The “Bobi” as they call it is the latest in the long line of robotic cleaners that bObsweep has manufactured.
This variant has the most features that includes an improved algorithm and more sensors that helps it better avoid obstacles. It also comes with a brush cleaning tool to help with cleaning the motorized brush.
This Canadian made autonomous cleaner is not only capable of vacuuming but also mopping. And has UV sterilization feature that disinfects through the use of ultraviolet rays.
Can these features be enough to challenge market leaders Neato and Roomba?
A lot of challengers to Roomba have popped up in recent years but none of them has matched it yet in terms of cleaning performance and price.
Neato comes the closest but it still lacks the equivalent of the Virtual lighthouse that blocks areas that are off-limits.
This particular variant comes is specially designed for cleaning pet hair as it has the two counter rotating bristle brushes along with a squeegee brush designed to pick up pet hair and litter.
A quick look at the features
- Has 5-in-1 funtionality – vacuum, mopping, disinfecting, sweeping and air purification
- Equipped with HEPA filtration
- Washable dirt bin
- Only 3.35” tall – shorter than a Roomba and Neato
- Has 80 sensors that include 5 wall sensors and edge sensors
- 11,500rpm motor
- Bobi block acts as a virtual wall that blocks areas you don’t want it to enter
- Comes with extra brushes and cleaning tools to help you keep Bobi in tiptop shape
- Bobsweep has indeed improved navigation algorithm based on tests
- Moping feature great for kitchen tiles as a maintenance tool – do not use this to clean soiled tile
- Low profile will reach areas under the bed
- Best used as maintenance tool to keep your homes free from dust
- Weak vacuum motor
- You will need to clean the all the brushes and dust bin after every cleaning session
- Smallish dirt bin
- Cannot deep clean carpet
- Cannot see black or chrome furniture
- Has tendency to miss charging dock if room has a complicated layout
When you look at the features at first glance, it looks a lot like the Roomba 700 series with the round shaped robot and side brush.
Underneath are cleaning brushes that screams Roomba – two counter rotating brushes plus a squeegee brush.
You can call this overkill but every brush is needed to make up for the weak motor.
These brushes also help a great deal in agitation but it’s by no means for heavy duty cleaning.
It also has a remote control – a puck shaped control that will allow consumers to schedule, select any of the cleaning modes and manually control the robot just like an RC.
Speaking of cleaning modes there are only 2 – the Go and Waffle mode. The Go is the default cleaning mode while the waffle mode is for spot cleaning a three square foot area.
Experts recommend that when you run it in default mode not to interrupt it unless it encounters an obstacle like a stray wire.
The last option is the juice which will send the robot back to the charging base for recharging. Take note that “Bobi” will automatically do this once the battery reaches 15%.
Out of the box, you still to do some work in order to use this robot. First, you will need to flip it over, use a screwdriver to remove the battery cover and attach the NiCad batteries in place before even using this.
Two color options
Bobi has a glossy, silicone finish. On top they also used a minimalist approach with only three buttons – Go, Juice and Waffle.
There is a learning curve
Unfortunately before running Bobi, you will need to read the manual to better understand how the quirks and the functionality of this machine.
Another thing needed to maximize the cleaning ability of this robotic cleaner is to prep the area you are cleaning.
If you have any rugs with long tassels – tuck them away.
Same with power cords, shoe laces and any sort of wire as these will bog down and stop the Bobi in its tracks.
Also you will need to dedicate a lot of space around the charging base – around 10 feet in front of it and s feet on either side for it to dock successfully.
Make sure that you rest the charging station against a sturdy wall.
It also comes with a small microfiber pad to mop bare floor like hardwood or tile. Don’t use it on heavily soiled areas, it will only work on relatively clean surface.
Another unique feature not available in other robot vacuums is the disinfecting capabilities through the use of a ultraviolet ray.
Now whether or not this feature really disinfects is up to debate since you need some sort of a chemical to really disinfect so take this feature with a grain of salt.
According to Bobsweep, the Bobi pet hair vacuum only produces 60 decibels. This is definitely is more quiet than any upright – great for not scaring away your pet or toddler. It’s actually more quite than a Neato or Roomba.
According to Bobsweep, the Bobi pet has a new navigation algorithm that is more efficient – fewer redundant passes and more sensors, a total of 80.
Including 5 wall sensors (that prevent this from ruining your wallpaper or baseboards) and a cliff sensor that prevents this robot from falling off stairs.
These sensors allow the robot to avoid obstacles outright but it will bump into anything that’s chrome something that has a black finish – consider yourself warned.
Here’s how Bobi navigates around a room…
There are two cleaning modes. Press the Go button to use the default cleaning mode. It starts by cleaning the edges first then proceeds to the inner part of the room.
Bobsweep did not specify if this robot has multi-room cleaning though.
