Data Plays a Critical Role in How Robot Vacuums Clean More Efficiently

How Robot Vacuums Clean More Efficiently: Robotic vacuum cleaners are the perfect supplement for weekly or bi-weekly cleaning of the home. They can zip around during the day and keep their floors quite clean, as they would be otherwise. Best of all, most robot vacancies set it and forget it. Once you set a cleaning schedule, they are good to go with a little more input on your part.

Some high-end robot spaces actually learn the layout of your home and present it to you through a digital map. This map can then be used to specify areas that are off-limits to the device.  Specify areas for more intensive cleaning, and more.

The way a robot vacuum learns the layout of your home involves more than just a few sensors. A tremendous amount of data is absorbed and processed for a robotic vacuum cleaner to learn and navigate the layout of your home. takes a keen look behind computing to explain how a robot vacuum cleaner works.

Censors are the eyes of the world

You need to understand how the device uses its various sensors before algorithms and data processing can be explained. A standard robotic vacuum cleaner is equipped with a host of different sensors that allow it to “see” and “feel” around the world. Although different models have different methods of processing information, this article will take a look at the iRobot Roomba i7 +.

The Roomba i7 + has a set of six cliff sensors that continuously emit infrared rays of light. This light immediately bounces back to the device, and if at any point it does not get an instantaneous response, the romba will stop and change direction. These sensors are located on the sides of the device to help prevent the rumba from going a step.

How robot vacuums clean more efficiently

Another sensor is the floor tracking sensor, which is found at the bottom of the romba. This sensor acts like a sensor on a standard computer mouse and tracks the location of the device.

The front bumper of the Roomba has a sensor, too. It is an object sensor. When it collides with something and retreats, Romba knows that it has reached an obstacle (whether an object in the floor or the wall) and needs to change direction. It works together with an actual wall sensor that allows the rumba to move along one wall without actually colliding.

There are other sensors as well, such as the bottom ones that align the charging pad on the Romba with the charging pad at the base station. It is through these sensors that Rumba is able to navigate and clean your entire home.

Decoding data equals efficiency

You might think that rumba just rotates around the room, vacuuming the debris until it hits something. In some cases, you will be right. Early robot vacuos used a random pattern in this way to do most of their cleaning, but advances in recent models actually take all the data they gather through the cleaning process and the most optimal route throughout the house Let’s make a map.


iRobot devices use a trademarked system called the AWARE Robot Intelligence System to process data from various environmental sensors. While not really “intelligent”, this frees up some of the company’s ability to make decisions for itself. The AWARE system allows the iRobot device to process dozens of pieces of input per second.

In practice, this means that Rumba is able to move around the room and note the obstacles in different places. However, it does not do this automatically. After setting up the device, you will need to enable the “Smart Maps” function. Roomba would require four to five runs to produce an accurate map of the house.

This map can be updated in time. If you move the furniture around, Romba is able to note the layout changes and adjust its passage. It is also useful when it encounters an object, such as a child’s toy that was left on the floor (or under the edge of the couch).


One thing to note is that different robot vacuum companies use different methods for mapping a location. Some brands, such as the Samsung Powerboat Vacuum, use a camera-based mapping system. While other brands such as the Nieto Botvac series use LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).

Once you have mapped the house, you can designate different parts of the map as separate rooms and ask Rumba to just clean that place. You can also install virtual walls or borders that signal the rumba to go no further, keeping it out of the areas that might pierce it or cause other issues. The iRobot Roomba i7 + uses LIDAR tracking to navigate a room.

Data plays a critical role in how robot vacuums clean more efficiently
How robot vacuums clean more efficiently

Obstructions and impediments

Although modern robot vacuoles use more efficient and intelligent navigation methods than earlier models, there are still obstacles that can make the devices difficult to operate. Roomba i7 + requires light in a room to navigate, and dark walls can interfere with the way LIDAR works. This means that you cannot run the Rumba at night without leaving the lights on indoors (although you can connect the Smart Rocks to the activation of your Romba, when it turns on and turns off when charging. )

Although your robot vacuum still requires input occasionally (such as Romba sneaking into a dark closet and getting lost), the devices are mostly self-contained. After several runs of your home, the map will be complete and Roomba will be able to navigate better and clean up its location more efficiently.

If you want to make sure that you want to get the most efficient cleaning from your robot, make sure to clean the area beforehand. It will rotate around the toys, but large pieces of debris can block suction, and entangles loose wire wheels and jam the rumba. How well it works taking 30 seconds to clean an area before activating Roomba.

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