Most robot vacuums fall into three main categories – random navigating options that only pinball around, smart robots with a laser or camera sensor, and robots that use gyroscopes to track their location.
The Ecovacs T8 falls into a rare category that uses a laser and front-mounted camera. It navigates like a LIDAR-based robot, but the front camera aids it in avoiding obstacles. This model is the first of its kind, and we’ll find out in this review how well it avoids obstacles.
How Good Is The Ecovacs T8 At Avoiding Obstacles?
Ecovacs T8 AIVI Review
One intriguing feature of the Ecovacs T8 AIVI is its front-mounted camera, enabling it to avoid obstacles. But how good is this sensor at doing such? I did extensive tests, and it can evade particular objects. It avoided poop if it approaches it straight on. However, if it falls in a blind spot, it will not avoid it. So the technology isn’t perfect. Cleaning performance is decent, especially with surface debris. The high cost should give you a pause, with the Roborock S6 MaxV offering better obstacle avoidance and better deep cleaning.
- Excellent airflow at over 23 CFM
- Very usable power even at the lowest setting
- Lower profile design than the Roborock S6 MaxV, so it’ll fit under furniture with clearances of 3.7″ and under
- Three-hour run time
- Over 65 decibels at the highest setting
- Average at deep cleaning carpet
- Navigation not as efficient as a Roborock
- It only saves up to two maps
Introduction to the Ecovacs T8 AIVI
The T8 AIVI is the first Ecovacs robot with a front-mounted camera. AIVI stands for Artificial Intelligence, Vision, enabling it to detect and avoid obstacles. So the question is, how well it does?
I’ve put the T8 through a gauntlet of tests with different obstacles, and I’ll reveal the results below.
There are two Ecovacs T8 options.
First is the T8 AIVI with the front-facing camera. This variant is currently DEEBOT’s flagship option.
Next is the T8 (without the AI software) with three laser sensors upfront to detect obstacles.
Like all Ecovacs robots, the T8 has a round frame with a matte charcoal finish I like because it resists scratches better.
The dustbin loads from the top and has a 0.42 ml capacity. So a bit smaller than the Roborock S4 Max.
It has a 240 ml water tank that loads from the rear. Unfortunately, the mopping bracket doesn’t slide in from the back. You’ll have to flip the robot or remove the water tank to attach, which is an extra step.
Underneath, the T8 has a twin side brush system flanking its combo brush.
The brush is narrow, measuring less than 7″ wide, but it has a good enough seal to pick up debris even at the lowest setting.
How does the Ecovacs T8 AIVI navigate?
The T8 relies on a laser sensor (or LIDAR) as its primary navigational tool. A laser is quite precise with location tracking. Rarely does this robot not find the home base – even in complex layouts.
It’s similar to a Roborock and Neato with precision, but it lags a bit when it comes to efficiency.
Like those brands, the T8 starts cleaning the edges before moving towards the middle.
However, the similarity ends here. Unlike Roborock and Neato that can go around up to three times, the T8 can only do it twice.
This shouldn’t be a big deal for daily cleaning tasks, but I prefer having the option for an extra pass.
I tested how well the T8 does in a coverage test. For this experiment, I scattered quaker oats around a test area to see how much it picks up.
The T8 was decent, picking up nearly all of it after its two-pass run. It completed the task in 11 minutes, which is quite fast despite not using the most efficient path.
However, I feel the T8 lags behind a little bit versus a Roborock when cleaning more complex layouts.
This robot is compatible with the Ecovacs app. Search “Ecovacs” wherever you download your apps from to access.
I’ve been testing the app extensively, and it offers a lot in terms of features, which I’ll summarize in this section.
The app has a live map, providing users real-time information of the robot’s location, area size, and battery level.
It can also detect the correct map level after the initial scan. So there’s no need to select the map manually.
Selective room cleaning
At the bottom right of the map, you’ll see an “area” tab. This section lets you select an area to clean by tapping on a specific room.
Please note that you’ll need to save the map first then manually divide each section for this function to work.
