[Done] How Do Robot Vacuums Know When To Stop?

Robot vacuums are interesting little machines that still amazing many people to this day. To most, it seems like magic in how the robot vacuum navigates and cleans your home.

But how does a Roomba or any other robot vacuum know when it’s done cleaning? It seems random to some, so what gives?

How Do Robot Vacuums Know When It’s Done?

There are 2 main ways a robot vacuum navigates your home, random and mapping. Each way determines how the robot vacuum knows when to stop cleaning.

If your robot vacuum uses mapping to navigate around your home, then it knows all the places it can reach. Once the robot vacuum has gone through all the places on the map it has created of your space, then it knows it has finished the job. The robot may even go home to recharge and pick back up where it left off, it’s that smart.

If your robot vacuum uses random navigation, a common thing for cheaper robot vacuums, then it doesn’t actually know when it’s done and only stops because it’s running out of battery. Even though many random navigation robot vacuums can return home, it’s more of a parlor trick. The robot vacuum bounces around your home until it’s out of juice and then keeps going until it finds it’s home base blinking light that it uses to guide it back to the charging station. At that point, the robot vacuum considers itself done, even if it didn’t clean everything.

This is why robot vacuums that map your home are better at cleaning, as they will clean every inch line by line until it’s done. When they run out of battery they go home to recharge but will pick back up where it left off.

How Does Robot Vacuums Know They’re Full?

Robot vacuums have sensors that tell them when they are full. Some use sound, some use light, some use vacuum motor stress and some use a timer.

A robot vacuum can have a microphone, not good for picking up voices but good at picking up thuds of dirt hitting it, to determine if it’s full or if it’s at an extra dirty spot. You also have some models that will use a light to determine how full the dust bin is and warn you.

But most robot vacuums simply use a timer to let you know it’s time to empty the dustbin. They don’t have a clue, but if it’s been a week since you open the dustbin lid and the robot has been cleaning multiple times, it’s safe to assume it’s full.

Ideally, you should empty the dustbin after every cleaning, especially if you have a lot carpet.

Roomba Dustbin Full After One Cleaning On Mostly Carpet

Will Moving Roomba In Between Cleaning Confuse It?

If a robot vacuum is cleaning and can know when it’s done, will moving it in between the cleaning cycle confuse it?

The truth is that the robot vacuum will be fine if you pick it up and move it somewhere else.

If it’s a dumb random robot vacuum, it won’t know any difference. The mapping robot vacuums will know a difference, but they’re always updating their maps and learning. If the robot vacuum has been to that room before, it will be fine and if it has not, it will start to find the walls and doors to learn the room.

Either way, the robot vacuum won’t care you move it somewhere else in the middle of cleaning, as they will adapt just fine.

When Should You Charge Your Robot Vacuum

Most robot vacuums you get today are smart enough to find their way back to the home base and recharge. Even the dumb random navigation robot vacuums can get lucky and find it’s charging station without much issue.

If you have a robot vacuum that doesn’t have a base station or simply misses it, you need to recharge your robot vacuum after every use.

You should also charge your robot vacuum before its first clean to get the battery up to performance.

How long you should charge your robot vacuum for depends on the model, but usually, it’s around 3 to 4 hours.

You also don’t have to worry about overcharging your robot vacuum, as they will stop charging once they are full.