When Roborock unveiled the S5 Max, it changed how we viewed 2-in-1 hybrids. It was the first robot vacuum/mop combo I’ve seen that mops as well as it vacuums.
The electronic water tank was a game-changer in a way. Now, Roborock adds another layer to that technology with sonic technology. They call it VibraRise, which adds an agitation aspect you won’t see in many brands. Another upgrade is the Auto Empty Dock, which will be released in a few months.
It will be available as an add-on, but no word yet if Roborock will sell it as a package.
The Next Generation Robot Vacuum/Mop is Here
Navigation - 97%
Surface Cleaning - 99.46%
Deep Cleaning - 78.85%
Quality - 95%
Design - 96%
Value - 95%
One issue with robot vacuum/mops is its inability to clean dried stains efficiently. Even with the S5 Max, it required two separate runs to clean a large stained mess. Other brands like Viomi rely on a back and forth motion for agitation, which is effective but took too long to finish. The S7 aims to solve this by using sonic technology that vibrates the middle portion of the pad up to 3000 times per minute. Roborock also put in other upgrades with the brush, plus other features we’ll look at below. There’s also the optional Auto-Empty Dock that empties the robot’s dustbin after every run. Unfortunately, the self-emptying base station is something you’ll have to purchase separately.
- VibraRise works well at removing dried stains
- New bristle-less extractors improve agitation, especially on surface dirt
- The water tank and pad are in independent locations, so you can remove one without taking out the other
- Decent at deep cleaning carpet despite the low airflow
- Very efficient and thorough navigation
- Auto empty dock (coming soon) adds the convenience of not having to empty the dustbin
- Close to 70 decibels at the highest power setting
- It doesn’t completely replace a traditional mop
Introduction to the Roborock S7
Roborock S7 solves one issue with traditional robot vacuum hybrids: their inability to clean tough, caked-on stains without leaving messy streaks. It’s an issue with older models with an electronic water tank like the ILIFE V5S Pro.
Thanks to its electronic water tank, the S5 Max was one of the best hybrid options for removing stains. But it lacks agitation since it doesn’t have the Y-pattern Viomi has. However, one issue with Viomi is the time it takes to finish and the inefficiency of water consumption.
After testing this robot, I’ll enumerate the list of enhancements I’ve found.
Learn how the Roborock S7 is different from the
New vibrating mopping pad
Sonic vibration isn’t a new invention, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it implemented on a robot vacuum. An independent motor inside the mopping module moves a smaller portion of the pad from side to side, up to 3000 times per minute. So it’s not the whole pad vibrating but a small portion.
In tests, it effectively removed even large, dry stains on tile. I tried it on several messes like red, grape, and tomato. The latter two are challenging because of their sugar content.
It did well, but it wasn’t perfect. While it removes stains, cleaning sugary stuff like grape juice may leave a sticky residue afterward.
New brush roll
Another upgrade Roborock added to the S7 is the bristle-less brush. Before this, Roborock used one type of design, which is a combo brush.
I like the new design since it picks up debris well with minimal debris build-up underneath.
It also resists tangles better and is easier to clean since it has no bristles.
Upgraded floating brush
In addition to the new brush, Roborock also improved the brush assembly where it sits by adding a “floating” element to it.
This means that the brush goes up and down and pivots from side to side.
It helps the robot track dirt even on uneven terrain to quote the Roborock product page.
Ultrasonic carpet recognition
The S7 has a small sensor beside the caster wheel that accurately detects carpet. It’s quite accurate as the pad went up every time it went over rugs or carpet. Another function of this sensor is to shade carpeted portions on the map.
Currently, it will not avoid carpeted areas on its own, but having these shade areas makes it easier to draw no-go or no-mop zones since there’s a reference.
Intelligent mop lifting
In addition to the vibrating pad, Roborock adds a mop lifting system that lifts the pad (5 mm) when it detects carpet.
This feature will work best on low pile carpets but not on a thick pile.
It’s smart enough to stop the water from trickling down to avoid mopping the carpet and automatically moving down the pad once it is off carpet.
Update (July 22, 2021): Roborock just released the auto-empty dock, an add-on accessory, specifically for the S7.
Roborock S7 has an optional auto-empty dock that empties the robot’s dustbin after every run.
Watch this video for a detailed review of the self-emptying base station.