It has a similar function as spot cleaning, but more precise since users can specify exactly where the robot cleans without having to carry the robot.
The app also enables you to specify which area gets cleaned first. Tap on the cleaning sequence tab on the lower-left portion of the screen, then alter the order which room goes first.
This section lets users select the power and water level modes. There are four options for each. Users can also set the number of passes – one or two.
You can technically save up to two map levels, but adding a third map is possible, but the app won’t permit users to save it.
Just move the robot to a third-floor level, run it, and it’ll create the new map.
After the new floor plan is created, the app automatically divides the area into sections. The algorithm isn’t perfect, so you may want to redo the divisions by first merging then dividing the areas.
After dividing the sections, users can proceed to name rooms. Unfortunately, the app permits users to choose from a list. Custom naming isn’t available, so you’ll have to make do with the list.
Another useful aspect of the T8 is containment features. The Ecovacs app provides three ways to blocks off-limit zones – invisible wall, no-mop zones, and virtual boundaries.
- Invisible wall: Are virtual lines that block the robot from going past it.
- No-mop zones: Blocks the robot from going into a square or rectangular area
- Virtual boundaries: Similar to the no-mop zone’s functionality
Shows the history of previous cleaning cycles, along with the corresponding maps, the total number of cleaning cycles, and the area covered.
It shows users a snapshot of how much they’ve used the robot.
Auto Boost Suction
This feature is similar to carpet boost, where the robot vacuum automatically increases suction when it detects carpet.
The Ecovacs app supports unlimited scheduling. You do unlimited runs per day, depending on the need, at different times.
There are three different options.
- AUTO cleaning: Instructs the robot to clean the whole floor level
- Area cleaning: Tells the robot to clean a specific area.
- Schedule home patrol: Robot will roam around the home and forward snapshots for what the camera sees
It works in conjunction with the Ecovacs T8’s Auto-Empty station. You can purchase this separately.
How much power does the Ecovacs T8 AIVI have?
One of the surprises of this product is airflow. I used an anemometer to check, and here are the results.
- Quiet: 8.2 CFM
- Standard: 22.58 CFM
- Max: 22.93 CFM
- Max+: 23.1 CFM
Ecovacs says the lowest setting is for the mopping feature, but it has usable power, at least for hard surfaces.
The standard, max, and max+ airflow difference is so close, and the difference is negligible.
You can leave it at the standard-setting with the carpet boost feature on to automatically increase suction if it detects carpet.
I tested the T8 on various debris such as hair, quaker oats, quinoa, sand, coffee grounds, pet litter, cheerios, and more. It’s a comprehensive test to see how well it holds up and how much it picks up.
First, here are the overall scores.
- Overall: 90.11%
- Hard floor: 98.15%
- Carpet (surface): 97.72%
- Deep cleaning: 66.65%
- Sand on hard floor: 99%
The tests reveal a few things about the Ecovacs T8. First, it’s excellent at picking up surface debris on hard floors and carpet. Second, it tends to struggle with fine stuff like coffee grounds on carpet but does well on carpet.
Third, the twin side brush system will scatter large clumps of debris like quinoa and quaker oats – one reason why these are lower than 99%.
Hard floor results
- Quaker oats: 98.2%
- Coffee grounds: 99.6%
- Quinoa: 96.8%
- Pet litter: 98%
Despite the initial scattering, the T8 picked up most of the quaker oats in the subsequent passes. It didn’t do as well with quinoa as the scatter was more widespread hence the lower score.
Pick up isn’t an issue on hard floors; the side brush scattering could hinder its performance, but it shouldn’t be a concern for daily tasks.
Sand on hard floor
The litmus test for any robot vacuum is cleaning sand on hard floors. I tested the T8 on 50 grams of sand, and it picked up an average of 99%. Not as good as the Roborock S4 Max and Roomba 980, but it’s still in the upper echelon of robot vacuums I’ve tested.
One reason for the lower score is the two side brush scattering sand.
It has a good enough seal and agitation to pick up sand even at the lowest setting, where it picked up a 98.7% score.
In the max+ setting, the score went up to 99.3%.
