Robots have been cleaning our floors ever since the first Roomba arrived 14 years ago, but it’s not a completely hands-off chore yet. You still have to occasionally clean out your robovac’s dirt bin, which Black+Decker is making a little easier with its new Smartech Robotic Vacuum that compresses debris into discs that are easy to dispose of.
But if making dirty Frisbees isn’t enough to convince you to swap out your Hoover for Black+Decker’s trio of new robovacs, ranging in price from $349 to $399 when available in late March, the new line also boasts all the functionality we’ve come to expect in a modern robotic housekeeper.
Using a free accompanying app that connects to the Smartech Robotic Vacuum over Bluetooth, users can program cleaning routines, direct the robot to an area that’s especially dirty, or just drive it around manually. The app can also be used to monitor the robovac’s battery life and send it back to the charging station to top itself off, but with 90 minutes of battery life it should be able to clean even larger homes on a single charge.
A collection of sensors ensure Black+Decker’s robovac doesn’t fall down stairs or get caught up on other obstacles, and it can even sense if it’s cleaning hard floors or carpeting, automatically adjusting its sucking power accordingly to ensure it cleans properly. And if you’re the type who feels obligated to interact with the robots crawling around your home, you can customize the colored LEDs on top of the Smartech and even give it a name if that will make you feel less guilty about making it do all of your cleaning.