For decades now there has been a love affair between humans and robots.
In the 80s you have the series called the Jetsons and if you’re born in those days I’m sure you’re familiar with that show.
Fast forward to the 21st century and we have the closest thing to Rosie and one of them even has a name!
To be more specific we’ll be comparing the Bobsweep Bobi Pet and the Roomba 980.
Both of these robotic vacuums are the latest from their respective manufacturers. And both promise smart cleaning features that will help you keep your homes clean – in Bobi’s case free from pet hair.
Botsweep is one of the latest in the long list of brands that aims to challenge the market dominance of Roomba.
At first glance it has some features that will give the Roomba a run for its money but how does it stand up in terms of overall performance and price.
That’s what we will look at in this article. We will break down every feature of these robot cleaners and see who comes out on top on each aspect.
As you can see both these vacuums chose a minimalistic approach to their product design.
Roomba only has three buttons – home, clean and spot. Over the years iRobot has simplified their interface and with the App capable of handling the scheduling feature their interface in the simplest of all the variants.
It doesn’t have the gimmicky features that other brands have. But it doesn’t really need it.
The default cleaning cycle of the Roomba 980 is more than enough to clean your home whether it be a single room or multiple rooms.
One thing that separates the Roomba 980 from Bobsweep is the smartphone app. It gives Roomba more usable functions accessible remotely.
The Bobi Pet also has chosen a minimalistic approach and it has a total of three buttons – the go, juice and waffle.
- Go – default cleaning mode
- Juice – instructs robot to dock and recharge
- Waffle – spot cleaning mode
The Bobsweep and the Roomba have a similar layout when you look underneath.
Both have the side brush on the upper left. Size of the motorized brush is roughly the same.
The biggest difference between these two would what they used for agitation.
Bobsweep uses a combination of two counter rotating bristled brushes. It also comes with a rubber, squeegee brush that works well with bristles in picking up pet hair.
Roomba 980 uses counter rotating extractors that it first introduced with the 880.
As for the placement of the cliff sensors, wheels and dirt bin, all of it remains the same.
Roomba’s departure from the random cleaning pattern
When Roomba first came out, it used a random algorithm that while effective takes very long to clean a room.
This was the biggest gripe that consumers had to this otherwise very good cleaning robot and iRobot finally listened.
With the Roomba 980 it has since revamped the old random algorithm and equipped it with a more predictable back and forth pattern similar to the Neato.
Instead of using just an infrared sensors iRobot added a camera to further help it avoid obstacles and track its position.
This camera also helps the 980 clean multiple rooms, something that the Bobsweep cannot do.
The downside to the camera is that it will limit the 980’s capability to clean in low lighting situations because camera needs light to function well.
For containment, the 980 comes with 2 virtual walls that block the Roomba from areas you don’t want it to go to like the bathroom or a very dirty kitchen floor.
Even without a virtual lighthouse, the Roomba 980’s navigation combined with the camera allows it to clean multiple rooms in a house – the biggest issue would be emptying the dirt bin in the middle of a cleaning cycle but the 980 is smart enough to remember where it stopped and will go back exactly where it previously cleaned when you run it again.
Bobi uses random cleaning pattern
Compared to the Roomba 980, it won’t be as efficient because it lacks the sophisticated SLAM algorithm iRobot utilizes.
This software helps Roomba find the most efficient path and an on board camera helps it pinpoint its exact location and remember areas it has cleaned.
It does have 80 sensors, included 5 wall sensors that prevent it from bumping into furniture. But if your furniture has chrome legs or painted in black, Bobi won’t be able to see it and chaos will occur.
The biggest downside of an infrared based system is lack of intelligence. It will only go in a random direction and not remember where it’s at.
For containment, the Bobi uses the same technology as the 980.
They call it “Bobi block”. It fires a signal that blocks the robot’s path to block it from going into an area you don’t want it to go in.
As with any robot vacuum, you will need to prep the area to be robot friendly.
This means removing stray toys, wires and trash on the floor. You may also want to remove any chairs with narrow legs. As you’ve seen in the video above, Bobi has trouble navigating around areas such as these.
The placement of the charging base is also important. It has to have enough space on both sides and in front to avoid any problems in docking and recharging.
Winner: Roomba 980
Roomba goes WiFi
With the prevalence of smart phones manufacturers are taking advantage and integrating this technology into their products. Roomba has developed their own app (for both iOS and Android) that allows consumers to control the 980 with their smartphones.
The app basically allows you to schedule, start and stop the robot. It also notifies you when the robot needs to any maintenance done like emptying the bin, cleaning any of the brushes or extractors.
What I like about the app is you can control the robot from anywhere there is an internet connection.
So even if you’re in your car, at work or inside a supermarket, you can tell the robot to clean your home just in case you have any guests coming over.
