I’ve never owned any of these Roomba-type vacuums, I always thought they were just gimmicky. After hearing my co-worker rave about their robot vacuum, I started looking into these a little more seriously. I was stoked to see that Anker’s Eufy brand offered the Robovac series; one thing turned into another and now I’m the proud owner of a Robovac 11c (Pet Edition).
I’m not quite sure what the “Pet Edition” does any differently than other Robovacs. The brushes seem to be about the same size and are definitely good enough if you have medium to large-size dogs in the house. There’s an array of roller-type brushes at the bottom of the vacuum (as well as two optional “sweeper” brushes) that help pick up debris, dirt, and fur from both carpet and hard surfaces.
Routine maintenance I feel is a super-important thing that people need to understand when running these Roomba-type vacuums, and this vacuum is no different. They clog up after a while, but are easy enough to pop off and clean up. Eventually they’ll need to get replaced; and I’m crossing my fingers that I can buy these extra brushes from Anker directly. In fact, I might want to stock up while I can. The bigger annoyance is human hair, and I’ve already had to lop off some of my wife’s hair from the thing several times. There’s also a dust bin in the rear (or front, I can’t really tell) that pops off and can be emptied out. In my experience, I’ve had to empty it after two or three runs around 550 square-foot rooms. Your experience may vary, of course, depending on how filthy your house is.
There are a few control choices for this vacuum; for the basic, non-technical user, it comes with a nice little IR remote (and batteries! How crazy is that? Seriously, manufacturers always skimp out on providing little AAA batteries). The remote is nice enough and has very straightforward buttons for all the things the vacuum can do, but will likely end up in a drawer somewhere because of the latter two control possibilities. The next such option is through the EufyHome app, which I happened to aready have on my phone to control my Lumos lights and (previously), the Genie. Through the app, you can do everything the physical remote can do, as well as put the vac on a cleaning schedule as well as perform firmware updates.
The Connected Home integration is what set the vacuum apart for me, however. I can’t state enough how cool it is to simply go “Okay Google” and have the vacuum start cleaning an entire room, at your leisure. Notice that I said Google—though I own a Genie, I’ve retired it in favor of a few Google Home speakers. Even though Eufy pushes Alexa support in every selling page for this product, the vacuum works just fine through the Google Home app. This is a feature that robot vacuums in similar price ranges simply don’t have.
The RoboVac uses an array of sensors to move around through its various modes (and also an additional sensor to figure out if it’s about to fall down the stairs). The vacuum doesn’t “learn” room layouts, however; it’s simply not part of its feature set; you’ll have to pay twice or three times the price for that sole feature. Instead it wanders around in all sorts of directions and switches direction when necessary. Other modes also let it either spot-clean a certain spot, or just run around the edge of a room and clean the edges (perfect with those sweeper brushes I mentioned – this is great for rooms like the kitchen). The Home button starts the RoboVac on its way to the charging cradle, where it kind of limps along and heads on home. It’s fairly entertaining to watch it make its way back, I guess the charging dock emits a signal that “attracts” the Vac back home, where it parks (and sometimes even adjusts itself!) nicely against the dock to start charging again.
A few areas for improvement:
- I wish there was a way to kill off the “help, I’m stuck!” chime. Totally get why they did this, but what if I’m out of the house? The vac’s going to incessantly chime until I can help the vacuum get unstuck.
- The timer options don’t specify an end time. Seems like a miss, maybe I want it to just do a room for half an hour and then come back.
Overall, this is a great get for anyone that is new to the Robotic vacuum game; it kind of gives you a great baseline off what to expect for this genre of devices and even tosses in some additional frills like the aforementioned Alexa/Google Home integration. Two thumbs up!