I must point out that it’s an add-on and not included when you purchase the S7.
It has a ramp-style design, meaning the robot sits on a ramp. One difference is the size of the port and where it connects, which is towards the primary brush roll.
This is different from other brands I’ve tested, like Ecovacs, Yeedi, Ultenic, and Roomba, where it utilizes a separate port, usually smaller.
It has a bagged system with a 3-liter capacity bag. Roborock says it will hold up to 8 weeks’ worth of debris.
Furthermore, the Roborock S7 auto-empty dock has an additional two layers of filtration – a primary filter and a HEPA filter that can sift up to 99.9% (or 0.3 microns) of dust particles from exiting the exhaust vents.
Here’s a close look at the primary filter.
And HEPA filter.
It comes in disassembled out of the box, and it comes with an Allen wrench/screwdriver tool, so there’s no need for additional tools to assemble.
You can find the Allen tool underneath the ramp component with its own storage compartment (smart Roborock).
The bolts are already attached to the base, and arrows are pointed to it, so it’s easy to find. Once you’ve tightened all of them, it’s ready to use.
Consumers will also get a separate dustbin designed with the base station.
The original dustbin isn’t usable since the base station requires an open port that acts as a release valve for its contents to be sucked out during the self-emptying cycle.
If you look closely at the area where the dustbin sits, it has a slot labeled as such with a cover that must be removed.
Once you’ve detached the inlet, attach the new dustbin.
Another difference is that the newer dustbin is sealed, and there’s no way to open it like the old one.
The filter is detachable, but the front gate is non-existent.
I think Roborock made the change to keep the seal tight to ensure no debris seeps through any opening.
The Roborock app enables users to turn on or turn off the auto-empty feature, plus it has these four settings.
After testing the different modes, I don’t see any difference between them. I’d keep it at the default (or smart) setting for the best results.
How good is the Roborock S7 Auto-Empty Dock at emptying debris?
I tested it on different debris types and quantities, and it’s pretty good. For this section, I’ll let the photos do most of the talking and let you decide for yourself.
Daily dirt like dust and hair.
This time, I collected more dust and hair from the Dyson Omni Glide, which I use for cleaning our rooms. Notice dirt sticking on the filter and how the base station picked it up.
Next, a big mess test where I scattered a combination of dust, hair, and quaker oats. Again, pay close attention to the filter – the sheer quantity of debris sticking on it.
The next experiment is done on hair – both pet and human. I left the dustbin open to demonstrate how the auto-empty dock picks up debris from the vacuum inlet for this test. If you have pets, consider the S7 since it does well at cleaning pet hair with the new all-rubber brush.
While the bigger port on the S7 dock will accommodate larger debris, there’s a limit, and that’s Cheerios and Fruit loop-sized debris.
Yes, the port is wide, but the pathway going towards the bag is narrow and a potential chokepoint.
These tests prove that the S7 auto-empty dock is built on a solid platform, capable of emptying debris from the robot’s dustbin and filter. I’m impressed by how well it gets dirt sticking on the filter, which I didn’t see in other brands.
However, it won’t do well with large quantities of dirt (e.g.; really full dustbin). If you encounter this, you could easily empty it by opening the top door, but I doubt you’ll be filling the dustbin for daily cleaning tasks.
A child-lock feature (accessible through the app) disables the robot’s buttons to prevent children from accidentally turning it on. It’s practical, especially for those who have active toddlers who are very curious.
The S7 has a new “deep” mopping mode that completely shuts off the motor and focuses on mopping. Roborock told me that the S7 turns at a tighter angle creating more overlap and agitating dirt better.
Even with the mopping-only option, the vacuum motor still powers on when it detects carpet.
I also noticed the new crisscross pattern being utilized by the S7.
This robot will traverse in a horizontal and vertical pane if you look at the map (above). This new pattern helps with thoroughness, allowing the S7 to pick up debris with better thoroughness.
Currently, this feature is only available with the S7, but Roborock says they’ll roll out an update, so older models like the S4 Max, S5 Max, and S6 MaxV will have access to it.
However, out-of-production models like the S4 or S5 may not benefit from this navigational upgrade.
The S7 retains the same round frame, as seen in older Roborock models with the same three-button interface. On top of these buttons is a knight-rider type indicator light that flashes a different color depending on its current function.
