- ✓Useful mapping of area cleaned
- ✓Long battery life ensures large cleaning area
- ✓Clear voice prompts
- ✕Often beached itself on higher thresholds
- ✕App frequently disconnected from robot
I am getting more and more impressed with the robot vacuum cleaners that I get to trial – and the latest model to arrive at the office does not disappoint at all
The Deebot 711 – by Ecovacs is a smart robot that scans the floor area in your home or office, creates a map and ensures that it does not miss any segment of the floor.
It can be activated by Alexa or Google Assistant, has a remote control, and an app to schedule cleaning and record time remaining before parts neede to be replaced. It seems to be the perfect robot for all your needs.
The robot uses Smart Navi 2.0 mapping technoloogy, with a camera to map out the floor area of the building and generate the optimal cleaning program. It has a sensor that stops it falling downstairs - a useful feature in multi-level spaces.
It follows a parallel path from side to side of the room until it encounters an obstacle when it slows down as it approaches the obsctacle.
It will clean up to 1300 square feet in one go – and the battery enables operation for two hours before it announces its return to its charging station. It has a low profile – at 3.3 inches and will get under most pieces of furniture without issues.
The Deebot 711 has two suction power strengths and an edge, or spot mode which can be manually controlled by the remote control.
I immediately switched the power to maximum to get the best possible clean on the office carpet. (Who on earth ever uses minimum cleaning power in the home or office?)
One set of brush fibres are much longer than the other two sets – which enables the sweeper to get much further into the corners when cleaning. The roller is quiet and the robot seems very quiet – much quieter than the squeaky Proscenic 811GB.
Its voice controls were clear, loud and easy to understand, and if it got stuck I knew about it quickly with a notification on the phone, and an audible alert.
I did not use Alexa much to start the robot. Instead, I installed the app, connected to the robot, set a daily cleaning schedule with max power and left the robot to do its thing automatically every day.
Unfortunately Alexa does not have a command: 'Alexa, get the Deebot to come here', so I get the robot to do some spot cleaning.
The dust bin is a good size and easy to empty. The tool has a brush at one end to clear the air filters, and a neat concealed blade at the other end to cut through fibres and hair that has wrapped around the roller – a very useful feature.
I found the Ecovacs Home app easy to install and configure – and connecting to the robot was simple. The robot will not connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi, so watch out for that.
One irritation is that the robot goes offline for no reason and it is impossible to connect to any cleaning logs. I had to return the robot, and phone close to the router, and go through the whole process again to reconnect the router to the robot.
I do not have mesh Wi-Fi in the office, so I suspect this would solve the issue – something to plan for in 2019.
One of the rooms in the building has a one inch threshold and the Deebot 711 constantly tried to cross the thresholds at different parts of the doorway.
Often the cleaning cycle would be interrupted for 10 minutes or so as the robot tried to get over the threshold.
It did not seem to learn that it could not get across this threshold, but continued to try, sometimes becoming beached on the ledge. This was the only major issue I noticed throughout the trial.
Otherwise, I loved this robot. It is very much a 'set it and forget it' device. Apart from having to add the robot again to the app three times in a week, I want an autonomous device that does what I intend it to. After all, that is very much was useful robots are for.