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It has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a Roomba-esque robotic cleaner, so I wanted to see if it could cope with the requirements of a small- or medium-sized office environment as well as in the home.
Like the Roomba cleaner, the iLife V8s will vacuum floors with its side sweeper brushes, although the V8s has two compared to the single Roomba brush. It also does not have roller sweepers like the Roomba.
It will vacuum around the edges of a room sized up to 7m x 7m, and it vacuums in a sweeping pattern to cover the complete room area.
It will also clean a designated area in a spiral pattern radiating out from the center The V8s also has a mopping tank and pad to mop hard floors.
Its diameter is 320mm, and, at a height of 81mm, it will get under most desks. It weighs 2.7kg and has an interface that is intuitive to use. You can set the time and date on the display, set the timer to program your cleaning time, and select which cleaning path you want.
In the box, there is a docking station, and power adaptor, a remote control, extra side brushes, and a dust filter. There is a water tank and mop, and a cleaning tool to brush dust from the filter. The manual is well written and in good quality English.
It has a automated setting to customise cleaning at different times on each day of the week, and a remote control for manual intervention. The remote control allows you to drive the V8s to a designated spot in the room for cleaning.
I found this very time consuming. It was far easier to stop the robot and move it to the correct place, and start it again. I found the remote control useful for increasing the suction power where necessary or changing modes. I tended to use the max suction power all the time.
Emptying the dust compartment is simple. When docked, click the switch on the free side of the V8s, and the compartment slides out. A magnetic switch enables easy removal of the dirt.
The robot worked well during the office tests. In a fairly empty office with hard floors, it completed its cycle in about 25 minutes, navigating its way around office chairs and desk legs.
It turns if it senses an object or ledge and goes over room sills easily. Apart from a small triangle of uncleaned area in the corners, the robot managed to clean all of the office space easily -- providing all waste bins and trailing cables were out of the way.
It was not even challenged by the server room, reaching underneath the cabinets easily. It did struggle with trailing power leads and under-desk network cables, twice losing one of its brushes when it tangled with an Ethernet cable.
The V8s transitioned easily from hard floor to carpet areas -- and it picked up cross-hatched shredded paper and dust easily when operating on maximum power.
It worked well on the short pile entrance mat in reception and on looped pile office carpet. I tested it on my home carpet, too, and I found it did not pick up pet hairs as well as I had hoped it would -- but, in the pet hair-free office, it performed extremely well.
I found the mop disappointing. In areas of high grime, such as the entrance to reception, the mop did not effectively clean the grubby floor.
However, it was excellent in mopping and clearing wet floors in wet weather. It does not scrub floors and does not recommend using the mopping feature on carpet.
The V8s cleaned for almost two hours before taking itself back to its charging station, which will charge its 2,600mAh battery for around two hours before it can be used again. This makes this device comparable to the top Roomba models -- at a far cheaper cost.
And for around $220 on Amazon (a time-limited 13-percent discount if you use the code GJHNN6BG) this is a great robotic vacuum cleaner for the small to medium office with hard flooring or carpet -- with the added bonus of a mopping system for hard floors.
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