The 10 best robot vacuums with laser navigation

Updated 23. August 2021 by
Saugroboter with Laser navigation

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, so they didn’t have to do these tasks themselves. In 2010, NEATO launched the first smart, laser-navigating robot vacuum [1], which would pave the way for other companies to follow in their footsteps and make robot vacuum cleaners smarter and more efficient in cleaning.

What is laser navigation?

Saugroboter Lasernavigation

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 for various reasons and comes in various forms, such as the type of navigation found 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 10 best robot vacuums with laser navigation

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

Based on: 40,608 user reviews 64 expert reviews

Rank Image Robot vacuum cleaner Score Verdict Price
#1 Roborock S6 Pure Roborock S6 Pure 97 Very good $ 520
#2 Roborock S4 Max Roborock S4 Max 95 Very good $ 430
#3 Roborock S5 Max Roborock S5 Max 95 Very good $ 550
#4 Roborock S6 Roborock S6 95 Very good $ 548
#5 Roborock S7 Roborock S7 93 Good $ 650
#6 Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 920 Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 920 93 Good $ 450
#8 Ecovacs Deebot N8 PRO+ Ecovacs Deebot N8 PRO+ 88 Good $ 700
#10 Honiture Q6 Honiture Q6 88 Good $ 480

See all the 52 best robot vacuums here.

Pros and cons of laser navigation

Pros

Robot vacuum cleaner with laser navigation

  • Smart mapping: A robot that is equipped with laser navigation scans your whole home and stores a floor map of every room. While it is 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: 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 more than several hundred 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 a specific map 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. Robot 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 compared to other robot vacuums.

Alternatives to laser navigation

Robot vacuum cleaner Navigation

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

However, not all robot vacuums are built with laser navigation, as this can increase their price considerably. 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 [5]:

Camera-based mapping / stereoscopic cameras

Robot vacuums that are equipped with cameras allow the robots to take shots of their surroundings and create a map of the house. While they can be pretty accurate in recording and navigating, they are not as accurate as robots equipped with an LDS (Laser Distance Sensor), nor can they 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, is their map is not very accurate, nor their navigation is as good as the one in robot vacuums with laser or camera-based technology.

Infrared sensors

Robot vacuums with 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

Saugroboter mit Lasernavigation und vSLAM

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 bottom 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 52 various robot vacuums, 40 % are built with laser navigation. The chart below shows the distribution in terms of navigation methods for various robot vacuums.

LDS (40%)
No (27%)
Gyroscope (21%)
Camera (8%)
LDS+Camera (4%)
September 18, 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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