One benefit of having two side brushes is it cleans the edges better. This was the case with the ILIFE A10 I covered previously, and it’s the same for the Ecovacs T8.
Check out the before and after photo.
It didn’t pick up everything, only a few bits remain at the fringes, but it’s impressive for a round-shaped robot vacuum.
Low pile results
- Quaker oats: 100%
- Coffee grounds: 96.8%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 99%
Surprisingly, the T8 did best on low pile carpet with two 100% scores. The side brush scattering debris isn’t much of an issue on this surface since more friction exists.
Mid pile results
- Quaker oats: 99.4%
- Coffee grounds: 87.6%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 99%
The T8 struggle most with coffee grounds as the softer bristles didn’t have enough agitation to pick up minuscule particles of dirt.
It’s the same issue when cleaning embedded sand on mid pile carpet, which I’ll look into the next section.
For other debris like quaker oats and pet litter, it did excellently.
Next, we’ll look at how well the Ecovacs T8 did at embedded sand. I rubbed 100 grams worth on mid pile carpet.
It picked up an average of 66.65% on two tests, which is a disappointment considering the high airflow.
This score is just average for a robot vacuum but a notch below other brands at its price range, like the Roborock S6 MaxV and Neato D7.
Hair wrap test
Another experiment I did is the hair wrap test with one gram of five and seven-inch hair strands.
Here are the results.
- 5 grams hair strands:37 grams (or 37%) inside the bin, 0.63 grams (or 63%) inside the dust bin.
- 7 grams hair strands:37 grams (or 37%) inside the bin, 0.63 grams (or 63%) inside the dust bin.
These are underwhelming results with the high airflow of the T8.
But the soft bristles and the lack of an anti-tangle system plays a factor why a high percentage of hair wrapped around the brush.
The Ecovacs T8 AIVI, like the Roborock S6 MaxV, has a 230 ml electronic water tank. Unfortunately, the mopping pad doesn’t slide from the back, so you’ll have to flip the robot or remove the water tank to attach.
I tested it on red wine stains I dried overnight, and here’s a before and after photo.
For this experiment, I used the third-highest flow setting. While it cleaned the majority of the stains, it left noticeable residue and tire marks.
I did a second pass, and I could still see residue. It lags behind other robot vacuums I’ve tested, including the Dreame D9, Roborock S5 Max, S6 MaxV, and Viomi V3.
How noisy is the Ecovacs T8 AIVI?
To check the noise, I use a sound meter to record sound at all the power levels.
- Quiet: 58.2 dB
- Standard: 61 dB
- Max: 66.6 dB
- Max+: 67.1 dB
The T8 is docile at the quiet or standard mode, and I’ve used it at night while my son is watching Netflix, and it didn’t seem to bother him.
However, it gets loud when you move up to the max and max+, breaching the 65-decibel barrier, which is only usable during the day.
How long will the Ecovacs T8 AIVI run?
The T8 AIVI utilizes a 5200 mAh Li-ion battery and will run for up to 180 minutes in standard mode. There’s a lot of usable airflow in this setting, so this robot is a good option even inside larger homes.
It has recharge and resume, so it resumes cleaning if it doesn’t finish the task and returns where it left previously. You can turn this feature on or off in the app.
What comes in the box?
- Ecovacs T8 AIVI robot vacuum
- Extra pair of side brush
- Mopping bracket plus one microfiber pad
- Charging dock with plug
- Extra HEPA filter
- User manual
Availability of parts
Parts for the Ecovacs T8 are abundant in stores like Amazon. You’ll have many options for stuff like the filter, side brush, and main brush. Bundles are available for those looking to stock up on parts. It’s an excellent way to save money, as bundles are typically cheaper than purchasing per piece.
Robot vacuums need TLC to keep them running at their peak. The T8 AIVI is no exception. I’ll enumerate the list of parts you’ll need to replace or clean.
- Primary brush: This component takes the most abuse as it is responsible for picking up debris. Check and clean at least once a week and remove any hair or debris sticking on it.
