This robot cleans everything—even itself | #android | #security


I remember watching The Jetsons growing up and thinking how cool it would be to have a robot that could clean up after me. Yes, also flying cars, space houses, and so on—that’s not pertinent to this review, though. Even as robot vacuums have become commonplace, they haven’t gotten anywhere close to the capabilities of Rosey because I always feel like I need to make allowances to ensure they don’t get trapped or suck up something that clogs the works.

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is the first robot I can trust to get the job done without a bunch of preparation—no picking up dog toys, no checking for errant cables, and no filling a water tank myself. Not only can it vacuum and mop with the best of them, but it also has a camera and on-device AI that identifies obstacles so it can avoid them. With the auto-emptying dock in the Ultra bundle, you won’t even have to touch the robot for weeks at a time. That doesn’t mean it’ll get grimy, though. After it cleans your floors, it’ll clean itself. But that kind of automation is not cheap, and the $1,400 price tag for the complete bundle is hard to justify.

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The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is lavishly expensive, but it’s also the most powerful and easiest-to-use robot vacuum we’ve ever tested. If you have a combination of hard flooring and carpet, it can clean it all, and you barely have to touch the robot. It’s just not worth buying unless you really hate cleaning the old fashioned way.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 353 x 350 x 96.5mm (Robot); 422 x 504 x 420mm (Dock)
  • Dustbin Capacity: 400ml
  • Battery Life: 5200mAh
  • Price: $1,400 with dock, $860 without
  • Power: 5100 Pa, 74W
Pros

  • Powerful suction
  • Mop lifts to keep carpets dry
  • Accurate mapping and obstacle avoidance
  • Dock takes care of almost all the maintenance for you
  • Remote camera feed lets you check in from anywhere
Cons

  • Vey expensive
  • Too many consumable accessories
  • App isn’t foldable-friendly
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Design, hardware, what’s in the box

I will not bore you with a detailed physical description of the S7 MaxV. Suffice it to say, it looks like a robot vacuum. It’s a black puck-shaped bot with a bumper wrapping around the front half and a small LIDAR module poking up from the top. It does have some snazzy red trim, which I guess is the equivalent of racing stripes on a robot vacuum. The front of the robot has something you don’t usually see: a sensor array that scans your space for potential obstacles. It consists of a 3D TOF (Time of Flight) sensor, an RGB camera, and LEDs that flip on when ambient light is low. I also appreciate the glowing light strip on the top front of the robot, which actually serves a purpose by letting you know if the device is just vacuuming or actively mopping.


There’s also a lot to see when you flip the robot over. Toward the front is the vacuum assembly with the main rubber brush, plus the rubber edge brush. The aft is all about mopping, with Roborock’s “vibrarise” mopping system. It draws water from a reservoir on the back to moisten the pad on the underside. When actively mopping, the robot oscillates the mop to help remove grime, but when it’s not mopping, the pad lifts up to avoid getting your carpet wet. The robot has a removable reservoir for water in the rear section, which you have to fill and empty manually if you don’t have the dock. Likewise, you can lift the top cover to access the dust bin, which easily lifts out. Not as easy as letting the dock empty it, but life isn’t always easy.

Although you’ll need the app for most functionality, the robot does have three physical buttons on the top for basic things. For example, you can send it back to the dock, initiate a spot clean, or simply turn it on or off without going to the app. The selection of accessories depends on what version of the S7 MaxV you buy. The base version doesn’t come with an auto-emptying dock of any sort. So, you just get the robot, a charging dock, and the power cable. The Ultra bundle includes the deluxe dock, which comes with two bags for dust collection. Unfortunately, you don’t get any spare mopping pads, which strikes me as a cop-out given the price. Roborock says these should be replaced “as needed,” whatever that means.


Software

To set up the S7 MaxV, you’ll have to grab the Roborock app from the Play Store. To my delight, setting up this vacuum is almost instant. The app detects the robot without issue, connects it to Wi-Fi, and intuitively understands what kind of dock you have. The app experience with smart home devices is often frustrating, but Roborock has been consistently reliable. Yes, part of the app is basically a store for accessories, but the part that controls your devices is fast, easy to understand, and doesn’t have large swaths of poorly translated text.

The first run will see the robot build a map of your space, and it does it exceptionally well—better than any other robot I’ve tested, including the Roborock Q5+. The 3D sensing capabilities seem to give it an even better sense of where things are, and room detection required just one tweak from me to get things the way I wanted. You can set up virtual walls and no-go zones for multiple floor layouts. I like the scheduling features in the app, particularly for the S7 MaxV. I can let it clean as scheduled, even if there’s some junk in the way (more on that below).


My only real issue with the app is that it doesn’t behave nicely with foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold3. On the outside screen, the app is cut off at the bottom, but it doesn’t expand to fill the larger inside screen. It also forces a restart when you switch modes. I wouldn’t usually get bent out of shape about this, but the kind of person who would spend $1,400 on a robot is probably also the kind who would spend $2,000 on a foldable phone. You don’t always have to use the Roborock app, though. This robot connects to Google Assistant, giving you the option of starting cleaning with a voice command or via the Home app.

