back to article What simultaneously sucks and doesn't? This new robot vacuum cleaner

If you've ever bought a phone charger or cable from Amazon, there's a decent chance it came from Anker, a fast-growing Chinese consumer electronics firm whose products regularly occupy the top-selling spots in their respective categories. Over the past few years, Anker has diversified into other categories, including household …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    2000 pascals, 20,000 pascals

    All that is very nice, but how much noise do they make ?

    Because suction power is important, but me being able to not leave the house when they work is as important to me.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: 2000 pascals, 20,000 pascals

      Given that battery energy is precious the bots are nowhere near as loud as mains powered vacuums. It is much more important how sensitive you are to noise. If you are not in the same room or even have a door to close between you and the bot, you should be fine with all models I have heard so far (admittedly just a handful).

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: 2000 pascals, 20,000 pascals

        A lot of these devices are designed to be as noisy as possible, because some people associate loud noise with effective suction.

        1. molletts

          Re: 2000 pascals, 20,000 pascals

          designed to be as noisy as possible

          We had one of those at work. (A normal mains one.) It had "1400W" emblazoned across it; I reckoned that worked out at about 1300W of noise and 100W of suction. It couldn't compete with my Miele one from home set to minimum power (300W).

          I once quipped that, were it anything other than a vacuum cleaner, I'd say it sucked, but the problem was, it didn't.

    2. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

      Re: 2000 pascals, 20,000 pascals

      I generally run the Roomba downstairs when I'm upstairs, and vice versa. Noise is not a problem!

  2. Andy Non Silver badge

    WiFi, control by app or voice?

    Really? Something else to add to the IoT do not want list. What does the remote control do anyway? Does this thing have wheels and a camera enabling it to be remotely guided around a room chasing the cat (by a kid in a basement in Russia) ?

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: WiFi, control by app or voice?

      When you leave for work in the morning, you can tell the hoover to give the floor a once-over so that you don't need to listen to the thing.

      Seems like a reasonable idea to me.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: WiFi, control by app or voice?

        I just program mine with a daily schedule. It wakes up and does its thing every day when I'm at work. No WiFi needed. I honestly don't understand the benefit of having these things connected to the internet.

        Does the Anker bot require a Wifi or internet connection to work? If so, that's a dealbreaker.

        1. Persona Bronze badge

          Re: WiFi, control by app or voice?

          I do that too, but get in to find mine stuck on the back door mat. It can happily drive itself onto the door mat but then it deems the drop back down to the ground too high to attempt coming down again. Eventually it gives up on finding a way down and goes to sleep. On the plus side the door mat is always wonderfully clean.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: WiFi, control by app or voice?

            Yeah, I use a Roomba and have a couple of "trouble spots" as well. If you're electronically-inclined, you can avoid buying the expensive virtual walls that iRobot sells and build your own for about $5. As a bonus, home-built ones are tiny!

    2. cyclical

      Re: WiFi, control by app or voice?

      I have an Eufy vacuum robot and they aren't bad - flimsier build than a roomba, but do basically the same thing. The remote on mine has controls to configure timings, a spot clean button, an edge clean button, and a return to home button. I rarely use the remote though. Can't imagine I'd use WiFi or voice either.

      I've had mine since the start of the year, and it's still going daily. My Roomba started to jam up after this length of time and I had to clean out and regrease the gearbox every month or so, but the Eufy costs half of what a similar Roomba does and it does keep things fairly clean.

    3. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: WiFi, control by app or voice?

      How much does this Russian kid charge? My cats could use the exercise and seem to only want to play when I'm busy with other things.

  3. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Poor old Pascal

    He invented a calculator in 1642, and now he is memorialised by a vacuum cleaner. Sucks to be Blaise.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Poor old Pascal

      He's pretty relaxed about it.

      One might say blasé.

  4. Dippywood

    Heavens knows what a pound will be worth by the time it is released.

    About a pound, probably...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know what also sucks?

    The site acknowledging that you are signed in (oh look there's my username at the top & I can access my account) but then it demanding I sign in to read the comments because it suddenly thinks I'm not actually logged in yet. Either I am (points to my name at the top of the page) or I'm not (points to the log in demand a bit lower on the same page) but not both. That sucks dingo bollocks like a microsoft CEO.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: You know what also sucks?

      And you think complaining about it in a random comments section is going to help how?

      1. TheProf

        Re: You know what also sucks?

        I think our Nonymous friend is referring to the fact that sometimes you can't post a comment without a sign in box appearing just above the comment box.

        Happened to me yesterday. I didn't complain though.

    2. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: You know what also sucks?

      I was just about to reply, but couldn't be bothered to sign in.

    3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: You know what also sucks?

      "

      Either I am (points to my name at the top of the page) or I'm not (points to the log in demand a bit lower on the same page) but not both.

