Hands on with the Puppyoo R6 Home robot vacuum: stylish design, but the app needs work

Hands on with the Puppyoo R6 Home robot vacuum Stylish design, but the app needs work zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    6.5 Good

Pros

  • Stylish and sturdy
  • Good dustbin design

Cons

  • Voice prompts do not match actions
  • Difficult to connect robot to app

The Puppyoo R6 is a superb and stylish robot vacuum that is poised to hit the market later in 2019. It is quite a large device, sturdily built with a lid-mounted radar sensor and a single-bumper ring that encircles the robot. It looks lovely. Its dimensions are 340mm diameter, it is 105mm high and it weighs 3.5kg.

The R6 Home is currently branded as the R55 Pro, and will be rebranded when the product is released in November. Like most robot vacuums it has two edge sweeper brushes and a silicone / brush rotator in the main body of the device.

It has an impressive 2000Pa of suction and will cope with hard flooring, tiles and short haired carpet. It has an ingenious dustbin which pops up out of the top of the vacuum when the button is pressed. 

It is controlled by an app – not a remote control - and as, all of the functionality is in the app, it is important to connect the robot to the app.

I had significant issues trying to connect to the app. The app only works with 2.4G Wi-Fi, so I disabled all of my 5G broadcasting to connect the app to the robot.

Pushing the power and the home button at the same time should connect the app to the Wi-Fi, and although my cell phone could see the robot, it would not connect. The voice prompts are not helpful either. 

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Holding the buttons for three to five seconds delivers the voice instruction "Please try again later – connected to Wi-Fi"  - even though I could not see the device on the phone until the voice prompt advised that the robot was "out of position."

The voice controls are random to say the least. When I pushed the button to remove the dustbin, the voice prompt says 'dustbin in position'.

When I clicked the dustbin back into place, the voice prompted "'power low.". When I pressed the power button to start the vacuum, the voice prompted: "cleaning paused.".

The voice prompts are  difficult to understand – even if they were relevant to the action being performed. Trying to connect the robot to my cell phone gave me the slowest progress bar I have seen for a while.

Many times the app install reached all the way to 99% before the dialog box told me it had failed. Other robots I have tested -- such as the Roborock, Amarey, Proscenic, and Deebot vacuums -- all connected the robot to the app without problems. Ilife and Puppyoo have a lot of work to do on their apps to make this connection more useful and user friendly. 

Without the Puppyoo app, the robot vacuum is essentially a manual vacuum, lacking any of the features promised in its Indiegogo campaign.

I suspect that when using the robot without its app, its suction power is not set to maximum. Unfortunately there was nowhere I could change this without using the app.

The robot does know where its home base charger is, so its mapping technology obviously works. It efficiently returns back to its home base when it has cleaned its available area.

The battery lasts for a long time too – at least 90 minutes of operation. It has cliff edge sensors so it will not fall down stairs, and it changes its suction power when it encounters a rug or carpet after cleaning hard flooring. I quite like this robot's operation.

This robot also has a mopping functionality with an small external water tank that clips onto the bottom of the vacuum. The water tank only holds 80ml of water – just under 3 ounces.

I found that this would wet the large mopping cloth, but there was little left to keep the cloth wet.  I felt that the mopping function is more an afterthought to the vacuum, and is not really needed.

If the floor was dirty, the Puppyoo mopping would not clean the floor effectively. If you want to clean dirty floors then the single function Shinebot W400 might be more appropriate for your needs.

The Puppyoo has great potential. It is a great-looking device with good cleaning function, a great dustbin mechanism, and good area mapping. It does need to get its voice prompts mapped to the correct function – and use voice prompts by a native English speaker.

It needs to do significant work on its app to ensure that it is easy to connect to the device – or provide a remote control device so that the robot vacuum can be programmed properly.

Once these issues have been sorted out, then this multi-purpose robot could be a valuable addition to your home or office. 

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