Black marks for robot cleaners

Some robotic cleaners performed poorly for cleaning, noise and pollution, the city's consumer rights protection commission said yesterday.
Zhao Lirong

An official with the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission tests the performance of robotic cleaners. 

SOME robotic cleaners performed poorly for cleaning, noise and pollution, the city’s consumer rights protection commission said yesterday.

Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission conducted inspections on 25 robotic cleaners covering major brands in the market.

They were examined for their cleaning performance, programming, flexible “walking” ability, noise and pollution. Their prices ranged from 1,088 yuan (US$167) to 7,999 yuan and they were bought from online sites, department stores and home appliance shops.

“We found that they varied significantly in performances,” said Yang Qing, a commission official.

Three machines, from Flyco, seebest and Dibea, could not complete the whole testing procedure due to breakdowns midway through, according to the commission.

For the remaining 22, the dust cleaning performance ranged from 22.8 percent to more than 94 percent, according to the commission. The test was conducted in central room areas that were scattered with dust.

Panasonic’s MC-RS767 model and Haier’s J3000Gplus were among the poorest performers. Tomefon’s TF-D60 cleaning performance was just 22.8 percent.

The best performance was from MJ’s SDJQR01RR model, with 94.9 percent.

The commission also looked at the cleaning ability at room corners, and performances ranged from 14.5 percent to 88.9 percent.

The Roomba 964080 model of iRobot, Dyson’s RB01 and Samsung’s SRF715 were ranked 15, 17 and 18, and their performances were all below 50 percent, according to the commission.

“The programming ability displays the intelligent level of robotic cleaners, and samples with strong programming can cover bigger areas through navigation, mapping and route design and reach below desks and chairs,” said Yang.

Among these samples, Coayu’s Chocolate 600W model and Haier’s J3000Gplus were the poorest performers.

The commission also examined the flexible “walking” ability of the cleaners to check their reaction when there are steps, narrow passages and obstacles in their way.

Among them, Fmart’s E-R610B was among the worst performers in passing obstacles. In terms of dust discharge, Lexy’s R1021 was the poorest.

The current standard on robotic cleaners in China is not compulsory and lags behind product updates, said officials.


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