Vacuuming is one of many necessary, but dreaded household chores that should be done on a daily basis to keep a clean home.
The process comes with many annoyances, from manoeuvring heavy appliances into hard-to-reach corners to finding the perfectly positioned plug socket.
But new technology from Kärcher and other major home appliance retailers has changed the scope of household cleaning with none other than the robotic vacuum.
Using smart technology, these hands-free, cordless designs are able to do the job on their own with very little input from the user.
I traded in my dated Henry model for the Kärcher RCV 5 to put the revolutionary power of artificial intelligence (AI) to the test.
READ MORE: I compared Kärcher’s pressure washer to Black+Decker’s
Robotic vacuum cleaners are a result of technological advancements enabled by AI and the “Internet of Things” (IoT).
Kärcher’s RCV 5 model is one of the first of its kind from the brand and was released at the same time as the sister model known as the RCV 3.
While both boast high-quality LiDAR navigation, obstacle avoidance functions and a rare wet cleaning option, the RCV 5 has additional features including voice assistance, auto boost and carpet recognition.
This is where the robot automatically recognises that it is cleaning a carpet, turns off the wiping function and increases its suction power.
The unique design also features a dual laser sensor and a camera, which allow the robot to detect very small objects in the vicinity of the room.
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Rossi Salvatore, Assistant Product Manager at Kärcher said: “We’re delighted to launch the new range of Robotic Vacuums in the UK. Practical, durable and efficient, we have provided a best-in-class range of products to assist the British public’s cleaning and homecare needs, especially those with busy lifestyles”.
From my own experience, the appliance did just what it said on the tin. The vacuum was not only easy to use but I’d go as far as to say that it has revolutionised the way I clean my home.
I first set the device up using the Kärcher Home Robots app which allowed me to register the exact model. The instructions for doing this are thoroughly set out in the user guide and take no time at all.
A Karcher spokesperson said: “Both RCV models are equipped with LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), the highest quality variant of vacuum robot navigation, located on the top of the robot, which enables extremely precise measurement and detailed mapping of the home.
“The range has excellent mapping capabilities, as multiple maps for different levels of the home can be stored within the app. Easy to navigate, the app can also be used to adjust cleaning parameters and pick preferred cleaning tracks, either running next to each other (higher area performance) or overlapping cleaning tracks (Y-shape for highest cleaning results).”
Those sceptical of the details detected by the robot should be reassured that it stores a simple line drawing of the room, with no actual images of its surroundings.
The smart design even comes with special cleaning modes for particularly dusty surfaces, which involves going over the same area multiple times. Similarly, ‘no go’ zones can also be saved to avoid places that should be out of the robot’s reach within your home. Perhaps of the most unique features of the app is that it allows users to kick start a home clean when out and about without having to physically engage with the vacuum itself.
It should be noted that before using the vacuum, it must be charged up using the flat docking station that can be plugged into the main supply. While the shape makes it easy to store, the short power cord made it difficult to find a permanent home. The circular model simply glides over the tracks and locks in while charging and will communicate this with green lights.
The quick-charging device was ready to use shortly after, so I put it to the test in the busiest room – the lounge. Filled with large furniture, this really showcased the impressive ability of the RCV 5 to manoeuvre itself around obstacles.
Its flat design makes it ideal for sliding underneath sofas, coffee tables and TV stands. It even managed to dust the edges of furniture legs and the deep crevices of skirting boards. While the results shocked me after use in the busy room, I do think that the robotic design was created with large, open spaces in mind. However, a few minutes of preparation by moving furniture out of the way is nothing when you realise exactly how much time can be saved with this robotic vacuum.
The voice assistance communicates exactly when the vacuum will “start cleaning” after pressing the power button a few times, and it also acknowledges when the device needs to be returned to the charging station, as well as when it’s charged.
In a nutshell, using the Kärcher RCV 5 really is as simple as pressing the start button and leaving it to deep-clean any kind of indoor flooring material. I would say though that closing doors is essential if it’s just one room that needs cleaning, as the robot has a tendency to wander into hallways if the space is open.
The vacuum collects dirt, dust and debris in a small rectangular filter which can be easily emptied and replaced. However, the streamlined design means that this needs to be cleaned out more frequently than a larger vacuum – after every two uses on average.
Designed for use as both a wet and dry vacuum, the Karcher RCV 5 replaces the need for polishing hard floors with other cleaning tools, particularly stone tiles. I found that when used in my kitchen and bathroom, the wet cleaning add-on pad lived up to its claims of “optimal dust binding”.
In comparison to regular vacuums, the Karcher RCV 5 feels cleaner and the hands-free technology makes it so easy to use. At the press of a button, I can clean an entire floor area while simultaneously blitzing a room elsewhere in my home. One of the added benefits of Karcher’s robotic vacuum is that it is much quieter than the average model.
And with so many uses, it’s a great all-in-one device for those who try to avoid vacuuming. The only downside of the product is that it requires frequent emptying and charging which means you have to keep on top of its maintenance to enjoy the rapid results.
Its steep price, at £549.99, is also a huge amount of money for a cleaning tool. However, I would say it is justified by its futuristic technology and diverse uses. Therefore, it is ideal for those in the market for a new vacuum with a generous budget to spend.
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