(Pocket-lint) - Robot vacuum cleaners are intelligent devices. That is, after all, the entire point of their existence - to be as clever as possible and do the cleaning so you don't have to. Or, at least, with minimal intervention.
As technology progresses, these cleaning machines are not only getting more intelligent, they're also being updated with enhanced designs to make them even more capable.
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950 is one such bot. We've seen Deebots in the past and have been impressed, but this new robot cleaner is, on paper, even more feature-rich and capable than ever before.
Design and features
- Dual-action "floating" cleaning brush, dual side brushes
- Large tracked wheels, can mount up to 2cm thresholds
- Tangle-free intake or main brush intake options
The Deebot Ozmo 950 is bristling not just with brushes but extra features too. Sure, it might look like your standard circular bot with a large main brush and twin side brushes, but it's the little things within that make it stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, the Ozmo 950 features a large main brush with a dual-action design similar to that we've seen on the Roborock S6. This is a "floating" cleaning brush that not only has traditional bristles but also rubberised fins. This combination makes the bot the perfect multi-tasking machine. It's designed to handle both hard floors and carpets - the rubber fins for wiping dust off hard floors, while the bristles bash dirt out of the carpet.
If you're a pet owner, there's also the option to swap out the main intake cover and remove the main brush for a direct suction option. The company says this is ideal for picking up pet hair and fur without constantly knotting up the brush.
For when that brush does get a bit knotty, there's a handy little cleaning brush that's stashed away under the lid. That tool has a recessed blade that's perfect for cutting hair and fibres off the main brush and keeping things running smoothly.
The charging dock for the Ozmo 950 has a nifty cable-tidy backing that lets you loop the power lead out of the way to keep everything neat and tidy, or extend it if you want to stash the bot a fair distance from the plug socket.
Setup and cleaning cycles
- Android/iPhone app
- Remote control functionality
- Scheduled, zone cleaning and mopping system
The setup process of the Osmo 950 is one of the most straightforward we've seen. There's an app for both Apple iOS and Google Android and once that's downloaded and installed you essentially just need to scan a QR code and run through a few minor steps to connect the bot to your Wi-Fi.
Once within the app, you have access to a mass of settings. Sure, you can just set the bot off with a click on the power button, but there's a lot more power at your fingertips with just a few clicks.
The app gives you access to power settings to increase suction or reduce noise levels, turn on Auto-Boost suction so the vacuum automatically recognises carpet, set times for do no disturb, and more.
A highlight is certainly the ability to set specific cleaning schedules. You can choose a time of day and specific days for the cleaning to happen, you can even set multiple times of day if you really wish.
Real-time intelligent mapping
- Multi-floor mapping with zone cleaning capabilities
- Carpet detection sensors and anti-drop sensors
- Anti-collision sensor and bumper
- Virtual boundary system
- Laser distance sensor
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950 shows off its smarts when you watch it work. This cleaning bot is packed full of sensors and laser mapping systems that let it suss out its environment as it goes about its business.
The result of this tech is a real-time intelligent mapping that you can see happening in the app as the bot makes its way around the house. A radar-like system paints a vision of your home within the app and shows the room layout too.
This system is useful because it not only shows you were the Ozmo 950 has been during cleaning, but also highlights any areas its had a problem with. When the house is mapped out, you can also take advantage of this in-app map to set off a zone clean and vacuum specific rooms.
The Ozmo 950 is also clever enough to offer multi-floor mapping too. You can simply move the bot to another floor (along with its charging dock) and set it off to record another level of the home, then save that map for future use.
Once a map is created, you can use that map to set virtual boundaries to block off certain areas of the home. Handy if you don't want the bot visiting specifically messy rooms or going places where it's likely to get stuck.
Obstacle detection and room cleaning
- 430ml dustbin with a high-efficiency filter
- 66dB max noise level
- 1500Pa max suction
- 5200mAh battery
The Ozmo 950 is an intelligent bot that's capable of moving from room to room with ease thanks to its large tracked wheels. The main issue we had with this bot was when it got stuck because it had sucked up a random sock left on the floor or had an argument with a child's toy. But that's the same with any bot-vac you choose to use.
