The 10 best robot vacuums with laser navigation

Saugroboter mit Lasernavigation

It all started with a vision to create robots to perform household chores as intelligently as humans—something to make complicated processes simple or something to allow humans to transfer menial tasks to appliances that could do it for them. In 2010, NEATO launched the very first smart, laser-navigating robot vacuum [1], something that would pave the way for other companies to follow in making robot vacuum cleaners smarter and more efficient in cleaning.

What is laser navigation?

Laser navigation is a state-of-the-art option for free navigation, which, simply put, means the navigation of a certain object without the need for wires, tapes, and reflectors. This is done by mounting a rotating laser scanner on top of an object and allowing it to accurately measure angles and distances in relation to itself [2].

Laser navigation has become quite popular in various forms and for various reasons, such as in LGVs (laser-guided vehicles) [3]. Over the past few years, however, laser navigation has become a very useful addition to household appliances, mainly robot vacuums, as brands try to find ways to make their appliances work smarter and more efficiently.

Robot vacuums that are equipped with laser navigation are more advanced in terms of technology. They can easily sense their environment, with the use of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) [4]. Not only can they operate in total darkness, but they are also able to map a room precisely. They are more efficient when it comes to cleaning and are less prone to bumping into furniture. They are also faster and take less time to make their cleaning rounds in a room, due to their high-precision sensors that let them plan out the best cleaning map around a room.

The best robot vacuums with laser navigation

According to our comparison of robot vacuums, the best robot vacuum with laser navigation is the Roborock S6. This table shows the 10 best robot vacuums with laser navigation.

Robot vacuum
Score

Roborock S6
95/100

Roborock S6 Pure
95/100

Roborock S6 MaxV
95/100

Roborock S5 Max
89/100

Roborock S4
89/100

Eufy RoboVac L70 Hyb…

88/100

Ecovacs Deebot OZMO …

87/100

Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo …

87/100

Ecovacs Ozmo T8 AIVI
85/100

Pros and cons of laser navigation

Saugroboter Raumkarte

Pros

  • Smart mapping: A robot that is equipped with laser navigation scans your whole home and stores a floor map of every room. When it does its cleaning, it will use the information on that floor map to come up with the best possible cleaning pattern.
  • Safety: Robots with laser navigation are not only able to detect your floor map—they can also detect objects to avoid bumping into them. Valuables, such as vases, and items that could cause further destruction on your floor or your robot, such as your pet’s water dish, are all safe from being damaged when your robot makes its cleaning rounds.
  • Speed: Because robot vacuums with laser navigation are equipped with the technology that will let them scan your home and create a map. Thus, they have the ability to clean your rooms faster because they are able to come up with a cleaning plan and pattern to avoid having to go back to spots they missed or even returning to a place they already cleaned.

Cons

  • Expensive: It’s no big secret that robots with laser navigation tend to be a bit on the pricier side. With the best kind of technology on them, they can cost several hundred more than robots that are equipped with gyroscope sensors or stereoscopic cameras.

Who is a robot vacuum with laser navigation suited for

  • Huge houses or houses with multiple rooms: If you have a big house or a house that has multiple rooms, you’ll want a robot that can easily and efficiently do the cleaning for you. Because robots with laser navigation are able to map out the whole house very precisely, they can store the various floor levels and rooms in their system and take it out when they need to do the cleaning.
  • Night-time or odd cleaning schedules: If you want your robot to do the cleaning at night or while you’re away and the rooms are dark, a robot vacuum with laser navigation is what you will need. Robots vacuums that are equipped with laser navigation are able to navigate around the house and do their cleaning, no matter how dark it is. Because they are able to make their way effortlessly around your home, there is little need to supervise them or constantly check up on them, as compared to other robot vacuums.

Alternatives to laser navigation

To help robots navigate their way around homes as they pick up the crumbs, dirt, debris, and sometimes even pet hair, from your floors and carpets, robots need to be equipped with something that will help them “see” their way around furniture, walls, and other obstacles.

Not all robot vacuums are built with laser navigation, however, as they can be very costly. Other robot vacuum cleaners are equipped with sensors, cameras, and various kinds of technology to help them navigate around your home. Some of them are as follows [5]:

Camera-based mapping / stereoscopic cameras

Robot vacuums that are equipped with cameras allow the robot to take shots of their surroundings and create a map of the house. While they can be pretty accurate in terms of recording and navigating, they are not as accurate as robots equipped with an LDS (Laser Distance Sensor) nor are they able to work in the dark.

Gyroscope navigation

Some robot vacuums come with sensors, such as gyroscopes and accelerometers, which is a somewhat cheaper technology used to measure distances and objects around your house. Nevertheless, their measurements are not as precise nor is their map very accurate, or their navigation as good as robot vacuums with laser or camera-based technology.

Infrared sensors

Robot vacuums that have built-in infrared sensors allow the robot to sense when it is about to approach an object or a ledge, in order to keep it from bumping into things or falling off stairs [6].

Combined sensors navigation

Some robot vacuums have more than one of the sensors or technology listed above. A lot of the robots use one kind of navigation technology (e.g. stereoscopic camera or gyroscope) but include a combination of infrared sensors in the sides and bottoms of the robot to help it detect objects and stairs [7].

How many robot vacuums are built with laser navigation?

In our comparison of the 37 various robot vacuums, 49 % are built with laser navigation. The chart below shows the distribution in terms of navigation methods for various robot vacuums.

LDS (49%)
Gyroscope (31%)
No (20%)

February 26, 2021

Sources

  • [1] Intelligent Robot Vacuums | NEATO Robotics https://neatorobotics.com/ph/about-us/
  • [2] Navigation | DS-Automation https://www.ds-automotion.com/en/technology/navigation/
  • [3] Natural Navigation Automated Guided Vehicles | AGV Network https://www.agvnetwork.com/natural-navigation-automated-guided-vehicles
  • [4] Your Roomba takes a weird path to clean the floors in your home. Here’s why it matters | CNET https://www.cnet.com/news/how-to-choose-the-best-robot-vacuum-for-your-home-roomba-neato-ecovacs-2019
  • [5] Best Robot Vacuums with Mapping Technology [2020] | Smart Robot Reviews https://smartrobotreviews.com/reviews/top-5-best-robot-vacuums-with-intelligent-mapping-technology.html
  • [6] Smart Floor Cleaning Robot Final Paper http://www.standardsuniversity.org/wp-content/uploads/Smart-Floor-Cleaning-Robot-CLEAR.pdf
  • [7] How to Get the Most Out of (or Into) Your Robot Vacuum | Wired https://www.wired.com/story/surprising-tips-for-your-robot-vacuum/

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Klaus Bachmann

Klaus Bachmann

Author and Creator

Hi, my name is Klaus Bachmann, and I am the author of Reoverview.com. I have been working with household appliances for several years now. I publish unbiased comparisons, based on user reviews, expert reviews and test results. Hope you like the website.
Best regards, Klaus.

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