- Side brushes: Hair will wrap around the side brush’s base. Remove this accumulation to prevent unnecessary friction and premature wear with the motor. Detach and wipe with a slightly damp microfiber towel once a month.
- Dustbin and filter: Empty the dustbin every cleaning cycle if possible, to avoid spillage. Check the filter and tap it against a solid object like a trashbin to dislodge any dirt sticking on the folds. The middle filter and mesh filter inside the dustbin are washable.
- Front-camera: Use a clean microfiber towel to wipe the front-facing camera.
- Laser sensor: One tool I use to clean the LIDAR sensor is a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Avoid poking with a solid object as it will damage or misalign it.
- Drop sensors: There are six drop sensors underneath the T8. Use a clean, dry towel to wipe this once a month. Dirt will accumulate and cause it to fire error codes if left uncleaned.
- Wheels: Wipe the caster and side wheels with a clean microfiber towel.
|Model||Ecovacs T8 AIVI|
|Battery||5200 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||Up to 180 mins.|
|Water Tank Capacity||230 ml|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||420 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||Yes|
Where can I buy the Ecovacs T8 AIVI?
You can purchase the T8 AIVI in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for more information about the latest pricing.
Do note that there are two different T8 variants in Amazon – the AIVI (with the front-facing camera) and the T8 (with the three front laser sensors). The latter is cheaper, but I have not tested it yet – I can’t comment on its performance.
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase through any of the links above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
Does the Ecovacs T8 AIVI offer excellent value?
I was expecting a lot from this robot vacuum since it has a high price tag. While it performed well overall, it lagged behind the Roborock S6 MaxV in several areas, namely deep cleaning performance and obstacle avoidance.
The front camera does its job and will avoid objects if it approaches it at the right angle. Otherwise, it falls into a blind spot, and the robot will not evade it.
Cleaning performance is quite good, especially on surface dirt. But it’s average at cleaning embedded sand with a 66.65% average. Decent, but not something you should rely upon to deep clean carpet.
Mopping is another disappointment as it left visible residue and tire marks. It lags behind other premium brands like Roborock, Viomi, and Dreame in this area.
The Verdict: Good Option But High-Cost Gives Me Pause
While the Ecovacs DEEBOT T8 AIVI is an excellent robot vacuum for vacuuming floors that navigates efficiently, the obstacle avoidance system and mopping are a bit lagging.
It doesn’t “see” entirely and has blind spots, so you cannot rely on this robot to avoid objects on its own.
If it approaches an object at the correct angle, it will avoid it, but otherwise, it makes contact. If you have pets, make sure to remove feces, or it’ll be tedious to clean.
Between the T8 AIVI and Roborock S6 MaxV, I’d go with the latter since it has better obstacle avoidance, deep cleans, and mops better.
One advantage the T8 has over the S6 MaxV is the availability of an auto-empty dock that collects debris from the dustbin.
Reason to buy the Ecovacs T8 AIVi
- Obstacle avoidance: The T8 AIVI’s front-camera is decent at avoiding obstacle. Despite the blind-spots, it’s an extra layer of technology that helps this robot avoid things.
- High airflow: This robot has 23 CFM which is in Roomba territory.
- Smart navigation: The laser sensor and SLAM enables this robot to navigate efficiently. It is capable of navigating even through tight quarters without getting stuck.
- Excellent on hard floors: The T8’s high airflow translates well at cleaning hard floors.
Looks Promising But Lags Behind the Roborock S6 MaxV with Obstacle Avoidance and Cleaning Performance
Navigation - 95%
Surface Cleaning - 98.29%
Deep Cleaning - 66.65%
Quality - 94%
Design - 95%
Value - 92%
The Ecovacs T8 AIVI looks promising on paper with its front-facing camera and AI technology. While it can avoid objects, the camera has blind spots, so you can’t rely upon it solely to evade these objects. Cleaning performance is decent, especially surface debris, but it isn’t as good as the S6 MaxV with cleaning embedded dirt with only a 66.65% score. The high price tag gives me pause to fully recommend this option, but it’s a decent alternative if you need the auto-empty feature not available with the S6 MaxV.