When this robot vacuum cleaner runs into trouble it'll let you know with voiced alerts, repeated three times until you rescue it from the jam it's got itself in. One thing that's lacking here is the push notifications we've seen on other bots where you'll get told via your phone when there's an issue.
If you come home and find the bot isn't cleaning or in its dock, you can press a button to have it call out and help you find it. Whether that's wedged under a table or stuck under the bed. For the most part though, the Ozmo 950 usually manages to clean the house and return to its dock without a fuss.
The Ozmo 950 has a variety of suction levels and, in theory, plenty of suction power. It works on hard wooden floors, carpet and lino surfaces too. However, we did find that sometimes suction was a bit lacking and it didn't pick up as much as we were expecting. Small crumb trails were left behind or spots of dirt that it should have managed were still there. Nothing another pass didn't fix, but we were surprised it didn't do as well as other bots we'd tested based on its specification and design features.
Of course, you never get a perfect clean with any robot vacuum cleaner. They're more a tool for regular cursory cleans to keep the house in tip-top shape, rather than a perfect vacuuming once a week. Used once a day, we found the Ozmo 950 did a decent enough job and we needed to empty the 430ml dustbin on a bi-daily basis (we have a dog, so it's no surprise).
On the plus side, the Ozmo 950 is far from being the noisiest bot we've tested. Even on Max+ suction it's nowhere near as obnoxious as many other robot vacuum cleaners. If you want a quieter clean you can choose the lesser suction options and clean in the early hours of the day. If you want to avoid being disturbed at any point, there's also a do not disturb mode to stop the bot coming out at night or in the morning.
This robot vacuum cleaner packs a 5200mAh battery which the company says it capable of cleaning for up to 200 minutes before it needs extra juice. In practice, we found it rarely needed that much time and would go out for just under an hour most of the time. If it does get low on battery though, it can return to its dock for some extra power before completing its task.
The instructions say this bot needs to be given plenty of space to reach its charging dock, but we managed to nestle it in the corner of a room between the wall and a floor-standing speaker and it found its way back there regularly without fuss.
If you have either Amazon Alexa or Google Home then you can control this robot vacuum cleaner with your voice too. The Amazon Alexa skill means a simple command of "Alexa, ask Deebot to start cleaning" will send the Ozmo 950 out for a clean. Similar commands are available for stopping and docking too, both with Alexa and Google Home.
Mopping and drying
- Washable microfibre mopping cloth or disposable cleaning cloths
- Controllable water reservoir
The Ozmo 950 robot vacuum cleaner also doubles as a mopping bot. An automatic water reservoir can be combined with either a washable microfibre towel or disposable cleaning cloths to give the floor good wipe as it goes around.
The bot is smart enough to recognise when you've filled it with water and plugged the reservoir in, at which point it will automatically switch to mopping mode.
The water on this mopping system can be controlled from within the app and you can also use the virtual map to set boundaries to prevent the bot from washing carpet by accident. Though we always find it safer to close doors and shut away the danger.
This bot's reservoir does verge on being a bit small compared with other bots we've tested, but it's mostly sufficient. That said, we did find the mopping system to be even more cursory than the vacuuming. It's akin to wiping a slightly damp cloth lightly on the floor in a regimented pattern. Like the vacuuming, it's effective if you're doing it regularly, but it's not going to get the floor clean enough to eat off - if that's your thing.
The Ozmo 950 is a great little robot vacuum cleaner that boasts a lot of clever cleaning features - from multiple suction levels to home mapping and voice control - packed into a fairly capable cleaning machine.
However, we've been a bit underwhelmed with the cleaning performance compared to others we've tested. But used regularly, the Ozmo does a good enough job to help keep your home looking spic and span.
The Roborock S6 is another all-signing, all-dancing robot vacuum cleaner with plenty of features. It's slightly more effective as a cleaning machine and possibly a tad cheaper too.
iRobot Roomba i7+
If you're not impressed by the specs and features of the Ozmo 950, how about a robot vacuum that not only cleans but also empties its own dustbin when it had finished? That's the promise of the iRobot Roomba i7+. Sure it comes with a hefty price tag, but it's also a great bit of kit.