Since then I've used several of these little robotic disks, but today I'm going to discuss what I think is a robot vacuum that takes existing technology to a new level. I think most of us have either seen or used a robot vacuum, and are familiar with the technology as well as the limitations. So let's take a look at what makes this one different.
The iClebo comes with a dock like most robot vacuums. I installed the charging dock in one of our dressing rooms, which is always dusty because of the clothes and fabric as well as the dust carried in from outside by our customers. The charging station took about two hours to charge the iClebo, and the cord can be stored inside the dock after charging to stay out of the way once the robot starts cleaning.
Every function on the iClebo can be controlled by a remote, including power, run and stop, turbo, docking, timer functions, and cleaning duration. The turbo is sort of a boost function that increases the strength of the vacuum, and the timer can be used to program the robot to clean automatically at a certain time of day. There is even a set of directional keys that can be used to manually steer the robot if you need to, a feature that I had never seen before. All of these functions can be input directly on the robot, of course.
When the robot was fully charged, I installed the side brushes and got ready to take it for a test drive. The iClebo has four different operational modes: auto, carpet, mopping and climbing. The auto function uses the robot's sensors to move around the room and run its brushes and vacuum. The carpet and climbing modes can be used to clean an area with carpeting or doorways, respectively. The mopping mode can be used with the optional wet mop attachment. I set the robot on auto made and it began to navigate around the room with the familiar zigzag pattern of robot vacuums.
What makes the iClebo so unique is that while most robot vacuums use infrared sensors built into the robot vacuum itself or a separate set of navigation "towers" that you are instructed to place on your TV or on a high shelf that can look down and feed information to the robot, the iClebo has built in optical sensors--in short, eyes. The optical sensors basically take pictures of the room, and the robot decides where to go based on this optical input. The robot takes continuous pictures of the ceiling and walls while it moves to figure out what part of the room needs to be cleaned and what part has already been dealt with. In addition to the optical sensors, over 20 detection sensors keep the iClebo from colliding with the walls or furnitures or falling down the stairs. If it runs out of battery power in the middle of a cleaning cycle, it will return automatically to the dock, recharge, and set off again, all on its own.
There are a lot of robot vacuums on the market but I think the iClebo has features that makes it stand out among the competition. What won me over was the different modes for different cleaning situations. And while I couldn't personally see the optical sensor do its work, I could tell that the robot "saw" the room much better than my previous robot vacuums that only relied on infrared sensors and collision detectors. This is a truly smart robot that I think represents the future global standard for these devices.
[Youtube] The Smart Change iClebo makes
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