What Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?
What Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?

What Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?

You are probably well aware of the monotonous and tedious task of vacuuming. It is part of any good cleaning routine, and even though the activity of cleaning is both a chore and a bore in and of itself, vacuuming is still way better than sweeping.Still, if only there were a way for your vacuum cleaner to work itself …

Well, dear reader, there is — you may already be aware of that fact. After all, why else would you click on an article titled “What Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?” To those previously unaware of the phenomenon’s existence, worry not. We are going to cover what a robot vacuum cleaner is, and what it does.

So, take a break from your spring cleaning for a few minutes, take off your gloves and loosen those sweatpants a little while we introduce to you the exciting innovation of robot vacuum cleaners.

What is a Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

I am so glad you asked. A robotic vacuum cleaner (sometimes called a robovac) is programmed to be autonomous, being capable of completing its primary function with little to no hands-on interference - in this case, its primary function is vacuuming.

Originally, the robovac had an integrated remote control system, allowing the user to manually operate the device. While not quite as “hands off” as some would want, it still seemed far more convenient than traditional vacuum cleaning.

Soon, however, robovacs began shipping with a “self-drive” mode, closer to the autonomy and self-operation of modern devices. Now, robot vacuum cleaners are a welcome addition to any set of cleaning supplies and equipment.

So, What Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?

Robovacs are electronic, automated vacuum cleaning devices. They come with a variety of features which all aid in the device completing this primary function.

Cleaning Modes

First, let's discuss the different cleaning modes available. These modes usually include at least one form of automated cleaning for general use and a remote mode (in case you would like to steer the device to a particularly dirty area, for instance).

Additionally, most models also have a scheduled cleaning mode allowing the user to set which times they would like their robovac to vacuum. Other modes also include: edge cleaning, mainly used for skirting and corners; area cleaning, used for designated areas; and spiral, used for spot cleaning a particular area.

Wet Mopping

Some robovac models also include the nifty ability to mop as well as vacuum. These robovacs simultaneously vacuum and mop, thoroughly cleaning a surface in one pass. This is called a “sweep and mop” combo.

Robot mops can handle a variety of different surfaces, but are ideally suited to hardwood, laminate and tile flooring. Additionally, the different cleaning modes include sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping wet surfaces.


When the robovac was first introduced into our households, it used a random navigation system. This was fine for larger areas, but was certainly not as thorough as it should have been. The random navigation sometimes caused it to miss certain spots, and could not automatically return to its recharging station. Additionally, this early robovac model did not provide the user with a log of which areas had been cleaned.

Luckily, later, more sophisticated models have an onboard mapping system. They use gyro, camera, radar and laser guided systems which work in tandem to create a floor plan. This floor plan can be permanently stored, and the efficiency of the robovac is significantly improved. Some models have the ability to store several floor plans.

What Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Do?

Virtual “No-Go” Lines

This is related to the device’s navigation. Boundaries may be set to restrict the device’s movement to specific areas.

Quick Recharge

More sophisticated robovac models have a quick recharge system. This allows them to calculate the shortest way to recharge, and to also only recharge as much as needed in order to complete the current task. All this does is improve the efficiency of the device.


A d-shape model design can help clean dirt in trickier areas (such as corners) better than circular shaped robovacs. The straight angle and sharp corners of the one side of the device can reach into those areas.

Connected App

This only applies to more recent models, some of which allow for controlling of the unit through an app via your smartphone, tablet, or home automation device (such as “Alexa”).


It is no secret that these robovacs are some seriously convenient devices, but now you know exactly why. Perhaps now you are considering getting one for yourself. Hopefully you have found this article both useful and informative.