One thing that we would like to make sure that everyone understands right off the bat is that robot vacuums are not in fact like the robotic housekeeper from the Jetsons, Rosie. These robots are still vacuums and should be thought of as such, with the difference being that you don't have to stand behind it and push it around. The reason that we mention this first is that you have to think ahead of the things that you will do while you are vacuuming the old fashioned way. If there's a tiny USB charging cable laying around, you'll need to pick it up so it doesn't wrap itself around the robot and make it stop. You'll learn how big the pieces are that your vacuum won't pick up and you'll need ot pick those up as well.
As with any product, there is always going to be an amount of maintenance you'll need to do in order to keep things running smoothly. The disadvantage here is that you won't really see what's going on, so you'll need to make a schedule and stick to it.
Most vendors recommend that you empty the bin every day so that you don't run into issues. Some vendors recommend cleaning out wheels and brushes every couple of weeks and lastly that you change out the filter every month or two. We've found that you can clean out your filter a few times before actually replacing it so you can save a little doing that.
In our work with these cleaners we found lots of people that were extremely happy with their selection as it completely automated a task that most of us truly hate, but a lot of that happiness didn't always last. There were several products like like the iLife 4s and the EcoVaco N79, that both had a tendancy to last only a few weeks. You also need to check to see if spare and replacement parts are available, which we found to be an issue at the time of publication with the Eufy.
We broke our work up into 2 different pricing tiers. The high price category we pit the iRobot Roomba 980 against the Neato Robotics D7. The price tag for these two is up over $700 and some of the features are truly great, but we are not sure if they are worth the additional cost.
In the lower pricing tier, we looked at 4 really good products, sometimes. We looked at the iRobot Roomba 690, the iLife A4s, the Eufy Robovac 11 and the EcoVac Deebot N79.
We highly recommend the iRobot Roomba 980, but we do have reservations with the price tag. In the lower price category, we recommend either the iRobot Roomba 690 or the EcoVac Deebot N79, with the caveat that you'll be happy with any of the products that we reviewed although, you will be truly annoyed with the significantly increased risk of the vacuum not working within a week of passing the date that you can return it, typically a month.