It flashes white when vacuuming, blue when mopping, and green when charging.
The dustbin still loads from the top, but with a slight increase in capacity – up to 470 ml.
Both the HEPA filter and dustbin are washable, making it easier to give a thorough clean.
Underneath, it retains the same brush layout – one all-rubber brush and the main brush.
Behind it is the brand new mopping module.
The S7 electronic water tanks still load from the rear and get a slight bump in volume – up to 300 ml.
Roborock says you can’t use a cleaning solution since it will corrode the inner components.
I like the new design because the mop and water tank are in independent locations, meaning you can remove one without taking out the other. This wasn’t the case with older S-Series options.
Next, we’ll look into the different app features that the S7 brings to the table. This model is only compatible with the Roborock app, but not the Xiaomi Home app, which shouldn’t be a concern since the Roborock app already has the room naming feature absent previously.
The S7 has a live map that provides real-time information about the robot’s location in real-time. It’s something absent in the iRobot app, making Roborock a compelling Roomba alternative.
There are two options – standard and deep. The “standard” option allows users to vacuum and mop simultaneously as both tabs are enabled.
In contrast, the “deep” option shuts off the vacuum motor so the robot can extend the range and focus only on mopping. In this mode, the robot will turn in a tighter radius, have more overlap, and remove stains better.
The S7 retains containment features like invisible wall, no-go zones, and no-mop zones. These are useful features as it provides a way for users to block the robot’s path through the app.
Users can divide, merge and name areas in this tab. The app, by default, will try to separate rooms after the initial run, but these partitions aren’t always accurate, so the option to do it manually is always a good thing.
The room naming feature is usable with Alexa for those who prefer to use voice.
Each room in your home may have different floor types. So Roborock has a customize feature within the app to specify cleaning preferences to suit each area. For example, you can turn on the mopping feature inside the kitchen or turn it off when cleaning a bedroom with mostly carpets.
Selective room cleaning
Users can tell the robot to clean a specific room (or rooms) under the room tab in the main interface by tapping on the map.
Zone cleaning is similar to selective room cleaning, but instead of tapping on the area you want to be cleaned, you draw a box. It’s a more accurate version of spot cleaning, but unfortunately, there’s no option to save the zones.
Currently, all S-Series robots can save up to 4 map levels. Users can customize each area as they see fit with as many invisible walls, no-go zones, or no mop zones as needed. The “automatic map detect” ties it all together, enabling the S7 to clean multiple levels without changing it manually in the app.
Increases suction to the max setting when it detects carpet automatically. One option is to use the balanced or turbo to clean hard floors with this feature to maximize battery life.
With this feature turned on, the mopping bracket will rise 4 millimeters when it detects carpet or when it docks. You can turn this feature off if you have rubber mats that are moppable.
One of my favorite features in the Roborock app is unlimited scheduling, where users can schedule as many runs as needed. Within each slot, users can select their preferred cleaning and mopping modes and choose a specific map.
How much power does the Roborock S7 have?
According to the Roborock website, the S7 has 2500 Pa of suction. The same number as the S6 MaxV and 500 more than the S5 Max.
However, airflow tests reveal a different result. I used an anemometer, and the S7 has less airflow than the S5 Max and S6 MaxV.
Roborock S5 Max
Roborock S6 MaxV
One reason could be the larger surface area of the brush, restricting airflow.
The good news is the new brush does an excellent job with debris picking (more on that in the cleaning test section).
How does the Roborock S7 navigate?
The S7 retains the LIDAR sensor, which is a staple in all S-Series variants. One reason to go with a laser-based robot is it doesn’t rely on light, unlike VSLAM robots with a top-mounted camera.
You can let the S7 run in pitch dark conditions, and it will still accurately create the map. This won’t be possible with VSLAM (e.g., Roomba I6) as it needs light for the camera sensor to work.
Coverage is excellent as it picked up most of the scattered quaker oats after the first pass, even on the edges.
Obstacle avoidance is another strong suit. It didn’t bump into any of the objects hard. The S7 is one of the best smart robot vacuums at avoiding obstacles despite not having a front camera.
Automatic room recognition
Another feature worth mentioning is the automatic room recognition feature, where the robot will load the correct map based on the initial scan. It means users don’t need to switch the map manually when they move the robot to another level as the app does it for them.