Bobsweep uses a puck shaped controller
Bobi utilizes a uniquely designed control that allows you to schedule, start and cleaning cycles. And it also allows you to control the robot like an RC which is nice but I don’t it’s necessary.
You buy a robot vacuum because you’ll want it to do the cleaning for you not the other way around.
Roomba 980’s app and WiFi connectivity is a game changer. It prompted their competitors, namely Dyson and Neato to add this feature to their products.
Winner: Roomba 980
From the Roomba 800 series onwards, iRobot has departed from the bristled brush system. And now use two counter rotating extractors that they claim to be maintenance free. But in real life tests it is not maintenance free as iRobot claims to be.
Long hair will still wrap around these extractors…
You’ll also need to pay close attention to the sides as well because dust bunnies and hair will accumulate in this area.
Cleaning these extractors should be part of your maintenance routine to keep it in peak condition.
The Bobsweep Bobi uses two counter-rotating bristled brushes
It also has another brush – a rubber, squeegee type beater bar that looks similar to the Roomba 650. You can swap out one bristled brush with this.
The bristle and squeegee combo works better in my opinion in picking up pet hair compared to the two bristle brush setup.
It has a couple of features that the Roomba does not have – a mop and a sterilizer. Whether or not the mop is effective depends on how dirty the floor is.
Great for mopping relatively clean surfaces
On a relatively clean tiled surface, it works great as a mop (just make sure that the microfiber towel is damp with a quick drying cleaning solution). It saves you time because you don’t need to mop separately.
The sterilizer is a bit of a question mark. It uses UV rays that supposedly kill bacteria. But I’m not sure on the real world effectiveness.
To properly disinfect and deep clean bare floor like tile or hardwood, you will need a dedicated cleaner for tile and hardwood tailor made for the task.
While you can control how fast the Bobi moves around, it does not have the carpet boost system that the 980 has that increases suction power in order to better clean deeper pile carpet.
This feature alone enables the 980 to be better equipped with dealing with a dirtier carpet while the Bobi works best as a maintenance cleaner that keeps dirt from piling up.
If you let Bobi loose on a dirty carpet, it will not be able to finish it’s cleaning cycle because it cannot handle cleaning a big amount of dirt.
Winner: Roomba 980
Older generation Roombas use a NiCad battery that is heavy and has problems with longevity.
The Roomba 980 now has a lithium ion battery that extends run time up to 2 hours. With carpet boost on that number will go down.
In terms of run time, it is basically the same but it gives a better linear power band meaning it will maintain its suction power throughout the charging cycle.
The Bobi pet vacuum still uses the old nickel cadmium battery that will run for approximately 1.5 hours.
Winner: Roomba 980
As with all Roomba robot vacuums it comes with a 1 year warranty for the robot and a 6 month warranty for the battery.
The Bobsweep beats the Roomba by backing their product up with a two year warranty and a 60 day money back guarantee.
Winner: Bobsweep Bobi
Both the Bobi and Roomba 980 have HEPA filtration – their filters are washable.
If you buy the Roomba 980 in Amazon, expect to by around $800. Buying online is actually cheaper than buying it retail.
Bobi is a lot cheaper. Depending on the variant you’ll choose it’ll cost as little as $260 in Amazon. The standard white version is no longer available in Amazon, only the “Pet version” that has the more powerful motor to handle pet hair better.
Both these brands are eligible for the free 2-day shipping if you join Prime. Amazon also sells extended warranties of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.
Winner: Bobsweep Bobi Pet
Other Roomba Comparisons
Roomba has a bunch of models in their product line. Find out how each one contrasts with the other plus also comparisons with other brands like the Neato.
To Wrap Up
Hands down, the Roomba is a better performing robot thanks to the new and improved navigation, WiFi connectivity, better cleaning performance and the ability to clean multiple rooms.
Biggest downside obviously would be price. The Roomba 980 costs around $800. It’s easily one of the most expensive robot vacuums right now next to the Dyson 360 Eye.
If your home does not have carpet, there is a cheaper option available – the Roomba 960. It has the same navigation as the 980 but with a smaller motor and shorter run time.
Other options would be the Roomba 650 and 860. But these variants still use the old IR navigation that’s less efficient.
If you value cutting edge technology that utilizes your smartphone as the main controller and don’t mind spending that amount of money to acquire it then the 980 is a no-brainer option.
Bobsweep is a good cheap alternative that has additional features not found in the Roomba. These features include mopping and UV sterilization.
It won’t match the 980 in terms of power or cleaning performance but it costs a third of the price.
The mop attachment helps in terms of dry mopping fine dust particles. The UV disinfectant is a big question mark whether or not it can really kill germs.
Another struggle for the Bobsweep would be climbing up plush rugs and navigating around chairs. But in terms of cleaning performance it will do a decent job keeping your home clean.