(Pocket-lint) - The Roborock S6 MaxV is an intelligent robot vacuum cleaner that's designed to navigate your home more effectively as it cleans. That's thanks to a twin-camera system that Roborock pitches as a pet poop-avoiding system, addressing one fear people have of such 'bots.

But it's more than that - the S6 MaxV is also an intelligent system that's powered by a Qualcomm APQ8053 processor and artificial intelligence. This means the 'bot can detect all manner of objects strewn around your home, identifying everything from cups to shoes, pet bowls and beyond, then marking them out in the associated app to let you know. 

The S6 MaxV also has 25 per cent more suction power than the already impressive Roborock S6, along with multi-floor mapping, and as much as three hours of cleaning power before it needs charging. Sounds pretty incredible, doesn't it? We've been testing to find out if all this is as good as Roborock claims. 

Another level of cleaning intelligence?

  • LDS navigation system 
  • Qualcomm APQ8053 processor
  • ReactiveAI obstacle avoidance
  • Dynamic Z-shaped Cleaning Patterns
  • Customisable water flow and suction level

The main selling point of the S6 MaxV is its enhanced cleaning intelligence. This new bot uses a combination of an LDS navigation system - that's laser detection system, acronym lovers - with its front-facing twin-camera setup. These cameras use a ReactiveAI obstacle avoidance technology, which allows the 'bot to decipher what objects are in its cleaning path and then adjust to account for them.

This means, in theory, the S6 MaxV should be able to get closer to objects and clean around them without getting stuck. Things like shoes, toys, any clothing left scattered on the floor. You can also tell the 'bot within the app whether you've got pets in the home and it'll take extra care to avoid running over accidental pet poop. 

All this is carried out by a Convolutional Neural Network, which has apparently been trained with thousands of images to help the bot identify objects as it travels your home. If you're worried about extra cameras about the place, you needn't be. Roborock says the images captured by the cameras are analysed and deleted immediately, never stored and never sent to the cloud either. 

Once identified, the bot adds markers on the map to let you know where the objects are in the home and what it has seen. This is useful to spot where problems might be and also to tell the kids off for leaving shoes all over the house (well, only you can do the telling off part).

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It's not perfect of course: the cameras can only account for objects 3cm tall and 5cm wide, meaning that smaller clothing items and other tiny objects left on the floor might still be straddled and potentially clog the brush system.

We did find it was smarter than other bots we've tried in avoiding and cleaning around the usual household chaos that exists in a family home. That said, occasionally the MaxV misidentified some objects as pet poops - when they were something else. It also struggles with certain things, such as pet bowls with reflective surfaces. 

The S6 MaxV is intelligent in other ways though. Roborock has now added intelligent multi-level mapping into the mix. This means you can move the 'bot between floors in your home and create a new map for that level. The bot will then automatically recognise when it has been moved to that area and adjust accordingly. 

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The intelligent mapping system also allows you to section off areas of your home, not just to clean "zones" but also to mark particular rooms on the map. This means you can not only then send the bot to clean particular rooms, but also adjust the sort of cleaning those rooms get. For example, max suction in the living room for the thicker carpets or high-traffic hallways, followed by mopping mode for hard floors in kitchen. 

Within the app, you can also set no-go areas to prevent the 'bot from cleaning in a particular section of your home. This can be used to block off rooms by creating virtual barriers, but you can also set smaller zones within the home to be avoided too - a laundry pile, an area where the kids play, or the dog sleeps. 

All this flexibility and intelligence means you can really customise how and where the bot cleans to get the best results. 

Enhanced suction and clever mopping too

  • 2500Pa maximum suction power (25% more than the Roborock S6)
  • Automatic room recognition (for mopping and power adjustment)
  • Electronic water tank (300ml) system & carpet pressurisation
  • Multi-level mapping, up to four maps
  • 5200mAh battery, 3hrs per charge
  • 67dB Balanced mode volume
  • Intelligent battery top-up
  • 460ml dustbin

Roborock's bots have always impressed us with their cleaning abilities. However, robot cleaners have never really managed to replace a full-sized vacuum cleaner for us, but they can still do a good job.

The Roborock S6 MaxV needs emptying often - as it picks up a fair amount of dirt and dust in its travels. Its edge cleaning brush and the new improved camera system mean the bot is able to clean more effectively.

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More powerful suction compared to the standard S6 model is obviously an added bonus for an already great system.

Other highlights with the MaxV include all the things we've loved with previous Roborock 'bots: a dual-action brush system, which includes rubber fins and traditional bristles that work on both hard floors and carpets; easily washable filters to keep the 'bot in tip-top shape; an included cutting tool to quickly remove knotted hair and fibres from the brush.

Like other 'bots in the Roborock line-up, the Roborock S6 MaxV isn't just a vacuum cleaner, it's also mopping machine. On the underside is a slender 300ml electronic water tank system. Once that's filled up, the bot automatically recognises when you attach the microfibre mop and readies itself for mopping floors as well as sucking up dirt. 

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The intelligent system means you can set specific rooms to be mopped and others to only be cleaned. You can choose the level of power for each as well. This means you can choose between silent, balanced, turbo or max suction, as well as water dispersion levels of either off, low, medium or high. All this means you can set the bot to, say, vacuum and mop the kitchen and hallways, but only vacuum the lounge. No accidental wet carpets or mishaps here. The system is clever enough that the bot will recongise the room it's in and adjust its cleaning accordingly.  

However, we will note that sometimes when making use of this dual system the robot got stuck on small rugs and other obstacles it wouldn't normally have problems with. 

Roborock says the S6 MaxV is capable of cleaning for as much as three hours in quiet mode. Though we suspect that would be far more than the average person would need. It can also continue cleaning by using a smart top-up function that allows it to return to its dock for a boost charge when it needs.

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Generally, when the S6 MaxV goes out for a scheduled clean it takes a single intelligent pass of a room before it moves onto the next. In the app, you can set the bot to make extra passes if necessary. There's also the option to pick a specific spot on the map for a clean, or to select a room from the map and set it to clean in there again if needed.

Verdict

The Roborock S6 MaxV is undeniably the company's most feature-packed robot vacuum cleaner to date, featuring customisation options, intelligent mapping, pet poop-avoidance, multi-floor capabilities, and mopping.

It's largely fuss-free - apart from having to empty it, you'll find you're rarely having to rescue it. That and its capable cleaning is ultimately what you need from a robot vacuum.

The new AI camera system also means it's better at avoiding obstacles, but it's still not perfect at IDing all the specifics. And as you'll need to pay more than for the regular S6 model, you might think twice about which suits best.

The Roborock S6 MaxV will help keep your house in top shape - even if you have pets.

Also consider 

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Owning a robot vacuum cleaner is great. Emptying it is not. The iRobot Roomba i7+ partially solves this problem with a clever automatic emptying system - which means you'll spend less time emptying its bin. 

Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Mike Lowe.