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Smart Home

Make the Amazon Echo help vacuum your house when you're gone

You can turn on your robot vacuum cleaner while you’re away.

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Patricia Puentes/CNET

If you've been snagging up the Amazon Prime Day deals, you may have bought a new robot vacuum or one of the highly discounted Alexa devices. But, did you know you can pair the two together and run your new robot cleaner from work or while you're out? 

It's a helpful task that's pretty simple to set up. First, you connect your robot vacuum to your Amazon Echo ($100 at Amazon), then you trigger Alexa to make it start vacuuming. Just make sure your robot vac is connected to Wi-Fi so you can access it remotely. Keep in mind that this is a remote command that asks your Amazon Echo device to be the conduit, so your command will sound like, "Alexa, ask Roomba to vacuum the house."

Connect your robot vacuum to Wi-Fi

To get started, you'll first need to download the app specified to your robot vacuum (iRobot Home app, Shark Ion Robot app, Neato app, Ecovacs app, etc.) and create a username and password. Next, you'll need to hook your charging dock into the wall and turn your robot vacuum on. We spell out the next steps in additional sections below.

iRobot Roomba: 

In the Roomba app, tap your Wi-Fi network and enter the password. While your Roomba is on the Home Base, press and hold both the home and spot clean icons until the Roomba starts flashing a green Wi-Fi icon. If you're using an iPhone ($770 at Amazon), go to your Wi-Fi settings and select the Roomba network. Android users -- Roomba will automatically begin setting up your network.

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Connect your Roomba to your Echo to vacuum remotely.

CNET Staff

Shark Ion:

In the Shark Ion app, tap Connect a robot. Turn on your robot and press and hold the Dock and Spot/Max buttons until it beeps. Open the Wi-Fi settings on your phone and connect to your robot's Wi-Fi network. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Neato:

Once you turn your robot on, check to see if the Wi-Fi icon is on. If it's not, press the Select button under the Home screen, then go to Main Menu > Settings > Wi-Fi > Turn Wi-Fi on. Then on the next screen, tap Turn on robot Wi-Fi.

Ecovacs Deebot:

Your Deebot will need to be no more than five feet away from your router. Make sure your phone is connected to the 2.4G Wi-Fi signal (5G isn't compatible). Next, go into the Ecovacs app and tap Add Robot and follow the on-screen instructions.

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Connect your Amazon Echo to your robot vacuum

1. Once the robot cleaner is connected to Wi-Fi, open the Amazon Alexa app on your phone and tap the three stacked lines at the top.

2. Tap Skills & Games.

3. Tap the search icon and type one of the following: iRobot Home, Shark, Neato, Ecovacs Deebot (tap it when it appears).

4. Tap Enable to use.

5. You will be prompted to log into your robot vacuum account to finish connecting your Echo and Roomba.

Commands you can say to your robot vacuum

If you're out of the house, open the Amazon Alexa app and press the circle icon to give commands to Alexa. We've found Roomba commands to be the funniest.

Roomba:

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Tap the blue circle to give Alexa commands.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

"Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning."

"Alexa, ask Roomba to give my cat a ride."

"Alexa, ask Roomba to stop cleaning."

"Alexa, ask Roomba to play dead."

"Alexa, ask Roomba to stop hiding from me."

"Alexa, ask Roomba how my cleaning buddy is."

"Alexa, ask Roomba to go home."

"Alexa, ask Roomba to get some beauty rest."

Shark ION:

"Alexa, tell Shark to start cleaning."

"Alexa, tell Shark to pause my robot."

"Alexa, tell Shark to send my robot to the dock."

"Alexa, ask Shark to get me the battery level of my robot."

"Alexa, tell Shark to find my robot."

Neato:

"Alexa, ask Neato to clean."

"Alexa, ask Neato to clean up my mess."

"Alexa, ask Neato to stop vacuuming."

"Alexa, ask Neato to keep going."

"Alexa, ask Neato to keep vacuuming."

Deebot:

"Alexa, ask Deebot to start cleaning."

"Alexa, ask Deebot to stop cleaning."

"Alexa, ask Deebot what are you doing?"

"Alexa, ask Deebot for its current status."

"Alexa, ask Deebot to return to dock."

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Amazon Echo (2017,Heather Gray Fabric)
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