Vacuum cleaner robot Roborock S6 tried out


Over the years, my colleagues and I have tested several vacuum cleaner robots on this blog. Meanwhile there are more and more, across all price ranges and technical possibilities. Almost everyone should find something suitable. The solution I used in the near past? Roborock S50. Suction and wiping – and it’s smart. The very good purchase price also spoke for this model, which I can still recommend. But since the beginning of May there is the Roborock S6, the direct successor in Germany. It had to do its job in the past weeks.

According to Roborock, the S6 is coming onto the market with improved algorithms and precise mapping technology, and so it is adapting its cleaning strategy better. After saving the floor plan, the Roborock S6 remembers the position and name of the rooms. The user can use the Mi-Home app to define individual cleaning tasks for single and multiple areas or the entire house. That’s great, so I can set individual rooms or areas for planned cleaning. During cleaning, the S6 is up to 50 percent quieter than its predecessor, the S5, but retains the 2000 Pa suction power required for deep cleaning – according to the manufacturer. The integrated wiping function is also part of the equipment of the vacuum cleaner, which should be suitable for areas up to 250 square meters.

Independent of the technical innovations: There are good reasons why the Roborock is not only popular with me. For example, my wife very much appreciates the fact that the vacuum cleaner robot is able to wipe slightly moist. Since we don’t have much carpet here, but tiles, it’s an argument for this vacuum cleaner.

After connecting the Roborock S6, we first loaded it and connected it to the almost indispensable Mi-Home app (side note: you also need this for the really good Aqara products for the Smart Home). In this app you can make all settings for the Roborock S6. For example, you can select various languages for voice output, including German, and you can also set the voice volume. The app is definitely worth using, as it turns the stupid one into a smart vacuum cleaner robot. Once it has left your apartment, you can define the rooms you want to have cleaned, set up virtual walls, equip it with Alexa or Siri links and find out general information. The app is mostly self-explanatory.

In my opinion, the robot – like its predecessor – is of high value. Included in the delivery is everything important with it, power supply, the vacuum cleaner of course, the water tank, two wipes and a few disposable wipes (for whatever reason: I think it’s useless, also in terms of environmental protection). Interesting is always the view to the predecessor, which is much cheaper. Identical suction power, also laser navigation, identical battery capacity and also in terms of size of dust and water tank you don’t differ (480 ml /160 ml).

Nevertheless, the battery life of Roborock’s S6 is subjectively longer than that of its predecessor – and of course the charging time (3 vs. 5 hours) also speaks for the S6. Those who clean a lot and for a long time have shorter waiting times between the cleaning processes. Now to the statements that the S6 should be 50% quieter than its predecessor.

Here you have to consider how sound measurement works. Because half volume does not mean half decibel number. Rather, an increase in sound pressure of 10 decibels ensures that the volume is perceived twice as strongly. The Roborock S6 is here between 53 and 63 decibels, measured from a distance of 2 metres. The Roborock S50 delivers more than 70 decibels at the same distance, so the new model is half as loud. Sound is a science in itself, you can read more about it here. A simple device is sufficient for occasional sound measurements.

Important, because it also came up in the questions about the predecessor: The S6 from Roborock has a wipe function. That’s good for us, because most of the time the vacuum cleaner robot is on the road on tiles in the kitchen and conservatory. But we also have carpets at home and that’s where it gets tricky. The S6 has a carpet recognition function that adjusts the suction power – but it has nothing to do with the wiping function. The vacuum cleaner does pre-clean and wipe on non-carpet surfaces, but it would do the same for carpets. However, this is not meant to be the case, so you should always make sure that the tank with the wipe is off when using it in rooms with carpets, even if you cleaned a carpet-free room beforehand. It doesn’t matter to Robo, but it’s not productive for the box because it thinks it has to wipe.

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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