When the S5 Max was unveiled a few months back, it introduced the first of its kind electronic water tank, which is one of the best at mopping stains based on my tests.
Less than a year after that launch, Roborock has a new and smarter product – the S6 MaxV.
This robot is part of the next-generation robot vacuums that combine a laser sensor and a front-mounted camera for obstacle avoidance.
How good is this robot vacuum? Is it worth the high price tag? I’ve put it through a series of tests to find out how it performs in the real world.
Is This The Smartest Robot Vacuum Available?
ReactiveAI System Helps It Avoid Obstacles
One feature common with all Roborock products is its smart navigation. It can navigate through a maze with minimal risk of getting lost. The S6 MaxV adds to that with several upgrades. As you’ve seen in the image above, it’s got two camera lenses upfront that helps it see and avoid obstacles. Another update is the ability to save up to 4 map levels (for multi-story homes), which is more than in most homes.
- It’s one of the smartest navigating robots out there.
- Excellent mopping
- The multi-level map feature allows users to save up to 4 map levels.
- It is the first robot vacuum equipped with a twin-lens camera that helps it recognize and avoid obstacles.
- The app has convenience features like the no-go and no-mop zones that prevent the robot from going into restricted areas without having to block it physically.
- Small dust cup.
- The camera has a minimum height and width requirement of 3cm x 5cm to see the obstacle. Anything smaller than that could pose some issues.
- Very expensive.
Introduction to the Roborock S6 MaxV
The Roborock S6 MaxV represents the next big step in robotic vacuums in that it combines the accuracy of a laser sensor with the obstacle avoidance benefits of a front-mounted camera.
This model isn’t the first to do so, but it’s the first to use two lenses that allows it to capture images up to 30fps.
Another brand that uses the same camera and laser combo is the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI. I have not tested this model, so I cannot comment on the performance.
Let’s look at these features in detail.
Advanced Obstacle Recognition and Avoidance
The most significant upgrade with the S6 MaxV is the “Advanced Obstacle Recognition and Avoidance” system that has two layers of technology.
First is the twin-lens stereo camera that allows it to capture images up to 30fps.
Having two lenses allows this robot to see objects with a 3D perspective compared to the 2D view from a single-lens camera in the Ecovacs OZMO T8.
Second is the ReactiveAI, which is an artificial intelligence software that will process the images captured by the camera.
For those concerned about security, Roborock says that these images are not stored but immediately erased.
Powering this technology is a fast Qualcomm® APQ8053 processor.
The camera is smart enough to avoid weighing scales, shoes, and most obstacles that meet the 3cm x 5cm (height x width) size threshold.
Please watch this video to see the results of the tests on these types of obstacles.
I’m impressed by how the camera accurately detects the different types of obstacles. It was able to identify the weighing scale and shoes correctly.
Even the play dough was identified as pet waste by the software because of its shape.
You can see the difference versus a robot vacuum that doesn’t have the camera like the S5 Max, where it climbed over the weighing scale.
This feature is most useful if you have devices as such in the home, and there’s no need to relocate it every time the robot runs.
A lot of people have asked if the S6 MaxV will avoid dark or black obstacles, and the answer is yes.
In the test I did, it was able to avoid the black shoes, a tape dispenser, and a go pro case.
Since cameras rely on a light source, it may not do as well in dark areas.
The good news is that Roborock will continue to upgrade the firmware and expect the obstacle avoidance system to improve further.
Another feature rolled out is the multi-level map system that gives the users an option to save up maps of up to four levels.
The benefit of this feature is it automatically detects what level it’s at and loads the appropriate map as it scans the area. Take note that these maps have to be saved first for this feature to work.
The beauty of the multi-level map feature is you can program no-go zones, no-mop zones, or invisible walls for each level independently.
It also gives you the option to split the areas manually at each level, though the software automatically does that for you. But the choice to manually separate areas gives that extra layer of flexibility.
Technically, there’s no need to move the dock between floor levels, but after the cleaning cycle, the robot will hunt for the dock, which is a time-waster for me, and will push an error code.
One workaround for this issue is to press the pause button and bring the robot back to its home base. But you’ll need to switch to the correct map afterward.
I believe that four is more than enough as most homes will only have one or two floors.
The only other Roborock product with the multi-level map feature is the S6 Pure, but they will slowly roll out updates so that lower-end variants (in the S-series product line) will have these features as well.
