Worth Keeping a Lookout For – Yeedi and Roborock
Sadly, some great options are not currently available in the UK.
Roborock gets frequently recommend on others sites and by users on Reddit. The Roborock S6 is available from Amazon US for $549.99, it has full LiDAR mapping, 2000Pa suction, a water tank for mopping, no go zone and up to 3 hours of cleaning from one charge.
The Yeedi Vac Station will be available from the 10th of July for $599 and the possibility of $100 off if you sign up to their newsletter. This has smart mapping, a self-emptying station for 30-days of dirt, a built-in water tank for mopping, and 3000Pa of suction.
There are generally two competing technologies in the world of smart mapping robotic vacuums, LiDAR and vSALM.
iRobot uses vSLAM, which stands for Vision Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, which captures 230,400 data points per second using optical sensors. This basically uses a single camera for collecting data points and creating a map.
This is similar to how the Yeedi Vac Station works, it has a camera on the top of the vacuum that assists with its navigation.
The alternative mapping technology is LiDAR which is laser imaging, detection, and ranging, these use a laser instead of a camera to map out your room.
Technically LiDAR is a more accurate technology allowing for faster cleaning, quicker map creation and superior performance with no zone areas. They also work better in dark environments. However, with the lasers being ground level, they can sometimes get confused by artificial barriers and may not go under furniture in some scenarios.
While vSLAM isn’t quite as good, it is unlikely you will notice the difference. Cameras open up more advanced features too, you can potentially have intelligent object detection/avoidance.