A robot that really sucks

A robotic vacuum cleaner that can clean your house, recharge its battery and empty its filter box, all without your supervision, hit Australian shores this week.

German cleaning systems manufacturer Karcher launched its RoboCleaner RC 3000, a round, disc-shaped device on wheels, standing 10cm high with a diameter of 28.5cm. It retails for $2995.

The RoboCleaner uses infrared sensors to ensure it has a level surface to move over, and optical sensors to avoid bumping into furniture and other household items. The RoboCleaner’s optical sensors also determine how dirty the surface level is, and adjust the level of suction power accordingly.

According to distributors Godfreys, the RoboCleaner does not need to be programmed, and adjusts to different surfaces, including carpet, automatically.

The RoboCleaner comes with a charging station which it returns to regularly for recharging its battery and emptying the RoboCleaner’s filter box.

Before vacuuming, the RoboCleaner connects to the station which charges the cleaner’s battery (similar to that of a mobile phone). This takes between five and 55 minutes, depending on battery power. The RoboCleaner also returns to the station when the voltage of the battery reaches a specific level, or the dirt container is full.

The charging station uses suction to suck dirt from the RoboCleaner’s filter box to the station’s internal filter bag. This takes about 30 seconds. A ‘bag full’ indicator alerts the user that the bag must be emptied.

Godfreys said the product is quieter than the average vacuum cleaner (54dB compared to 64dB), but its maximum suction performance is 18W compared to conventional vacuums’ 1200W.

The RoboCleaner travels at 20cm per second, and can cover 15m2 in one hour. On surfaces with a lot of dirt, its speed is halved to clean more intensively.

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Steven Deare

PC World
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