How Robot Vacuum Cleans Corners & Hard To Reach Areas

One of the standout virtues of robot vacuums is their ability to reach those corners and tight spots that I often overlook with my regular vacuum.

The magic largely lies in their rotating side brushes.

These nifty brushes don’t just skirt around edges and furniture corners but also sweep dirt and debris right into the vacuum’s path, ensuring nothing is left behind.

And, impressively, some robot vacuums up the ante by sporting not one, but two brushes on each side, making them even more adept at tackling those stubborn spots. It’s little details like these I like to see and make me genuinely appreciate the design and thought put into these devices.

Tip: If you find your robot vacuum side brushes not cleaning your corners that well, they could be worn out and need to be replaced. The brushes on robot vacuums are soft and wear out quicker than other vacuum cleaners, and as they wear out, they lose length and cleaning ability. 

The great thing about robot vacuums compared to your normal vacuum cleaner when it comes to cleaning corners is that they can get under furniture and other tight spots you may miss. Combine with modern robot vacuums being meticulously cleaners, cleaning corners and other hard to reach areas are best left to the robots.

Navigating Corners

Robot vacuums have sensors that help them to navigate around corners and other obstacles. Many robot vacuums use LiDAR and will map a room, which allows them to get smarter over time.

These sensors help the vacuum to map out the room and avoid bumping into furniture or walls.

The sensors also help the vacuum to know when it has reached a corner so that it can turn and clean it properly.

Some robot vacuums even have cameras that give them a better view of the room and help them to navigate more easily.

The design of many robot vacuums has side spinning brush to help clean corners and sides of the robot vacuum. Most robot vacuums are a circle shape, which helps it clean and move around a lot easier.

Square Shape – Circle – D-Shape

The design of robot vacuums is quite fascinating.

While it might seem intuitive to assume that a square shape would excel at cleaning corners, in reality, it’s not quite the case.

I’ve often amused about this and found that the circular design isn’t just for aesthetics. A square-shaped vacuum would, ironically, find it trickier to navigate and could end up getting stuck more frequently. The round design is rather ingenious in that it lets the vacuum pivot smoothly, reducing the chances of awkward collisions.

Additionally, there’s something satisfying about watching a round robot vacuum seamlessly glide under furniture and navigate tight spots. However, there are brands like Neato that have experimented with a D-shape—combining a flat front with a round back—to better address corners. Still, in my opinion, it’s the spinning side brush that truly does the magic when it comes to corners. So, for those who have corner cleanliness as a top priority, I’d advise going for robot vacuums equipped with those trusty side brushes.

Cleaning Baseboards

Yes, robot vacuums can clean baseboards.

But they can only clean the areas the brushes can reach, so only the lower part of the baseboards.

The side brushes on the vacuum help to push dirt and debris into the path of the vacuum so that it can be picked up by the beater brushes or suction.

You also need to be careful with some robot vacuums, the ones that use random navigation, as they can damage some baseboards by scraping against them.

We have a guide and a solution to this problem here.

Cleaning Cobwebs

A robot vacuum can clean spider webs and other cobwebs that it can reach, this means anything close to the ground and not anything higher. So, the spider webs up high on the ceiling will not be reached by the robot vacuum. The side brushes on the vacuum help to push the cobwebs into the path of the robot where it will clean them up.

The great thing about robot vacuums is that they can get under furniture and other tight spots you may miss. This means that they can get to those pesky cobwebs that are hard to reach with a regular vacuum cleaner.

Even if the brushes miss the cobwebs, the chassis of the robot vacuum will often get them and drag them out where you can clean them off the robot vacuum.

If cobwebs are a common thing in your home, then you may need to spray for bugs in and outside your home. While you may never get rid of all cobwebs with bug spray, it will greatly help.

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