Difference between the Roborock S6 vs. S6 Pure vs. S6 MaxV
To avoid any confusion, I’ll point out the similarities and differences between the S6, S6 Pure, and S6 Max V in this section.
The S6 and S6 Pure have the same motor, battery, and dirt capacity.
Aside from some minor cosmetic differences, these two robots mostly share the same components.
However, the S6 Pure has access to the multi-level map feature and has a larger water tank that will cover a bigger area.
The Roborock S6 and S6 Pure will run for up to 150 minutes. While the S6 MaxV goes further and will run for up to 180 minutes.
Of the three options, the S6 MaxV has the biggest water tank with a 297ml capacity, followed by the S6 Pure with 180ml, while the S6 has the smallest volume at only 140ml.
Please check this table below for more details on the differences and similarities.
|Model||Roborock S6||Roborock S6 Pure||Roborock S6 MaxV|
|Adaptive Route Algorithm|
|Selective Room Cleaning|
|LDS Laser Navigation|
|High Precision Map|
|Washable E11 Air Filter|
|Water Tank Capacity|
If the Roborock S6 MaxV is too expensive and you don’t mind not having any of the obstacle avoidance features or access to the multi-level map feature, then the Roborock S6 is a good alternative.
Strangely though, the S6 Pure is the cheaper option right now in Amazon, and it comes with more features than the S6 with the larger water tank and multi-level map.
No-Go Zones, No-Mop Zones, and Invisible Wall
My absolute favorite feature of the app are these three – no-go zones, no-mop zones, and an invisible wall.
These features will save you a lot of time and headache owning a robot vacuum, and I’ll explain why.
The no-go zone lets you define a square or rectangular area on the map that prevents the robot from traversing to that zone. So instead of using a physical object for the task, you do it virtually through the app. And the beauty of this feature is the option to set multiple no-go zones.
The no-mop zone has the same function as the no-go zone, but the only difference is that it just stops the robot from mopping the defined rectangular or square region.
Last but not least, the invisible wall lets users define “walls” on the map that stops the robot from going into areas past it.
In my home office, I would set the invisible wall right here.
So I could still work and not worry about the robot trying to invade my space and possibly getting tangled up with the wires underneath the table.
How’s that for practicality?
Another app feature I like is zone cleaning. It functions the reverse that of the no-go zones in that the robot will vacuum or mop the area within the rectangular or square zone.
Take note that you can assign several zones or set one larger zone that will cover more than one room.
The zone feature also lets users choose how many times the robot will go over the region (from one to three times) and also enables you to set the power and mop settings.
Selective Room Cleaning
An alternative to zoned cleaning is the “selective room cleaning”, where the user has the option to choose an area to clean.
After the software draws the map, it will automatically divide rooms based on a preprogrammed algorithm. But consumers have the option to override this and set divisions themselves.
Unfortunately, the Roborock app does not have the option to name the rooms (yet).
The user also has the option to set the power and mop settings individually.
It gives you more control over the mop and vacuum functionality. You can use both simultaneously or just use the mop feature by setting the cleaning mode at gentle.
The ability to adjust how much water flows through the pad is a game-changer, in my opinion. This feature was first seen in the Roborock S5 Max, and the S6 MaxV has the same functionality.
Robot vacuums that rely on a gravity pad tend to leave streaks on the floor because water will just flow through the pad.
The worst part is if for some reason, you forget to drain the water tank, it will leave a puddle underneath, which is risky because it can damage the robot.
The app will give users four different options in managing maps – merge, divide, customize, and sequence.
- Merge: Undoes the divisions of the room made by the app or user.
- Divide: Gives users the option to set boundaries manually that will separate rooms on a level using lines.
- Customize: Set power and water level settings per room or area.
- Sequence: Prioritizes the areas that the robot will clean first.
The Roborock S6 MaxV retains the same button layout as the S5 Max, but instead of two, it’s got three buttons – spot, power, and dock (from left to right).
In the middle with the large “Z” logo is the cover for the LIDAR sensor that is a staple for all Roborock S-series vacuums starting with the Roborock S5.
Right below the LIDAR is a door that houses the dust cup and brush tool.
The brush tool also has a blade portion that is useful for removing hair that can wrap around the main brush roll. It’s also very useful at dislodging dust that may stick to the filter.
