So Long Ivy, Hello Confetti

February 4, 2024 11:34 am

We've had a pair of Eufy robot vacuums for many years now. The first one Heather named Ivy; the second one Corinne named Sprinkles. One of the several motors on Ivy finally failed a couple of weeks ago and Sprinkles needed a new battery. So Ivy donated her battery to Sprinkles and got dropped off at the eWaste facility. She was dumb, but she got the job (mostly) done. She was six years old.

To fill Ivy's, uh, tires, I bought a Roborock Q5 as a bit of an upgrade. I was slightly annoyed by the use of a phone app, but from what I can tell it seems to minimize how dependent it is on Cloud connectivity and supposedly all the mapping data stays local on the robot. And I was curious how well the LIDAR mapping and navigation works and the price was right. Corinne promptly named it Confetti.

And I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with the mapping, navigating, and cleaning algorithms. Set it up, tell it to clean, and it wanders around as it builds a map from the LIDAR data. Once it returns to the dock it processes the data and segments the data into rooms (which you can modify).

Once rooms have been segmented you can tell it to clean individual rooms, any combination of rooms, or to clean everything. On every run it continues to collect LIDAR readings and integrates them into its existing map.

Within the map you can define virtual walls and "no go" zones. I hadn't even considered how useful the "no go" zones could be until it ran into the cat's food dishes and I just dropped a "no go" zone around them and never have to deal with it again.

When told to clean a room it runs around the perimeter first and then uses an overlapping back-and-forth pattern on the interior. If you tell it to run two cycles on the same room it does the first cycle in one direction and then the second cycle perpendicularly.

Because it's navigating intelligently (unlike the bump-navigation robot vacuums, as our two old Eufy bots were), it takes significantly less time to clean a room and thus is less annoying and lets you get more floor space cleaned between charges.

We rearranged a bunch of furniture this weekend and it figured out the new room configurations without issue and just got its job done. Really the only challenge left for it is that its LIDAR sits on top and can't "see" small stuff on the ground around it (like cat toys, or shoes). So you still have to pick that stuff up to get it out of the way.

Here you can see the perpendicular cleaning pattern on the carpet:

And the map of the room after it finished cleaned showing its path:

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