Review: EcoVacs Deebot T8+ robot vacuum cleaner

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Robot vacuums are becoming increasingly popular which is not particularly surprising given its a chore none of us enjoy. The chance to have a robot do your cleaning is certainly an inviting one and Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8+ is a serious contender. When a robot cleans your home, it’ll fill the dust bin often after once clean, leaving you with a job to empty it, every day it runs.

With most people running their vacuum’s at least a couple of times per week, this actually starts to be pretty annoying after just a few weeks of ownership. Now, thanks to a Auto-Empty Station, the vacuum can run for as much as 30 days before the bin in the station requires emptying. The great thing is this all happens automatically, with the robot returning to base to charge and emptying the payload into the empty station automatically.

When it comes to the task of navigating through your house, some robot vacuums resemble a drunken sailor, navigating in a seemingly random pattern. The T8+ is much more purposeful in its navigation through your home. Thanks to the use of an advanced laser-based mapping solution, the robot knows how big your house is and understands the locations it’s been and what’s left. As the robot navigates around your home, it builds and updates a map of your home, which you can see through the mobile app.

DESIGN

This robot comes with lidar on-board

Robot vacuum cleaners are almost all circular in design and the T8+ doesn’t divert from that. The circular design offers the best opportunity to navigate around objects in your home while being able to sweep next to hard surfaces like skirting boards. This takes a similar approach to lawnmowers that use a circular deck, but through multiple passes can achieve great coverage.

The body’s design is a basic black plastic, with a glossy white finish on top. The most obvious design feature is the raised column which is finished with a pretty elegant brushed metal look. This raised column encompasses the lidar, which shoots lasers in 360 degrees to sample the environment around the robot. This mapping allows the vacuum to safely and thoroughly navigate your home, ensuring it avoids objects, while also focusing on locations that require extra cleaning.

The top of the Deebot T8+ features a panel that opens and allows you to manually empty the dust bin and access a cleaning brush. When the cleaning is done and the robot returns to its dock, it also empties the contents of its internal bin, into a larger bin in the dock, so accessing the on-board bin shouldn’t be something you need to do very often.

The bottom of the vacuum features 2 large wheels with a considerable amount of travel. This allows you the robot to transit some uneven surfaces, perfect for navigating something like a change in floor height between rooms. Underneath is really where the business happens and the cleaning is done by 2 large brushes that rotate to sweep the dirt and dust into the path of the suction, delivering it to the dust bin.

On the back of the vacuum, you’ll find a clear compartment for water. Fill this and your robot can play both cleaning and mopping duties, intelligently detecting which surface it’s on. This detection of surface changes, allows you to set your robot down on the tiled floor (like a bathroom) and give you confidence it’s not going to try and mop your carpet.

To control the robot, you’ll use your mobile phone with the Ecovacs Home app offering the ability start/stop cleaning, control a schedule for cleaning and even define specific areas for it to go clean. The results of the lidar mapping are represented in the app by a floorplan of your home being shown, overlayed with the path the robot vacuum took to clean it. This is actually really great feedback, great to see problem areas and potentially explain if areas are missed, that you may have had an object on the floor preventing the vacuum from entering.

PERFORMANCE

How does it perform ?

The performance of a vacuum is fairly easy to measure, just take a look around your house after the robot has done its work and see if the floor is clean. The other place to confirm how effective the cleaning has been, is to check the dust bin.

In this instance, that means checking the storage bin in the dock. EcoVacs says you should get about a month’s worth of cleaning before having to empty the bin in the dock. In my experience, I had at least 3 weeks of use before this needed emptying, however, I did have to clean the robot’s dock manually once.

The vacuum is definitely one of the smartest I’ve used and watched it navigate around the home definitely looks far more logical than many of the competitors.

I did find some issues with the performance in relation to object avoidance. The first time I ran the vacuum, it had been close to a week since we last vacuumed and with just 3 people in the house (2 adults and 1 child), I’d like to think there wasn’t that much to cleanup.

Around 20 minutes after first starting a clean, I heard a noise coming from the master bedroom, the robot had gotten stuck on a cord for our freestanding bedside lamp. I picked it up and moved it, the robot recalibrated and continued as expected. My issue here is that the robot didn’t give up and alert me, it continued to circle the 3 legs of the lamp over the cable for multiple minutes and would have likely depleted its battery if I wasn’t home to rescue it.

The second challenge I had is a fairly common one – hair. If you have any females with long hair in your home, you’ll likely be familiar with how much of it falls out. This hair is then collected on the rollers of the vacuum and in turn, traps some of the dust that collects and had to be emptied manually. Not a big deal as it hasn’t occurred since then, although I was hopeful the smarts in this robot could have helped avoid these common pitfalls.

Overall, I’m really happy with the performance of the cleaning, with carpeted floors and rugs left renewed for another week of living. We happen to have a fairly thick rug in our living room and still had to pull out the Dyson to really deep clean it, but for general surface-level cleans, like picking up crumbs from toast, it works great.

Naturally having most of the cleaning done automatically, by a robot is a massive win and the time saved, helps justify the price tag.

FEATURES

Stand out features of this device.

Key features of the DEEBOT OZMO T8 include:

TrueDetect 3D 

This tech is designed to offer advanced obstacle avoidance technology for uninterrupted cleaning. TrueDetect uses 3D structured light technology (lidar) to detect, avoid and clean around furniture and objects like shoes, cords and small toys. It precisely scans for depth and distance to create a fast and accurate 3D image of space and objects, down to the millimetre level. Its object detection is 10X more accurate than traditional infrared technology.