It comes with what they term a Bobi block (only one) that blocks the robot path with an infrared signal. If you need more of these devices, Amazon sells them separately.
When the battery level reaches 15% this robot returns to the charging base to charge but remember the space requirements I shared earlier – 10 feet in front and 2 feet on both sides to give Bobi the best chance to dock and recharge.
This robot will not have any problem cleaning bare floor and tile thanks to the mopping feature.
Since the vacuum motor isn’t as strong as a traditional upright or stick vacuum, it will rely on the squeegee part of the brush to sweep up smaller pieces of debris like pet hair and dust but it may struggle cleaning larger bits of dirt on bare floor because the motorized brush along with the side brush will fling these objects away.
The mop function will work well on a fairly clean surface but avoid using it on an oil filled surface that may need scrubbing. Also avoid using this in a damp environment like a bathroom.
Here’s a demonstration on bare floor…
This robot will work best on carpet because of the presence of the bristled and squeegee brushes that agitate carpet well.
However, it lacks power and agitation to deep clean carpet. It will not clean plush carpet or rugs well. If your home has lots of carpet, you will need an upright vacuum to do the heavy lifting.
Trust me, others have tried it and it will not work.
But for in-between clean ups, this robot will shine since it is capable of doing any repetitive task without tiring out but you will need to clean the brushes regularly to avoid build up for hair and dander.
This is another area that this robot will perform well. The bristle brush and squeegee combo will do a decent job picking up pet hair on carpet. But it still lacks agitation and suction for deep cleaning work.
If you have wall to wall carpeting, it would be best that you use an upright vacuum for deep cleaning then utilize Bobi for everyday cleaning to keep dirt and pet hair from piling up.
Unfortunately, this robot will not clean stairs.
Bobi will allow you to schedule exactly what time you want it to automatically start cleaning your floors even though you are not home. It does not specify if you can do it on different times each day or you can only schedule it the same time everyday.
It will take 4 hours to charge Bobi’s 2200 mAh nickel cadmium batteries.
This robot has a similar filter placement as the Roomba so removing it is simple as pulling it out.
HEPA filter is washable so this saves you money buying replacement filters.
Make sure that it is dry before putting it back in.
Remember that if you’re cleaning a really dusty area play close attention to the filter as it will clog up pretty easily with microscopic dust and performance will degrade. If performance lags make sure to clean the filter.
When fully charge Bobi will run for approximately one and a half hours.
Bobsweep backs up the Bobi with a 2 year warranty plus a 60 day moneyback guarantee – a better warranty than the Roomba or Neato.
This is a fairly popular robot vacuum in Amazon thanks in large part to excellent after sales service. Consumers say suction is decent and motor isn’t very noisy.
Another feature folks like is the ability to control this robot using the arrow buttons. But for me, I’d rather let the robot do it’s job autonomously so this is subjective.
In terms of performance, it was pretty close to the Roomba 780 and when you add that it has 3 motorized brushes, the agitation is pretty good on carpet. Some even said that the dirt bin is large compared to the Roomba 700 series robots.
However some consumers complained of the inability of Bobi to see black or chrome furniture. Another potential issue would be the robot not finding home base is room is too complex.
I must warn you that this robot will have trouble cleaning more than one room at a time as consumers commented that it seems to lose track where it is at when it leaves a room.
Based on reviews this will work better on a home with a simpler layout with more open space than cramped home with complex shaped rooms. One way to utilize this robot is letting it clean one room at a time.
The two year warranty is one year longer than the Roomba and Neato so this is a big plus point for Bobi.
You can buy this in Amazon for less than $330. The one available right now would be the Pet variant. And this will be eligible for Amazon’s 2-day free shipping if you join Prime.
This robot has some features that will give the Roomba a run for its money but I find it hard to recommend because of the price. While it can help keep your floors clean, it still lags behind the Roomba 700 series or even the BotVac series in terms of features and easy of use.
The fact that you need to remove screws and attach the battery make is a stumbling block in terms of easy of use. Bobsweep still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of how they design the control and not needing to do any assembling out of the box.
In terms of power Bobi still lags behind the Neato BotVac and lacks the multi-room sophistication of the Roomba 880 or 980 though I could forgive it because it is cheaper than these two options (at least in Amazon).
The bottom line is this robot still performs well as an in-between cleaner that you can schedule and has a mop function that is fairly useful on relatively tile or hardwood floors – so it is a timesaver in that regard but don’t expect it to deep clean dirty carpet or mucky tile floors.
When you consider the price (over $800 in Bobsweep’s site) you are paying premium dollar for a robot vacuum that lacks the premium features like WiFi connectivity and an app that will allow you to schedule this remotely. A better place to buy this would be in Amazon where it costs less than $300.
It is this lack of features is what’s holding me back from recommending from this otherwise good robot cleaner.