An ideal robot vacuum would pick up completely on its own, and clean not just bare surfaces but carpets too. Meet the new $700 Deebot D79 from Ecovacs, the first of its kind to empty its own dustbin and to tackle rugs and their tough-to-tidy fibers. This machine is a follow up to Ecovac's previous self-emptying model, the $600 Deebot D77, which costs less but is limited to hard floors.
A cradle that charges and cleans
There are several robot vacuum cleaners on the market, such as the Neato Botvac Connected and iRobot Roomba 980, all of which pull dirt and debris from the ground into an internal bin. Those products work on carpeted floors as well. What makes the Deebot line unique is its advanced docking station.
Not merely a cradle for topping off the Deebot D79's rechargeable battery, the dock operates as a vacuum in its own right. Ecovacs claims the mechanism kicks into action each time the Deebot returns from a cleaning mission and will suck the robot's dustbin clear automatically. The two major upsides of this design approach are you don't get your hands dirty emptying trays into the trash, and the robot is always ready for tidying duty. Of course, the dock itself will need to be emptied periodically.
Two vacuums in one
Another interesting twist is that, according to Ecovacs, the dock functions as a traditional canister vacuum as well that detaches from the charging station. Combined with hoses and other accessories this appliance is capable of tackling messes above floor level, say on bookshelves, sofas and countertops.
All this sounds compelling, but it isn't clear just how well the dock empties the Deebot's dustbin. I imagine that dirt will build up in the long run and require some hands-on cleaning eventually. Whether this happens every 5, 10 or 20 times the machine completes a cycle will be crucial to this product's success.
- Dual sweeper brushes
- Supports scheduled cleaning
- Cliff sensor detects drops greater than 3 inches
- Height of 3.8 inches low enough to clean under furniture
- No mobile app
- Brushes will need cleaning eventually