Flipping the robot over reveals that it has the same layout as the S5 Max with a single side brush and the main brush flanked by two rubber wheels. Behind the wheels is the mop that can mop dried and wet messes (more on that below).
The side brush is an all-rubber design with five arms which I prefer over the bristled version found in the older Roborock S5. I like the new side brush because it seems to be more durable the older version.
S5 owners can upgrade to the newer brush since it is backward compatible.
The S6 MaxV has the same electronic water tank as the S5 Max with the spring-loaded system that keeps a constant downward pressure of 300 grams.
So even as the water level goes down, the pad stays in contact with the surface resulting in better results.
The beauty of this new water tank is there’s no need to worry about water seeping through the pad even when the robot is not in use.
There’s little risk of waking up to a puddle of mess just in case you forget to empty it.
However, Roborock prohibits the use of cleaners in the water tank as it can damage the electronic components.
The only liquid usable with the tank is water and nothing else. If you need to use cleaners, the best alternative would be spraying it on the pad.
I’ve tested the Roborock S5 Max mop extensively, and I must say that it is one of the best performing hybrid robots out there.
When I say hybrid, I mean products that combine a robot vacuum and mop.
The S6 MaxV is no different in this area as it will pick up wet spills and dried up stains.
Realize that this robot won’t be able to mop up massive liquid spills because the pad is small.
Can I use the mop exclusively?
The Roborock app does not have the option for the robot to just mop, but you can achieve similar results by moving the power setting into silent mode.
Can I mop wet stains?
Yes, it is possible, but only small spills.
I would advise not using this robot on large liquid spills because cleaning the different components afterward is time-consuming. So you’re better off using a mop.
One advantage of having the all-rubber side brush is that it is easier to clean using a damp microfiber towel.
Excellent for mopping dry stains
The S6 MaxV will excel at mopping dry stains. This is where the precise control of the electronic water tank will shine.
I’ve tested it on red wine, coffee, and juice. Check out some before and after photos below.
One thing I noticed with the electronic water tank is that no matter how long it runs, the floors won’t get soaking wet.
It does an excellent job keep the pad moist but not soaked.
How does the Roborock S6 MaxV clean?
One of the strongest suits of the Roborock S6 MaxV is its navigation and cleaning performance. Roborock is known to manufacture some of the best navigating robotic vacuums and the S6 MaxV is no exception.
The addition of the camera and ReactiveAI system gives it another layer of technology that helps it avoid obstacles without bumping into them.
It also has the same all-rubber side brush that is more durable and easier to clean.
The main brush roll is in the middle, flanked by the two rubber wheels.
While there is nothing wrong with this design, it quite narrow and there are instances where it misses some debris.
In the default cleaning mode, the robot will go around the edges first before filling the gaps and cleaning the middle portions of the room in a straight back and forth pattern.
As it scans the room, it divides the area into smaller “sections” to make cleaning more efficient. There’s an option to go over the area up to three times if you want a more thorough clean.
The obstacle avoidance system gives this robot the ability to avoid obstacles that meet a certain criteria when it comes to size.
I’ve tested it extensively and does an excellent job of avoiding stuff like shoes, slippers and weighing scale.
I ran the S6 MaxV through a gamut of tests on hard floors and carpets to see how well it picks up different types of debris.
Here are the overall scores.
Carpet (Surface Pickup)
Carpet (Deep Cleaning)
It scored in the high 90s in most of the surface pick up tests and was decent at the deep cleaning tests.
Hard Floor Cleaning
The S6 MaxV did an outstanding job at surface debris pick up on hard floors as it was able to score 100% on two of the four tests and was above 99% in the other two.
I like how it was able to pick up most of the debris on the forward pass, even in the balanced setting.
Now the scores here do not include the sand on hard floor test, which I’ll discuss down below.
Hard Floor Results
Cleaning Sand on Hard Floors
To test how the Roborock S6 MaxV cleans sand on hard floors, I scattered 50 grams of sand and see how much it will pick up.
It did exceptionally well, picking up an average of 99.7% on two tests. Take note that it needs to be on the Turbo or Max setting to clean sand thoroughly.
When I used the balanced setting, it left a trail behind on the forward pass.
If you live near a beach or a sandy area, it is an excellent option to keep it from piling up.
One of the biggest issues with robot vacuums that have a narrow brush roll and round frame is its limitations when it comes to edge cleaning.
