A robotic vacuum tends to be one of the first ways we think of “the future”, but for as long as they’ve been around, they can still be exy. Ecovacs’ latest aims to change that.
That whole vision of a robotic butler to do your chores and make life a little more enjoyable? It’s still not a thing, and you can’t get a robotic employee to do your bidding for everything. We’re gradually automating most of the cleaning aspects of your home, but you still have to fill in the gaps.
If you have a dishwasher, that’s your dishes sorted. If you have a robotic lawnmower, that’s your lawn sorted. And if you have a robotic vacuum, that’s your floor sorted. Floored, almost.
Of course, most of these types of mere automation can cost something pretty major, but the cost is gradually coming down. Much like how the big technology from high-end phones trickles into less expensive models, the same is true with robotic and automated appliances for your home, and next appears to be the robotic vacuum.
Evolved from the mere sweepers they used to be, the robotic vacuum uses a sweeping action to throw dust into the line of a small vacuum with chamber, and roams the home looking for dust and debris to deal with. Some of them can also be used to mop the floor, and it’s a technology that is gradually improving, and lately includes support for the smart home, allowing you to name your vacuum, and then command it by talking to a smart speaker, be it one that runs on Google or one that uses Amazon’s Alexa.
And the latest from Ecovacs is one that does all of that and manages to keep the cost under $400, as the company launches the Deebot U2 in Australia, what appears to be a slightly different take on the Deebot U2 Pro launched last year.
Like that model, there’s support for vacuuming and mopping, the latter of which uses water only to sponge the home’s floors down if the can take it (presumably you don’t use it on carpet), with the difference appearing to be battery life and accessories that we can tell. In the U2 Pro, there’s 150 minutes and a pet accessory for dealing with hair, while the U2 offers 110 minutes to work with and doesn’t get the accessory.
“We are continuously striving to help Australian families free up time from cumbersome chores so that they can focus on more enjoyable things during their rare downtime,” said Karen Powell, Head of Australia and New Zealand for Ecovacs.
“Having a reliable, cost effective robotic vacuum solution such as the Deebot U2 is an important way to both make our technology as accessible as possible, as well as hopefully encouraging some Australian consumers to move to a robotic vacuum cleaner for the first time,” she said.
There are also anti-collision sensors and soft cushion bumpers in the model, plus an automatic cleaning mode to have the vacuum run through the house line by line, plus a way to prevent the vacuum from going over or around obstacles using magnetic tape, something that’s an optional extra.
It’s available now, too, with the Ecovacs Deebot U2 priced at $399 in Australia, and available from both Bunnings and JB HiFi, with Godfreys and The Good Guys seeing it soon, too.