sensor to guide the PowerBot to its home later on.
To start, though, simply dock the PowerBot vacuum in the unit and let it charge up.
It shouldn’t take too long, and we found our review unit had a decent amount of battery life to start with, so we just started pressing buttons.
You’ll find the remote is fairly accomodating, and we’d be surprised if someone didn’t get how to use it, as the icons are all pretty self explanatory, as are the words under the buttons. There are three levels of suction indicated through icons, and a directional pad with spot clean targeting, but we’ll get to that shortly.
For now, just hit play — the centre button — and watch the vacuum do its thing. Alternatively, you can press the play button on the vacuum itself, handy for those of us who tend to lose remotes all too easily.
Watching the PowerBot vacuum work, you can’t help but feel you’re watching an old animal try to make his way out into the world. He knows he’s not the same as he used to be, so he works his way across the world in steps, and turns, and steps, and turns.
For five minutes, I wanted to the animal— err, PowerBot to just sweep across the middle of the floor where I had intentionally dropped crumbs and dust.