In this test though, the S6 Max did a decent job. If you look at the before and after photo above, it did a fairly decent job at cleaning the coffee grounds I scattered on the edges.
Carpet Cleaning Test
Based on these test results, the S6 MaxV did almost as well on carpet as it did on hard floors.
I did two separate tests – one on low pile carpet and another on mid pile carpet.
Low Pile Results
The S6 MaxV struggled the most with quaker oats and coffee grounds, scoring “only” a 96.6% and 96.8%, respectively.
Quinoa and pet litter isn’t as an issue as it was able to pick up 99% and 100%, respectively. I was surprised that it did very well cleaning pet litter because some of the stick vacuums I tested didn’t score as high.
Mid Pile Results
The test results on mid pile carpet are one of the biggest surprises so far because the S6 MaxV was able to score better on this surface than on low pile carpet.
In three of the tests, the S6 MaxV picked up 100% – quaker oats, quinoa, and pet litter. This was better than the results of the S5 Max.
Deep Cleaning Test
One of the toughest things to clean on carpets is sand, and to test how well the S6 MaxV will clean embedded dirt, I rubbed 100 grams of sand on the medium-pile carpet.
I used the highest power setting and maxed out the “total clean-ups” feature to three, so it goes over the area three times.
It was able to pick up an average of 77.65% on two tests, which is very decent for a robot vacuum. However, it wasn’t as good as the S5 Max that picked up 84.75%.
Remember that turning on the “carpet boost” option increases the power to the highest setting when the robot goes over carpets. So I would suggest turning this feature on if your home has this type of surface.
Yes, it shortens the run time, but it isn’t a factor as this robot has the recharge and resume feature, so it will automatically continue cleaning after charging.
Hair Wrap Test
To see how well the Roborock S6 MaxV does at cleaning hair, I scattered one gram of five-inch human hair on low pile carpet.
Most of the hair went inside the dust cup.
But some of it wrapped around the brush roll. Take note that hair will also wrap around the side brush, so it’s something to regularly check for those who live with someone who has long hair.
It comes with a brush cleaning tool with a blade attachment so cleaning stuff like this won’t be a problem.
How much power does the Roborock S6 MaxV have?
Roborock claims that the S6 MaxV has 25% more suction than the Roborock S6. So to see if this claim is accurate, I used an anemometer to test how much airflow it produces.
I don’t have the Roborock S6, but Vacuum Wars tested it, and they reported it to have 15 CFM of airflow.
While the S6 MaxV registered 15.68 CFM of airflow in my tests. So the 25% claim, if you base it on this airflow test, is not accurate.
I did the test three times, and the result was consistent every time. However, there will be some margin for error for these tests, but it’s an excellent gauge to compare power.
Here are the complete results of the S6 MaxV in comparison with the S5 Max.
Roborock S5 Max
Roborock S6 MaxV
Between the two, the S5 Max has more airflow. This is the reason why the S6 MaxV can run for up to 180 minutes while the S5 Max only runs 150 minutes with the same capacity battery.
How long will the Roborock S6 MaxV Run?
Roborock was able to extend the run time 30 minutes more than the S5 Max because it doesn’t have as much airflow (check the section above).
Take note that this figure is only possible using the lowest power setting. So expect that number to go down with the higher settings.
Also, while 180 minutes is lengthy, it’s doesn’t matter that much for a smart robot vacuum like this because it has the “recharge and resume” feature where the robot will automatically continue cleaning after recharging.
It will only matter if you live in a 4,000 square foot mansion.
Roborock adds a wrinkle to this feature, where it only charges just enough to finish the task, so you don’t have to wait very long. They call it the “Smart Top Up” feature.
How much noise does the Roborock S6 MaxV produce?
To measure noise, I used a sound meter a few feet away. In each of the power settings (there are five), I recorded the loudest at each, and here are the results.
- Gentle: 52.8 dB
- Silent: 58.1 dB
- Balanced: 60.3 dB
- Turbo: 60.5 dB
- Max: 65 dB
Even with the amount of power it has, the Roborock S6 MaxV isn’t very noisy. This robot is usable inside the home office and will not cause any distractions.
What comes in the box?
Here’s what you’ll get with the Roborock S6 MaxV.
