Vacuuming droids have been one of the first domestic robots to catch on. The Klarstein’s Cleanfriend will be familiar to anyone that’s seen a Roomba in the past. Its circular body has a 34cm diameter, it’s 10cms high and it weighs in at around 3kgs.
What’s Included? The kit includes a docking station that the clever robot finds its way back to in order to recharge itself (which takes around 4 to 6 hours). In addition you get a remote control to change settings or start off cleaning, so you don’t even have to bend down. There’s also a Barrier unit that allows you to send an invisible beam across an opening or other obstacle that you don’t want your robot to cross. Also in the box is a spare side brush, filter and adaptor for the EU plug. You’ll need to bring your own batteries for the remote and virtual wall.
What Can it Do? The machine offers 5 different modes of operation. Spot mode is for problem areas and it cleans an approximate 1 meter circle in a spiral pattern taking around 4 minutes. Clean mode is a 30 minute program ideal for small rooms. Max Mode will clean continuously until the battery is exhausted (around 60 minutes), ideal for larger rooms.
In addition there are 2 modes that work with the charging base station. Timing mode starts a 60 minute cleaning at a pre-programmed time you enter into the charger, so perhaps you could kick off a clean once you’ve left for work each day. Finally, in Full-Go mode the cleaner enters a permanent cycle of cleaning, then charging, then cleaning again each time the battery gets back to its full capacity.
Does It really Work? When you start the Cleanfriend off on its way it seems to choose a route that’s a tad random at first but it does eventually cover the room. The side brushes allow it to sweep right up to the edge of say your kitchen cupboards and its front bumper sends it into instant reverse as soon as it makes gentle contact with any object. It won’t fall down the stairs either as it can detect drops and reverse away from them too. Noise levels are less than a regular vacuum cleaner and I was able to continue watching TV by turning it up a bit whilst the little fella did the business.
It’s worth pointing out that you’ll need to spend a little time after every few cleans to maintain the robot. The brushes filters and rollers all require attention and clearing to keep them working trouble free.
Having a home robot is fun at the start, but after a few weeks does the novelty wear off or does it actually earn its keep? Well we tested the robot over a few months, on a variety of surfaces around the Automated Home, hard wood floors, tiled floors and carpet. On each type of flooring it really did do a great job, even impressing SWMBO. The best visual confirmation of its effectiveness, on top of a clean looking floor, is that the dust compartment is always full of the debris it has managed to collect. Robot vacuum cleaners really are a practical alternative to manual ‘hoovering’ these days and at £120 they are economical too.
Independent connection & disconnecton from charging base
Change settings or turn on/off via remote control
Intelligent space recognition (won’t fall off balconies, attempt to move through walls, etc)
Suitable for various surfaces – small rugs, tiles, hard floors, wood floors
Powerful, long life rechargeable battery
Includes barrier unit – creates an electrical field that the cleaner will not pass, e.g. for preventing it from entering an open door
Complete brush set including side brush for full room coverage
Compact dimensions -a unit that fits anywhere and goes everywhere!
No need for for vacuum bags
Available from hifi-tower.co.uk and amazon.co.uk
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