When the first robot vacuums equipped with a mop option arrived, many of us hoped to be able to free ourselves from the task of washing the floor to save precious time on a daily basis … before quickly becoming disillusioned during the first tests . Until now this functionality was not developed.
Roborock, the manufacturer who offers several references present in our selection of best robot vacuum cleaners decided to tackle the problem. We were able to have a copy to test to present it to you and will be able to gauge these improvements and to what extent this Roborock S7 model can help with floor cleaning.
When unpacking it is its weight that surprises at first glance. Probable cause, this sonic mop feature which made the S7 gain a few grams compared to the Roborock S6 or to S6 MaxV. It comes with its charging station, the mop and its support as well as manuals in several languages including French.
Three buttons near the central sensor are used to launch certain actions such as general or localized cleaning or return to the charging station. The black holes in front and on the sides are proximity sensors to avoid shocks.
Under the hood we find the tank which has gained in depth but lost in length compared to the S6 MaxV but the capacity remains the same. If you don’t like regular emptying (who could it please?), Be aware that Roborock plans to release an automatic dump station this year and that the S7 will be compatible.
Under the device we discover the new Roborock brush which has been designed to hug the ground better, optimize suction on carpets and avoid getting tangled in the hair. At the rear, everything also changes in the location that accommodates the mop.
It is detached from its support by a scratch and slide system in order to be able to clean it separately. Too bad that Roborock only provided one copy with the robot, which would have made it possible to “run” the cleaning time or replace in case of very dirty floors.
It attaches and removes very simply. We can see here the rod connected to the internal motor which will make the mop vibrate 3000 times per minute. Roborock explains on his site that this corresponds to 50 Hertz, or between 20 and 20,000 Hertz, hence the name “sonic”.
The water tank, which still cannot accommodate detergent, and we regret it, can hold up to 300ml of liquid. Roborock says this might be enough to clean up to 200m2 of area in one pass, which sounds a bit optimistic and needs to be checked.
The sonic mop: gadget or real breakthrough?
Before going any further in this test, we immediately wanted to test the flagship feature of the S7, the sonic mop. This was possible without installing the application or making any configuration thanks to the button that triggers a local cleaning that orders the robot to clean in a nearby environment. A practical function that will be used in everyday accidents when a product is spilled for example.
As a reminder, the test was done with the Roborock S6 MaxV and as with all the other robot vacuums, the result was very disappointing, even on light tracks, as evidenced by this GIF that we published at the time.
The water tank was therefore filled without detergent as indicated in the user manual to see if this sonic vibration function provides a plus.
The mop needs to be moistened and wrung out before putting it in place.
The first test was made on a tiled floor with small but clearly visible dog paw marks which had dried for several hours.
Surprisingly, from the first pass, the Roborock S7 made the traces disappear without difficulty.
We therefore decided to make the task a little harder, in the true sense of the word, with more significant traces of liquid soiled by dirt and dry since the day before.
This time the first pass only blurred the traces, but a second pass overcame it. For the purposes of the test, we helped the robot a little by blocking the passage so that it could pass through the area a second time, but the manufacturer, during the initial presentation, had indicated to us that it was possible to configure a double passage in the event of very dirty ground.
Cartography and navigation system
The robot can be used without an application simply by pressing the physical buttons to trigger cleaning. But to take full advantage of its capabilities, it is preferable to install the Roborock application available for Android smartphones or iPhone. We activate the robot’s WiFi connection so that it is detected by the application and can be connected to the WiFi network of the house.
Once in place, you can carefully follow the path of the robot which gradually maps the part. During its first pass, the robot will grope and follow the walls of the room or rooms that are accessible to it, starting by going around them. He then goes back and forth to cover all the surfaces, and nothing escapes him.
However, it blocks on certain obstacles such as on the rail of the bay window in which it stuck its wheel.
Same difficulty when he arrives at the edge of a staircase. Its vacuum detector, however, stops it correctly before it falls, but the small gap created by the tiling prevents it from resuming its route and forces us to intervene.
To avoid this problem, and once the complete mapping has been carried out and the traps detected, we can place virtual barriers with “invisible walls” that he will not be able to cross, areas that he will have to avoid or even decide on the locations or only the suction will be used.
During cleaning it is also possible to adjust the suction power or the friction intensity of the mop. If this is not enough for floors with delicate tasks to remove, the robot can be configured for a thorough cleaning, it will make tighter round trips and will pass twice over each area of the floor.
In addition to these possibilities, there are many other options in the application such as the possibility of managing several cards for houses with many rooms or several floors to clean.
Suction, management of rugs and carpets
The suction gives complete satisfaction on tiles, even with the default mode which is not set to the highest power. As soon as a carpet, doormat or carpet is detected, the Roborock S7 increases the suction force and this can be heard. He also takes care to raise the mop a few millimeters so as not to dampen the carpet and put it back on the tiled floor.
Another appreciated point, it detects the legs of tables and chairs and turns around so as not to forget any area.
In terms of competition, it is very well placed and difficult to find equivalents as effective in terms of cleaning. On the other hand, there are models quite efficient in terms of suction and a little less expensive like the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 920. At a substantially identical price we could also oppose the Roborock S6 MaxV model which does not have a vibrating mop but which is equipped with a camera offering further possibilities.
During this test, the Roborock S7 surprised us with its ability to cope with tasks, it is the first vacuum robot model equipped with the mop function to have given satisfaction on this point. However, we regret that Roborock did not integrate a second mop, on the other hand it is a pity not to be able to use a little detergent.
But these are details that are quickly forgotten in view of the efficiency of the cleaning carried out. The Roborock S7 offers real household help, both in terms of vacuuming and cleaning tasks, with a well-designed application that offers multiple possibilities to refine its course and make it even more autonomous. To try it is to adopt it.
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