- S6 MaxV robot
- Charging dock
- Mop cloth bracket
- Mop cloth
- Power cable
- Moisture-proof mat
- Product manual
- Roborock app OSG
- Spare HEPA filter
All robot vacuums will require some upkeep for it to maintain its optimal level of performance.
For the Roborock S6 MaxV, that would include checking the filter, brushes, and sensors regularly and cleaning these when there’s a need to do so.
Fortunately, the Roborock app makes this task easy as it has a “maintenance” option that will give the users a heads up when it’s time to clean or replace these parts.
Since this robot is reliant on various sensors, please make sure to clean it every 30 hours. There’s no need to keep track as the app does that for you.
Clean the drop sensors using a clean cotton swab and use a microfiber towel for the camera sensor.
The filter is washable, but make sure that it is thoroughly dry before using it. Another way to extend the life of the HEPA filter is to vacuum it with a good handheld like the Dyson V7 Trigger.
Another part that needs regular upkeep is the main brush. Periodically check it for any hair that may wrap around it, particularly on the axles.
The side brush is also prone to hair wrapping around it.
One thing I like about Roborock products is the availability of replacement parts.
Critical parts such as the filter, pads, water tank filters, and brushes are available in sites like Amazon and GearBest.
The new brush in the S5 MaxV and S6 MaxV is backward compatible with the older models like the S5 and S4, so you have an option to upgrade this part at a minimal cost.
|Model||Roborock S6 MaxV|
|Battery||5,200 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||Up to 180 mins.|
|Water Tank Capacity||297 ml.|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||480 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||Yes|
Does the Roborock S6 MaxV offer excellent value?
The S6 MaxV is another huge step forward by Roborock as the stereo camera gives it another technological layer that helps it avoid objects better.
While it is not perfect, it did an excellent job eluding stuff like shoes, weighing scale, and bags.
Plus, it has the capability of avoiding black obstacles, which I previously thought was not possible.
However, it lags behind the S5 Max when it comes to airflow; thus, it will not deep clean as well on carpet.
Both will do well when it comes to cleaning surface dirt. Any difference between the two is very minimal.
The mopping function is also a strong point of the S6 MaxV as it will clean up stains like red wine and coffee. It didn’t leave any streaks during the tests I did, so that is a very positive sign.
The Verdict: A Step Up From The Roborock S5 Max In Terms of Navigation
After days of testing the S6 MaxV, I’m most impressed by how well it navigates around obstacles.
The ReactiveAI software and the front-mounted stereo camera were able to identify multiple obstacles accurately and avoided them.
While the technology is not perfect, I believe that it’s a step in the right direction. Further updates with the firmware will improve how the S6 MaxV will maneuver around different objects.
It doesn’t clean carpet as well as the S5 Max, based on my tests on sand, but it will clean surface dirt almost as well.
So it all boils down to whether or not you want the obstacle avoidance upgrade that the S6 MaxV brings to the table.
5 Reasons Why You Should Consider the Roborock S6 MaxV
- Obstacle Avoidance: The S6 MaxV is better at avoiding obstacles than the older Roborock models thanks to the new stereo camera and ReactiveAI software.
- Excellent at Mopping: This robot is one of the best at mopping dried stains thanks to the electronic water tank thank trickles just enough water to keep the pad damp no matter how long the robot runs.
- Extended Run Time: Despite having less power than the S5 Max, it will run further – up to 180 minutes.
- Multi-Level Maps: It can save up to 4 map levels with the option of adding invisible walls, no-mop zones, and no-go zones on each level.
- Smart Navigation: Roborock products are known for their smart navigating robots and the S6 MaxV is no different.
Obstacle Avoidance Feature Takes This To The Next Level
- Navigation - 98%98%
- Surface Cleaning - 99.31%99%
- Deep Cleaning - 77.65%78%
- Quality - 98%98%
- Design - 97%97%
- Value - 94%94%
The Roborock S6 MaxV takes the S5 Max to the next level navigation wise with the stereo camera and ReactiveAI software that accurately recognizes objects. This new technology isn’t perfect, but as Roborock rolls out updates in the future with new obstacles to its database, I believe that it will avoid more objects better. It lags behind the S5 Max when it comes to airflow, so it won’t do as well at deep cleaning dirt, but it will run longer. So the choice between the S5 Max and S6 MaxV will be whether or not you want better obstacle avoidance at a premium or better carpet cleaning.