Adaptive route algorithms
As the robot navigates your home, it will choose the most efficient pattern as it traverses. The S7 app also adapts a crisscross pattern where the robot goes north to south and east to west to provide better thoroughness.
I was curious about how well it would clean different debris types with the new brush roll, so I put it through the usual tests.
Here are the results.
- Overall: 94.31%
- Hard floors: 99.7%
- Carpet (surface): 98.9%
- Deep cleaning: 78.85%
- Sand on hard floors: 99.8%
Despite the lower-than-expected airflow, the S7 did an excellent job picking up surface dirt while still being decent at embedded sand. The new brush roll did its best at picking up surface debris on hard floors, scoring close to 100%.
Hard floor results
- Quaker oats: 99.8%
- Coffee: 100%
- Quinoa: 99.8%
- Pet litter: 99.2%
The S7 was excellent on different debris types of hard floors, picking up upwards of 99% in all tests. I noticed the minimal scattering of debris with the side brush as it didn’t spin as fast.
Even with pet litter, the throw was minimal and a huge reason it picked up a large percentage.
Sand on hard floors
One of the most challenging things to clean on hard floors is sand. Even with the low airflow, the S7 still picked up 99.8% on average. The eye test shows that it picked up debris cleanly, and there was almost no sand build-up on the brush and areas around it.
Hair wrap test
Another test I did with the S7 is the hair wrap experiment with five and seven-inch strands. Here are the results.
- 5-inch test: 75% in the dustbin, 25% around the brush
- 7-inch test: 44% in the dustbin, 56% around the brush
So the new design isn’t completely tangle-proof, but the bristle-less nature makes it easier to untangle. The detachable end caps help as well to remove build-up on the axles.
Edge cleaning test
One struggle with round-shape robots would be their inability to clean edges efficiently. The S7 has these struggles, but it was decent cleaning most of the debris in this area. It didn’t pick up every morsel but cleaned most of it.
The new brush decent makes the S7 above-average at cleaning carpet, picking up a high percentage. However, the scores aren’t as high as on hard floors but still above average on surface debris.
Low pile results
- Quaker oats: 98.2%
- Coffee: 97.2%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 100%
As expected, the S7 did worst on fine debris like coffee grounds, but it was excellent picking up 100% of quinoa and pet litter. But overall, the percentages are above average and in line with other Roborock models.
Mid pile results
- Quaker oats: 98.8%
- Coffee: 97.6%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 100%
The results on mid pile carpet mirror the low pile percentages as it struggled most with coffee grounds. Strangely, it picked up a slightly higher rate on this surface. The scores reveal the S7 as a capable robot vacuum at least up to mid-pile rugs or carpet.
Deep cleaning results
It’s not as good as a Roomba I6 or 980, but still, a decent percentage considering it had one of the lower airflow scores of all Roborock options.
Now to the moment of truth. How do the Roborock S7 clean stains? Can the new vibrating feature deal with these blemishes better than the S5 Max or S6 MaxV?
To find out, I tried it on three different stain types – red wine, grape juice, and tomato juice.
Here are some before and after photos, first with red wine.
Then grape juice and tomato juice.
The photo doesn’t show how the S7 cleaned the stains after a one-pass cycle—something impossible without agitation.
It was hard to initially remove the red wine stains during the first test because the pad wasn’t thoroughly damp. But once it had enough saturation, it removed the stains.
One workaround is pre-soaking the pad then wringing the excess water. You want the pad damp but not soaking wet.
Avoid pouring cleaning solution inside the tank as it will damage the internal components—Mist the pad with your preferred cleaning solution.
How noisy is the Roborock S7?
I used a sound meter to measure noise, and here are the results.
- Quiet: 59.4 dB
- Balanced: 60.1 dB
- Turbo: 64.6 dB
- Max: 69.8 dB
It was quiet in its quiet setting at just below 60 decibels. However, that wasn’t the case in the Max setting with close to 70 decibels.
How long does the Roborock S7 run?
The S7 retains the same 5200 mAh Li-ion battery and will run for up to 180 minutes in quiet mode. However, that number will go down using the higher power settings.
With recharge and resume, run time shouldn’t matter since this robot will resume cleaning after recharging if it doesn’t finish the run previously.
What comes in the box?