Cleaning and battery

One of the S7 MaxV’s claims to fame is that it can see and recognize obstacles so it won’t get trapped or make a mess. I tested this by dialing my laziness all the way up. Could I have picked up the dog toys and Amazon boxes before running the vacuum? Yes, but I didn’t. The camera spotted the obstacles and successfully routed itself around them every time. It does tend to give debris a wide berth, which I admit is probably smart, but it leaves a chunk of the floor uncleaned. The app lists all the locations where obstacles were detected, complete with photos from the RGB camera. It even uses AI to identify them (e.g. a shoe or power strip), which I think is just Roborock showing off. It avoids things even if it doesn’t know what they are.


Speaking of the camera, you can access it at any time from the app. There’s an optional password/pattern for security, and Roborock claims the connection is fully secured like any conventional security camera. This one can move around your home, though. You don’t even need to be in the middle of a cleaning cycle. You can drive the robot around to check things out and carry on a 2-way conversation with the integrated speaker and mic (an upgrade over Roborock’s previous top-of-the-line).

I tested the vacuum in a space measuring about 500 square feet, split evenly between carpet and hardwood. The robot has different cleaning modes for both vacuuming and mopping. The defaults are probably fine if you run the robot often, but if you’ve got dogs or kids, the more powerful modes can be helpful. Even with those power-hungry settings, the S7 MaxV easily finishes cleaning my space with around half of a charge remaining.

I would rate the S7 MaxV’s cleaning performance as very impressive, particularly on the highest power setting. The high suction helps it get dust and dog hair out of the carpet—almost to the same degree as a regular upright vacuum. And while it doesn’t do a perfect job mopping, it’s more than enough to remove smudges and grimy dog paw prints. I followed the robot around a few times, watching how and when it raised the mop. If you have very thick carpet, you might get some slight moisture from the pad, but it’s not dripping wet in the first place. With my carpets, the mop doesn’t make contact.

My wife is graciously tolerant of the smart home gadgets I constantly foist upon her. She rarely expresses opinions unless it’s very positive or very negative. In the case of the S7 MaxV, her feedback was positive. She commented on how much better the floors looked than they had with other robot vacuums I’ve tested. And I agree. However, this robot is really overkill if you live in a smaller apartment or house.

Auto-emptying dock

Clearly, the robot is chock-full of features that somewhat justify the $860 base price. However, it’s the Ultra auto-emptying dock that takes it to the next level. This accessory makes all the convenience features of the S7 MaxV that much better. There are three bins on top of the dock: dust, clean water, and used water. The water bins lift off easily, and the dust bin has a removable cover that conceals the bag. This bag should last a few weeks before it accumulates enough dust to need replacing. You get one spare with the dock, and additional bags are $19 for three. That’s not obscenely expensive, but it is yet another consumable you have to buy. Roborock also suggests you buy its floor cleaning solution, which costs $17 per bottle and is probably not worth it. I’ve been using a dilute solution of wood floor cleaner without issue, and some people report success using Swiffer fluid.


When you pair the S7 MaxV with the Ultra dock, it automates the entire process. To begin each cleaning cycle, the robot rolls off its dock, flips around, and backs in so the dock can clean the mop pad. After that, it fills the reservoir and goes to the races. When the cleaning cycle is complete, the robot backs in so the dock can empty the water reservoir and clean the mop again. Then it flips around and docks to charge. Depending on your schedule, this is also when it empties the dust bin. At no point in this process do you even have to look at the robot, let alone touch or clean it.

Honestly, the dock is fantastic, and I question why anyone would buy this robot without it. Yeah, it adds hundreds of dollars to the price, but anyone considering spending almost $900 on a robot vacuum should take a long look at this add-on.

Should you buy it?

If you can afford it, yes. A $1,400 robot is the height of smart home extravagance, and it will only appeal to a small segment of consumers, but it’s a nearly perfect autonomous vacuum. The robot itself has all the features you could want and then some, including powerful suction, a mop that won’t soak your carpet, and it’s smart enough to go around obstacles instead of knocking things over or getting stuck. There’s even an integrated camera with 2-way audio. The dock is what makes it special, though. You could go weeks without touching the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra because the dock cleans, fills, and empties the robot for you.

But let’s be honest: you probably don’t need this. It eliminates a little bit of housework, sure, but it’s not a good value for most people. You could buy the robot alone for hundreds less, but then manually filling and emptying the reservoir, cleaning the mop, and emptying the dust bin would essentially replace the floor cleaning you would otherwise be doing. Cheaper robots like the Q5+ or the budget-friendly Wyze Vacuum are better if you’re just looking for a little robotic assistance around the house.

Buy it if…

  • You hate cleaning and want a robot to do as much for you as possible
  • You’ve got money to burn on smart home gadgets

Don’t buy it if…

  • The idea of spending more than a grand on a cleaning robot makes you laugh out loud
  • You live in a very small space

FAQ

Q: How does the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra compare to the Roborock Q5+?

Roborock’s less expensive Q5+ doesn’t have mopping capabilities, but that’s fine if you’re mostly dealing with carpeted areas. The Dock that comes with the “plus” bundle can automatically empty the robot, which is appreciated. There’s no camera or advanced AI detection, but the Q5 does have LIDAR mapping and access to the same good mobile app experience. However, the Q7’s vacuuming power is much lower.

Q: How does the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra compare to the Roborock S7?

Roborock’s previous top-of-the-line S7 vacuum has most of the same features, like LIDAR mapping and automatic mop lifting, but it has lower overall suction power and lacks AI object detection. The optional auto-emtpying dock only saves you from cleaning out the dust bin, so mopping is still a bit of a pain. The base price is $200 lower, though.



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