Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
One of the most noticeable improvements to robotic vacuums over the last two years has been the introduction of the auto-empty dock.
I wasn't particularly impressed with this upgrade. It seemed a waste of the designer's time and effort simply to save the end-user from shaking a dustbin over a garbage pail. Surely, no one's time is that precious?
Then I was asked to review one of these devices. As I assumed, an auto-empty docking system saves little time. Unexpectedly, however, avoiding this minor but daily chore did make a difference. After the testing was completed, I clung to this particular robotic vacuum with an iron grip.
The auto-empty dock completes the cycle of automation. Each night my robot awakens from sleep and cleans the floors. Then it returns to its dock, empties its dustbin, and begins to charge. My only chores consist of cleaning the filter every couple of weeks and emptying the dock's bag at bimonthly intervals.
Today I am taking a close look at another robotic vacuum that comes equipped with an auto-empty dock.
The Ultenic T10 robot vacuum has a diameter of 13.86 inches and is 3.86 inches tall. It is colored white with gray trim. The dome housing the Lidar system perches atop the robot's deck along with a pair of control buttons.
The dustbin container, which also houses a water tank flanked by an assortment of anti-collision sensors, a speaker, and a bumper, fits snugly into the robot's outer edges. Two metal contacts attached to the dustbin are used to charge the T10 when it returns to its auto-empty dock.
A pair of large rubber-coated drive wheels, an omnidirectional wheel, a side brush, four sets of drop sensors, and the main brush are located beneath the robot. Two metal contacts positioned near the front assist in charging the battery when the robot is matched with a standard-style dock. Hidden beneath is a 5200mAh lithium-ion battery capable of powering the T10 for up to 200 minutes. A mop attachment and mop pad can be secured beneath the water tank.
The Ultenic application allows the user to perform several functions, including the configuration of no-go zones, adjusting drip rates, and modifying the suction level.
This robot is matched with an auto-empty dock that vacuums out the T10's dustbin and stores the debris in a dust bag.
Accessories consist of the user's guides, remote, brush cleaner, as well as spare filter, side brush, mop pad, and a pair of dust bags.
Robot Vacuum Specifications
- Manufacturer: Ultenic
- Model: T10
- Robot dimensions: 35 x 35 x 9,8 centimeter (13.8 x 13.8 x 3.86 inches)
- Color: White with gray accents
- Scheduling: Yes
- Voice control: Alexa and Google
- Navigation: LIDAR
- Max Suction: 3000Pa
- Power: 50W
- Filter: Washable
- Run-time: 200 minutes
- Battery: 5200mAh 14.4V lithium-ion
- Vacuuming area: 250sqm (2690 sq ft)
- Charging time: ＜6 hours
- Cliff Sensors: 4
- Wall sensors: Yes
- Mop type: Flat
- Application compatibility: Android and iOS
- Room/Zone cleaning: Yes
- Real-time mapping: Yes
- Virtual barriers and no-go zones: Yes
- Cleaning pattern: Z-shaped
Auto-Empty Dock Specifications
- Dimensions: 28 x 19.5 x 35.6 centimeters (11 x 7.7 x 14 inches)
- Dust bag capacity: 4.3 liters
- Power source: 120 AC
- Recharge vacuum battery: Yes
- Empty vacuum dustbin: Yes
The T10 is complemented with a dock capable of sucking debris from the robot's dustbin. Mine is set to operate every time the T10 docks, but the frequency of this action can be adjusted using the Ultenic application. The dock is also designed to recharge the robotic vacuum's battery.
For test purposes, I initially positioned the dock atop a carpet. It operated consistently and correctly. Usually, this dock would be situated on a hard floor, ensuring good contact between robot and dock and allowing the use of the T10 for mopping operations.
Navigation and Mapping
This robotic vacuum is equipped with LIDAR (light detection and ranging). A quickly rotating, turret-based laser illuminates objects, assisting in determining their location, size, shape, and distance.
This information is used to compile a map of the cleaning area. The first time I ran the Ultenic T10, it vacuumed and mapped, systematically making its way around the house. Once the cleanup was completed, the resulting map included every room.
The Ultenic Application
This application allows a smartphone to monitor and control the robotic vacuum, reading the maps produced by the vacuum and adjusting specific parameters. The operator can set barriers and exclusion zones. Suction and drip rates can also be adjusted.
Maneuverability and Robot-Proofing
The usefulness of a robotic vacuum depends on the device's ability to start automatically, effectively vacuum its cleaning area, and then return to its dock.
I have secured all cables and wires to nearby baseboards using clips to prevent the vacuum's wheels and brushes from becoming entangled.
While robotic vacuums sometimes sandwich themselves between the floor and a couch or cabinet, this did not prove to be a problem with the T10.
Many robots experience difficulties crossing my furnace air intake grating because it is painted flat black and perforated with holes large enough to trap an unwary robot's omnidirectional wheel. The T10 carefully avoided this obstacle.
Thresholds—the strip of wood at the bottom of doorways where rooms connect—are sometimes too high for a robotic vacuum to cross. The Ultenic T10 navigated quickly and easily between my threshold-separated rooms.
Several rugs were used to test the ability of this robot. The vacuum played well with the large area rug that dominates my living room and my well-secured Turkish carpet.
Docks should be positioned in an area where there is room for the robot to maneuver. The Ultenic T10, which incorporates an effective navigational system, requires less room than non-lidar-equipped robots.
As the vacuum enters each room, it circles and begins to edge clean. Then it changes to an S-pattern, sucking up the debris it encounters. The Ultenic application can be used to order the robot to tackle a specific area or spot clean a particularly dirty section of flooring.
This vacuum may be scheduled to start at a specific time each day. It can also be controlled using Alexa, Google Assistant, or the Ultenic application. You can even start an auto-clean cycle by bending down and pressing the robot's power button.
This vacuum is fitted with a unique dustbin which also incorporates a water tank and the two contacts used to recharge the robot when docked. The total capacity of this bin is 580 milliliters divided into separate sections for dust collection and water storage.
Water is fed from the tank to the mop at an adjustable rate via the Ultenic application.
When mopping, the robot drags the mop pad across the floor in the same manner as when vacuuming. In conjunction with the application, the lidar navigational system allows exclusion zones to be set, preventing the robotic vacuum from trying to wash rugs and carpets.
This robot is equipped with a powerful 5200mAh lithium battery and, according to its specifications, can run for 200 minutes.
It takes about 44 minutes to clean my medium-sized house. At the end of a cleaning routine, the battery's charge level is typically about 88%.
The T10's greatest strength is mobility. When testing a robotic vacuum, I usually need to set at least one exclusion zone or barrier. None were required for this device when vacuuming.
Outstanding battery life, combined with the robot's navigational system and its ability to map, ensures that even large cleaning areas are quickly and competently vacuumed. If you are searching for a self-emptying robotic vacuum that works without the need for supervision, the Ultenic T10 would be an excellent choice.
At present, Ultenic is offering a discount for those using the discount code: ROBOTVACT10.
© 2022 Walter Shillington