- Roborock S7 robot (with the side brush and main brush attached)
- Mopping bracket
- Manual and quick start guide
- Charging dock
Availability of parts
Over the past few years, more and more third-party brands have started selling Roborock components such as filters, main brushes, side brushes, and even the battery. So this bodes well for the long-term viability of this product.
Unfortunately, users will have difficulty sourcing hard-to-find parts such as the side wheel module or side brush motor. Roomba still reigns in this aspect with its popularity as most parts are available online in stores like Amazon or eBay.
Next, we’ll look at the different components users will have to replace or clean at specific intervals.
- Main brush: The new brush design of the S7 should last longer since it ditches the bristles. However, you still need to check it at least once every two weeks to clean any hair or debris build-up from mopping stains. The rubber construction makes it easier to clean and remove any hair wrapping around it.
- Side brush: Next item on the list is the side brush. Hair will tangle on the tentacles or base. Clean this part once or twice a month, maybe more if you have pets or live with someone who has long hair.
- Brush assembly: Another part that needs cleaning would be the main brush assembly, especially after mopping runs. Stain residue will stick on this area, so use a lightly damp towel to wipe the stains off.
- Dustbin: Empty the dustbin after every cleaning cycle to prevent dust mites from breeding. Both the filter and dustbin are washable, so it’s easier to give it a thorough clean. Do this at least once a month. Don’t forget to check the area underneath the dustbin for any build-up of dirt. I use a handheld to clean this area if I see debris.
- Wheels: Use a microfiber towel to wipe any debris build up on the side and caster wheels. Do this at least once a week, but increase frequency if you use this robot to clean stains.
- Drop and carpet sensor: Underneath this robot is sensors that prevent the robot from falling off cliff points and detecting carpet. A dry, clean microfiber towel is an excellent tool to keep these sensors clean.
- Mop pad and water tank: Wash the mopping pad after every run as you don’t want bacteria and germs to spread. I’d advise consumers to buy extra, so they have something to use if you throw the soiled ones inside the washing machine. Don’t leave water inside the tank for extended periods – only when you’re using it for mopping daily.
- Body: Grab a clean microfiber towel to wipe down the body of the robot.
|Battery||5200 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||180 mins.|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||470 ml.|
|Water tank||300 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||Yes|
|Power voltage||100-240 volts
Auto-empty dock: 120-volts only
Where can I buy the Roborock S7?
The Roborock S7 will be available on Amazon. Check the link below for the latest pricing.
Disclaimer: I’ll earn a commission if you purchase through the link above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
Does the Roborock S7 provide excellent value?
That would depend on the cost of the S7. Will it be as expensive as the S6 MaxV with artificial intelligence? If so, I would reconsider since the S5 Max provides the same functionality but at a more affordable cost.
However, the upgraded mopping module, mop lift, new brush roll, and navigational upgrades make this a compelling option, especially for those who value the agitation it brings to the table.
In tests, it cleaned dried stains after one run—even sticky messes like grape juice stains.
Cleaning performance is similar to other Roborock models but slightly less effective on embedded debris than the S5 Max. But expect sticky residue if you choose to use it to clean sugary stains. But it was able to tackle the mess after a second run.
5 Reasons to buy the Roborock S7
- Excellent mopping performance: VibraRise is excellent at cleaning dried, caked-on stains and does so after a single three-pass run.
- Great at vacuuming: The S7 scored high marks in most cleaning tests, especially with surface debris.
- Intelligent mop lifting: Users can now leave this robot to run without worrying about setting no-mop zones as the mopping module automatically raises itself when it detects carpet.
- Mop-only mode: There’s an option to shut off the motor and use it as a robot mop exclusively.
- Crisscross pattern: The robot goes north, south, east, west to maximize thoroughness when vacuuming floors.
The Verdict: Vibrating Mopping Pad Does Work
I didn’t know what to expect when I initially heard about this product. But after days of testing, the new mopping module does work, capable of cleaning dried stains.
I tried it on large ones you wouldn’t usually use a robot mop on, and it cleaned it all. It’s a game-changer, in my opinion, and I’d expect other brands to copy this feature if the market receives it well.
Cleaning performance remains similar to other Roborock options, making the S7 a true two-in-one robot vacuum and mop option that does both tasks very well.
If the auto-empty dock works well, then we have a great product in our hands. But even without it, this model is an excellent alternative to consider.