TrueMapping 

TrueMapping scans, maps and plans an efficient cleaning path faster and more precisely, to prevent missed or repeated areas. The laser mapping and navigation technology uses direct time of flight (dToF) laser sensors for 2x greater range (up to 10m) and 4x greater accuracy, detecting objects as small as 2mm.

The precise maps enable advanced custom cleaning like unlimited boundaries (keep out areas), support for multiple floors, and cleaning by room or area. These are really easy to configure through the mobile app, just draw on top of the map, once a floorplan has been created from an initial clean.

OZMO Mopping System

Some competitors will happily try to sell you two discreet products to achieve both vacuuming and mopping, but this solution offers all-in-one cleaning, removes over 99% of bacteria on floors.

An electronically controlled water pump provides precise water flow control, and automatic carpet detection avoids carpets when mopping to keep them from getting wet. A full size 240mL water tank covers over 2,000 square feet.

Battery life
Thanks to a massive 5200mAh lithium-ion battery, you get Up to 3 hours of runtime, enough to easily clean a home that is more than 300 square metres on a single charge. If for some crazy reason that isn’t enough, you can have the robot return to the base, grab some more charge, then complete the job.

Accessories 

In addition to the new Auto Empty Station , ECOVACS is also making its OZMO Pro Oscillating Mopping System available as a separate accessory for the first time. Compatible with the DEEBOT OZMO T8 Family of products , the two new accessories round out a truly hands off and next level cleaning experience.

The new OZMO Pro builds upon the OZMO Mopping System by tackling the most stubborn of stains including dried liquids and pet prints with results comparable to an electronic mop. The OZMO Pro takes floor cleaning further than any system to date, with high-frequency vibration that oscillates 480 times per minute and includes a unique, super charged mopping mode.

Two mopping patterns (quick scrubbing and deep scrubbing) and four different water release levels can also be customised to a users’ needs for a superior clean. Wit h a large 240 millileter water tank and mop detection sensors, the OZMO Pro automatically turns mopping mode on and off to avoid over dampening or under wetting floors. It also comes with easy to change disposable mopping cloths.

T he new Auto Empty Station provides 30 plus days of hands-free cleaning by automatically emptying the T8 or T8 AIVI, holding up to one month’s worth of dirt, debris and pet hair. With DEEBOT OZMO T8 and T8 AIVI voice alert on the ECOVACS app, users will be alerted when it’s time for a new bag. This easily upgradable feature provides DEEBOT owners with a non-stop home cleaning experience without lifting a finger.

ISSUES

Not everything’s perfect

When things run perfectly, the robot cleans your home and returns to it’s base to recharge and empty its bin. When things don’t run smoothly, you’ll need to pickup your robot. While it’s certainly infrequent, I do wish the robot had an easy carry handle embedded into the design of the body. We’ve seen it elsewhere and it’d be a welcome inclusion in future revisions.

The ability to vacuum and mop in the one device is really nice, however the mopping cloth and water need to be removed after mopping. It’d be great if this could be redesigned to allow the robot to go between vacuuming and mopping automatically. My house only has tiled wet areas, so mopping is an occasional task, while I appreciate those in tiled houses would need to mop more regularly. Having this being a set and forget task for 30 days, like vacuuming, would be a fantastic upgrade.

As I’ve touched on already, but worth highlighting here, the robot did manage to get itself stuck under a bedside lamp, after running over the cable. It should be able to detect and avoid potential traps like this.

My final complaint is around the initial setup process. What should have been dead simple, was actually made harder by the fact the power switch is hidden under the top cover and the app setup has no suggestion of where it’s located, just that the robot isn’t on. With the robot docked, you press the power button on top that’s illuminated, imagining that’s the power, but you first need to turn on the power switch. This could easily be addressed with an app update, showing a graphic of the top cover opened and an arrow pointing to the location of this switch.

 

 

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

How much and when can you get one ?

The DEEBOT OZMO T8+ is available now, including the Auto Empty Station. It’s priced at an RRP of A$1,299 and is available from The Good Guys.

The DEEBOT OZMO T8 is available now with an RRP of $999 from Amazon.com.au & eBay.com.au

The ECOVACS OZMO-Auto Empty Station for the T8 AIVI and T8, is available now with an RRP of $399 from JB Hi-Fi & Godfreys.

The ECOVACS OZMO Pro Oscillating Mopping System for the T8 AIVI and T8, will be available in Nov from Amazon.com.au & eBay.com.au

More information is available at ecovacs.com

OVERALL

Final thoughts

The EcoVac Deebot T8+ vacuum is one of the smartest robot vacuum cleaners that I’ve used. While still not perfect, we’re getting really close to being able to reliably have your house cleaned automatically and removing vacuuming from our list of household chores.

The combined charging dock and large storage bin is not a unique idea, but the volume available here means you don’t have to worry about cleaning it out for weeks at a time. That may sound like an incremental improvement on robots that require emptying after each run, but it really feels much more like a revolution.

The smartphone app is really well done, polished and with plenty of options like scheduling whole cleans, or just area cleans, like your living room and kitchen that are prone to more mess and likely to require cleaning more often. Personally, I found a schedule of cleaning these high-traffic areas every couple of days, and a whole house clean every week, to be a really effective configuration.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this robot and as is the best indicator of a great product, I’ll be sad to send it back. If you’re in the market, you definitely should add this one to your short list, it’s not the cheapest, but in this space, you really do get what you pay for.

 

8.8
Review: EcoVacs Deebot T8+ robot vacuum cleaner
The Good
  • Cleaning performance
  • Charging dock storage bin
  • Lidar mapping
  • Smartphone control
  • Scheduling
The Bad
  • Object avoidance needs work
  • Design
    8.0
  • Performance
    9.3
  • Value
    9.0
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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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