      "

      Of course it can be both. The site is hosted on a quantum computer. Your logged-in status exists in a state of superposition.

    4. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: You know what also sucks?

      That sucks dingo bollocks like a microsoft CEO.

      That's a strangely specific reference... wait... I've decided I don't want to know after all.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much is 20000 Pascals in El Reg units?

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr
      Paris Hilton

      How many of these is it?

    2. Brian Miller

      All of the vacuum cleaner makers use different ratings. ShopVac uses CFM, sealed air pressure (water lift), and air watts. Sebo is similar.

      But what is a Pascal for suction? There needs to be a common measurement. Like femto-black holes maybe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'But what is a Pascal for suction?'

        Well a Pascal is a unit of pressure and as suction it would be negative pressure.

        If you know the area it is applied over you could convert it to the El Reg 'Norris'.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      It's obviously far too monett to count.

      Sorry. I'll get me coat.

    4. wiggers

      I make it 793,722 ponds/acre

    5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      20000 Pascals is about 38000 68K ASM, and at least 5x the threshold for somebody not wanting to touch it. These are only approximations as the older units lack unit tests.

      1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
        Pint

        100,000 Pascals walk into a Bar...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now THIS is the way an advert should be!

    Just basic facts and specifications (pascals? who knew), no javascript required, no annoying popups or popunders and no targeting specific to an individual other than a tech related website.

    In fact, annoying ads that try and grab my attention away from what I was doing are put on my "do-not-purchase" list.

    Take note Google and Facebook!

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Now THIS is the way an advert should be!

      Apparently these break down after a year or so. I actually looked into the Eufy robovac product line, cause vacuuming is... not too much fun. People were not happy with the reliability. (read this on... dunno, amazon?)

      1. cyclical

        Re: Now THIS is the way an advert should be!

        My Roomba broke down in around the same amount of time (although it was an easy repair). The problem compared to traditional vacuum cleaners is that these things just about roll around in the dust, and they run for a long time. It does mean they tend to jam up with dust relatively quickly once the seals start to wear out. Still worth it if you can find a good offer though.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Now THIS is the way an advert should be!

          I've been using Roombas for a long time now, and have two comments about their reliability.

          First, the more recent models are MUCH more reliable than earlier ones. The older ones tended to suck hair into the gearbox and around the spindles, which cause tons of problems. This has largely (but not completely) been fixed.

          Second, I've found that Roombas are very, very reliable as long as they are kept clean. When I had pets, that meant cleaning them every day -- not just emptying the collection bucket, but using tweezers to remove any debris from the gearboxes, spindle, and sockets. I don't have pet now, and have found that I only need to engage in that level of cleaning once per week.

          The cleaning is a little hassle, but fairly minor. It takes me about 5-10 minutes.

          1. Santa from Exeter

            Re: Now THIS is the way an advert should be! @JohnFen

            Quote "The cleaning is a little hassle, but fairly minor. It takes me about 5-10 minutes"

            So if you had to clean it daily when you had pets that's about an hour a week.

            More time than it takes me to do my 3 bedroom, 1 cat house the old-fashioned way!

    2. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Now THIS is the way an advert should be!

      I thought it was just a puff piece...

  8. Drone Pilot

    Do you need that much sucking?

    Surely* you don't need all that sucking power? You just need enough to get the job done.

    You just need enough to suck the dust (not bricks) into the bin.

    Just-Enough=quieter?

  9. tiggity Silver badge

    Not for me

    The cats would batter it remorselessly until it was trashed (they are skilled at pushing stuff down stairs (even surprisingly heavy objects) - and despite their aloof reputation will even work as a team. Thus our floors are very tidy as nothing cat pushable around - just heavy furniture. We also have a cat who loves being vacuumed (long haired cat and gets a lot of the deep seated skin dust out of its fur) and I reckon it would find a way to upend a robovac and sit on it for a grooming session.

  10. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    I heard that the BOFH is eyeing these new suckas with great interest. if the possibility exists for remote control of said sucka, then the BOFH will be all the more interested.

    And poor Noo Noo is depressed, he's getting replaced with a better sucka.

  11. hatti

    Good but...

    Auto hoovers give me cause for concern, a meat based operative has the faculty to determine whether an object is to be sucked up or not. That all important missing pc screw or ear ring is cause to turn off suction mode temporarily to retrieve the errant item.

    I'm fearful that although these are keenly priced, they could lead to the cats disappearance with that much suction.

  12. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I propose a new unit

    How about minutes per square metre per 1-persian-cat-week per carpet fluffiness factor? If a miele can clean up all the fluff and dust from a 5m x 5m room which has two persian cats living in it, with a reasonably fluffy carpet in 20 minutes, then it sucks 100% more than a dyson that can do the same with 1 persian cat living in it that takes the same amount of time to hoover.

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