Over a year ago, I tried out the Ecovacs DEEBOT vacuum cleaner, it was pretty good at the time, affordable, with a solid performance. But now, Vorwerk got in touch and said they would send over their smart vacuum cleaner, the Kobold Vacuum Robot. The premise is the same as the Ecovacs, just up a couple of levels. I was excited to get this going, the thought of not having to hoover at the weekends sounded bliss!
Included in the box are the vacuum robot itself, plus the associated docking station, a brush, a filter and the manual. To the top of the robot is the handle, dirt container, on/off button and setting buttons. To gain access to the dirt container, and also where you need to install the filter, simply push down the white button by the handle to open the lid. At the front is three sensors, the rear has the charging pads and on its bottom, there are two large powered wheels, two smaller wheels for steering, the suction inlet and brush. It’s quite heavy, weighing in at just over 4kg, but relatively compact in size, at just 34cm sq(ish), by just 9cm tall, making it easy to hoover under sofa’s etc. That dirt container has a capacity of 0.5L, battery life is 60-90 minutes depending on setting and charge time is between 3-5 hours.
There is very little assembly required with the robot, it’s just a matter of installing the filter onto the dirt container, and pushing the brush onto the bottom of it. Once that’s done, you need to plug the charging station into your local plug socket, allowing enough space around it, for the robot to manoeuvre. Ideal set up is detailed in the instructions. To charge the robot, place it up against the charging point, ensuring the metal parts of the charger and robot are touching, and it will begin to charge. Initial charge time was a few hours, I just left it and went and did something else.
There are two ways to use the robot, manually by clicking the on/off button and selecting a mode to which it will clean, or pair it with the smart app. In essence, there are 3 manual modes, including normal cleaning mode, which will just offer a generic clean of your rooms, spot cleaning mode, which is a 2m x 2m spot clean (pick it up, place it where you want it to clean), and lastly, ECO mode, which is another generic clean, but quieter and uses less energy (lasts 90mins instead of 60). These options are controlled via the push on/off button, and the touch-sensitive buttons, all of which are explained in the instructions.
Secondly, you can pair it up with the smart app, to enable more features and control for the robot. In brief, you need to install the free app on your smart device, set up an account (if you don’t have one already), then connect your device to the robots WiFi network and pair the two. The app allows you to define rooms, and their size, by creating floor plans. Once you have opened all doors, semi tidied the place, the robot will set off to understand it’s surroundings and produce a floor plan for you. From this floor plan, you can designate ‘no go’ zones, if you have somewhere you want the robot to avoid, such a child or pet area. You can also schedule cleans, select spot cleans and the app will also push notifications to your smart device.
As for performance, it was excellent. The suction from the robot is similar to what you would expect from a traditional vacuum cleaner, allowing it to pick up dust, hairs and crumbs alike. I tested this on both wood flooring & carpet, and performance was great. With this impressive suction, comes the noise that you would also associate with a traditional cleaner. It is quite noisy (up to 67dB), far noisier than anything else I’ve tried. That being said, that shouldn’t put you off, as it’s performance outways the additional noise, just don’t schedule any evening or early morning cleans! The 0.5L dirt container is big enough to last two cleans, maybe three, but I suggest emptying it out after each clean.
It would easily pass underneath my sofa, and it can overcome obstacles up to 20mm high but as expected, there were a couple of instances where it got stuck. Perhaps the fault was on my hands, I should have tidied the area up more, but that’s not always going to happen. The sensors work well, very few times did it actually bump into something. The app was very user-friendly and easy to use, and it’s also worth mention that there is Amazon Alexa support.
The Kolbod can offer up to 90 minutes of cleaning time, that’s about 120m coverage on a single charge. It’s got excellent suction and it’s intelligent features make it easy to control & use. It currently retails at £949.00, which will be a lot of money for some, but as I’ve found before, Vorwerk make exceptionally high-quality products, so it’s worth the investment in my eyes.
For more information, visit the official Vorwerk website.