The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to remain indoors and the theme during the lockdown remained DIY. The pressure of work from home doubled as each individual had to get involved in household chores, though I don't know about you, for me my new normal included a lot of body aches, muscle cramps on my lower back. A few days into the lockdown and I knew that I had to lean on technology and let the robots share the load.
While robotic vacuum cleaners took off a few years back, we needed them now more than ever. Chinese hardware maker, Xiaomi introduced the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P in India and started shipping it out from September 2020. I've had the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P with me for a few weeks now and one of the most important questions that I wanted an answer for was – is it effective? Short answer is yes and the long answer is, well you have to read the review. Before you decide to invest time in doing so, let's see if this fits your budget.
This robotic vacuum-mop will set you back by Rs 21,999 and is available on the company's website.
Here's a look the features and specs of the vacuum cleaner:
Hardware: What's in the box?
Xiaomi's Vacuum-Mop P takes after the classic Roomba inspired hardware with a round shape. In the box, you will also get a charging station and necessary cleaning attachments. The device packs in two removable compartments -- one for vacuuming and the second for mopping, which packs in a water reservoir, along with an attached fabric mop.
Right on top of its lid, it sports a power button and a home button that summons the devices back to the charging station. It also packs in a small speaker that announces when the device is ready to start cleaning, when it needs to be charged and when it's done. Once it's done cleaning, the vacuum mop automatically returns to the dock and recharges itself. The device also reminds a user when it needs to be cleaned along with its attachments.
Maintenance and cleaning the device
Apart from vacuum compartments, there is a small roller at the bottom that picks up a lot of dirt and hair. Xiaomi has neatly tucked in a brush and knife cleaner under the lid that comes in handy while cleaning the compartments, its filters and detachable rotating roller. If you have a pet that sheds, then this roller will be hitting a jackpot each time it cleans the floor.
Let's talk about the frequency -- you should ideally clear up the vacuum compartments for both dust and water after every cleaning session for effective cleaning. But again, that would depend a lot of how big a space is the Mi Robot covering and how often you chose to run it. I, for instance, used the device two to three times a day. Yes, I am a cleanliness freak and found myself "unleashing my inner Monica" each time I hit the power button.
How does it work?
The navigation system is based on Laser Distance Sensor (LDS) coupled with Simultaneous localisation and mapping algorithm (SLAM). The LDS basically helps the device move effectively in your home, while avoiding obstacles and curious pets. The Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P moves differently in different modes -- vacuuming or mopping. If you chose to only vacuum, you will notice that it takes far less time to get the job done. However, while mopping, the Mi Robot covers the area in a pattern for more effective cleaning. It's slow, but effective.
Now, there were times when I found that the vacuum came back to the same spot several times and missed an area entirely. This is when I had to depend on the Mi Home app and do some manual intervention, simply to direct the Mi Robot in a particular room or area that it may have missed.
The Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P houses a 3,200mAh battery that lasts me for about 90 minutes in one full charge. And when the battery runs out, Mi Robot returns to the charging station on its own.
Pros and cons
One of the biggest pros of this devices is the fact that it can vacuum and mop at the same time, all with just the press of a button. You also have the option to just vacuum or mop only, all you need to do is install the desired fitting. The height of the cleaner makes it easy for it to slide under beds and couches. Moreover, the cleaner can easily roll over carpets, rugs or thick doormats. None of these things get stuck on to the device or interrupt the cleaning. However, my personal advice would be to clear up the floor of fabric movables for better results.
In terms of cons, due its disc-like hardware, it is bound to miss edges and corners of your home. You need to clean them up yourself. Also, while the device will clean up your home in the background, I felt that the Mi Robot was really noisy and it is hard to ignore when in action. Ideally, I would have wanted to run the cleaner through the night and wake up to a clean home, but that's not possible.
Having said that, overall the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P has been super useful. Especially at a time like this, when there is an extra load of household chores on you and dependability on external help or staff is reduced. A combination of this device and of course, a little bit of manual intervention is a winning combination.