It’s fair to say people are sceptical of robotic vacuum cleaners. Despite the impending Terminator-esque apocalypse which they’ll inevitably play a role in, they’ve previously been quite clumsy and clunky. Bumping into furniture, missing most of the mess, and generally running out of battery before they’ve made their way across the living room, robot cleaners haven’t exactly put our human cleaning jobs at risk. However, Xiaomi’s Mi Robot Pro vacuum cleaner injects some extra tech ‘oomph’ into the product category, aiming to offer a genuine alternative to getting out the ole broom.
The Mi Robot Pro is the top-tier version of the company’s Mi Robot vacuum line, and features a few extra bells and whistles to counter the common problems found with such devices. It’s a little bigger than other autonomous vacuums out there, such as the smaller Roombas, but it’s not a bad thing, because the Mi Robot Pro has a larger filter and collection bin, along with a bigger 3,200 mAh battery, to keep it cleaning for longer.
While a little bit larger, the Mi Robot Pro features a very low profile, allowing it to slide under furniture with ease, or be stored away in a cupboard or under the couch without much fuss. Design is something that Xiaomi has been improving on drastically, and the look, shape, and size of the Mi Robot Pro is the perfect combination between practicality and looking like a modern tech item you’re not ashamed of and want to hide in the back of the cupboard. Its clean white appearance and LEDs make it look like it fits in next to your TV or smartphone.
In terms of function, it’s hard to fault the Mi Robot Pro. From the moment you turn it on, you get some handy voice prompts to let you know what it’s doing. Whether it needs a charge, the filter is full, or it’s beginning its cleaning cycle, you always know what’s happening, which is a nice touch compared to other devices which ‘beep’ and ‘boop’, leaving you staring at it and wondering why it isn’t cleaning.
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After a quick route around the perimeter of a room (touching corners and working its way around furniture legs), the Mi Robot Pro will cascade across the floor and scoop up any dust or dirt on the floor using its rotating brushes to scoop anything into its mouth. Testing it out with pretty challenging dog hair on a wooden floor, the device performed well and managed to gobble up just about every loose hair in sight. It did a solid job, but of course, some of the bigger tufts of hair did get caught in the Mi Robot’s rotating brush, but not so much that it obstructed it from continuing its clean.
Once the Mi Robot Pro has done its job (or runs out of battery), the device automatically returns to its charging-dock, which can be plugged in and put in a corner. The Mi Robot Pro will hunt down the station, turn around, and reverse onto the magnetic ports and begin charging automatically, which is fantastic given that you can leave the house and let the device do its job without being concerned it’ll die and be out of battery when you get home.
The device also has the ability to mop, with a small water tank and interchangeable mop head for the bottom, which does work well enough to pick up small spills and marks on tiles or wooden floors. Furthermore, there is a companion app which you can pair with the vacuum in order to create digital boundaries or scheduled cleaning times.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Pro is not necessarily a household essential, but for those who have the budget and need a little extra daily sweep to counter any accumulative dog hair, dust, or mess on the floor, it’s a gamechanger; allowing you to kick back and relax while technology gives you a hand with the housework.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Pro is priced at R5,499 and available on MIA Africa’s online store.