(Pocket-lint) - Roborock's robot vacuum cleaners seem to get smarter and more convenient with each iteration. In the S7 MaxV Ultra - which can both vacuum and mop without you needing to lift a finger - the company has made its most advanced and intelligent robot vacuum cleaner to date. It's not only packed with obstacle-avoidance technology, but is able to adjust its suction on the fly, lower and raise its mopping system at the right moment, and navigate your home with ease.
More importantly, though, this robot vacuum cleaner is designed to make automated cleaning even more convenient: it can empty its own dustbin and also clear and scrub its mop after each use. So it's theoretically more efficient and more hands-off too. But does it deliver on its promise?
The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is a superb robotic vacuum cleaner and mop. The self-emptying and cleaning dock is a key highlight, but there are other gems too: the quality of the obstacle-avoidance system, the cleaning capabilities, and the remote control and camera features.
That said, it's a far cry from the competitively priced bots that the company first released. So it's undoubtedly a wallet-busting robot vacuum system, and its dock is physically massive, but it's one that's hassle-free and, for our money, totally worth it.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
- Intelligent room navigation and obstacle avoidance
- Incredibly low maintenance
- Highly customisable settings
- Superbly convenient cleaning
- The dock is massive and needs placement with purpose
- Undeniably pricey
Intelligent and convenient cleaning
- PreciSense LiDAR navigation, RGB camera, structured light 3D scanning
- 2cm/0.8inch obstacle-clearing ability
- Live view and call capabilities
- 6x cliff sensors
There's no point in having a robot vacuum cleaner if you need to constantly try to rescue it when it's got itself stuck on furniture or household items. Or worse, it's hardly cleaned because it can't navigate its way around. Thankfully the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra has no such issues.
Indeed, this robot vacuum cleaner has all sorts of technology crammed inside its frame. Its camera can even provide a live view image so you can see what it sees. Oh, and you can use it to place calls with people in your home - because, well, why not?
It uses PreciSense LiDAR navigation to find its way around your home and also to map out the environment. This becomes interesting when you dive into the associated app as you can not only see where it's been but also the obstacles the bot has encountered along the way.
It's able to craft a 3D map of your home too and leave markers on the virtual map to show problem areas. This includes little icons showing objects like shoes that are strewn around your home, or power cables, among lots of other things besides. It does a neat job of avoiding these.
That's because the S7 MaxV Ultra uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help analyse its environment and recognise such objects. This also helps it avoid problems and give your home a more thorough clean. It also has the power to take photos of obstacles it encounters - and takes pets into account too, skilfully avoiding any accidental indoor poops with finesse.
The mapping system is multi-level and can be used to map out more than one floor so you can move the bot around your home and still get a good clean in a new area, if you want.
- 180 mins run time on quiet mode
- 300sqm/3230sqft cleaning area
- 400ml dustbin/200ml water tan
- 67dB volume in balanced mode
- 5100Pa suction
We only really encountered two problems during our testing: the first was caused by our children leaving small toys and objects around that we had failed to clear out of the way. Roborock notes that the S7 MaxV Ultra is able to detect objects as small as 5cm wide and 3cm tall - but anything else might be problematic. Little Lego people, bits of strings, random pieces of paper with childhood scrawlings on them are therefore an issue... one of our children was nearly able to say that their robot vacuum cleaner ate their homework.
The second problem was caused by a particularly thick and deep rug. Sadly, the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra will get stuck on obnoxiously deep rugs. But happily, we did find that if we removed the mopping unit and water reservoir it could still manage to mount and clean the offending rug, so that's something to keep in mind.
This is a clever bot though. Like previous Roborock products, it's capable of both mopping and vacuuming. And the good news is you don't need to worry about separating those tasks because the S7 MaxV Ultra has a so-called VibraRise mopping system, which not only is able to sonically vibrate its mop as it cleans, but also raises it up and out of the way when the bot detects carpet so it doesn't accidentally leave a soggy patch on your precious flooring. When it returns to hard floor it then carries on mopping happily.
You can adjust the power and intensity of both vacuuming and mopping within the app and even choose what it's doing and when. With this sort of intelligence, you'll be pleased to hear that you can programme it to vacuum one room and mop another, or you can just let it get on and work out what to do for itself. Which is far less hassle in our experience - and it works really well too. If you're worried you can set the bot to avoid areas where it detects carpet while it's cleaning and the mop is attached.
Overall, as with other Roborock vacuums we've tested, the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra does a superb job of cleaning the home - especially if you set it to come out daily and you ensure there aren't toys or clothes strewn all over the floor.
A dock like no other
The biggest highlight about the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is its dock. This is not your standard dock that just charges the bot. It's more like a self-care station. By automatically docking, the bot can empty its own 400ml dustbin into the much larger 1.8litre dust bag. That bag (a high-density anti-microbial dust bag) is then able to hold a lot more dust and dirt and only needs to be replaced every couple of months. It automatically seals when it's full too, so there are no horrid spills as you swap the bag out.
It's hard to put across how joyful this is. Usually, with regular use, you'll find yourself emptying a regular robot vacuum every couple of days. A small price to pay for automated cleaning, but something everyone would rather avoid. With the S7 MaxV Ultra you rarely need to touch the bot unless it gets stuck.
It gets better too. Two parts of this dock are dedicated to the mopping system. One part is a clean water reservoir that you top up to keep the bot's water tank hydrated. But this is also used to wash the mop. That's right: when the bot docks it sometimes goes in backwards and cleans its own microfibre mop. It does this regularly and is then ready to come back out for a clean when it's ready.
The final part of the dock is the dirty water tank. That's where the fluid goes from the maintenance system and you'll be able to see the success of the bot's cleaning efforts when you empty this.
This is quite a mammoth system and takes up a fair amount of space in whatever room you put it in though. It's not especially easy-on-the-eyes either. The self-cleaning process is far from quiet - it's louder than the bot's usually vacuuming progress - but it's still magnificent to have this convenience.
- Meets ETSI EN 303 645 privacy certification
As we mentioned earlier: this robot vacuum cleaner is packed full of intelligent obstacle-avoidance technology. Part of that includes some cameras and you can actually use those cameras for a live view of your home. This is certainly a first for us.
You have to activate this system in the settings and by manually pushing all the buttons on the bot at the same time. You then also have to assign a passcode to access it (so it can't be accessed by just anyone), so then you can see what the robot sees.
Better still, you can activate the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra's live view mode when you're out of the house. You can then remotely control the bot using your phone and essentially turn your robot vacuum into a mobile security camera.
That same system can be used to place a video call with the bot too. We were out of the house doing the school run when we decided to give it a test. Undocking the robot from its home in the kitchen, we drove it from there into the sitting room, then started a call to tell our significant other that a delivery person had left a parcel outside front door. The call quality was great, though obviously you mostly get a foot shot rather than face to face and it's not two-way video, just audio.
Roborock suggests you might use this system to check on your pet while you're out or keep an eye on your home. We could equally see us using it to get the kids to tidy up from afar.
You might have some privacy concerns about this system. But Roborock is quick to reassure users that no images are saved and the robot vacuum is certified as safe by TUV Rheinland, meeting set out security requirements.
Small complaints for a big price
For the most part, our experience with the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra has been great. However, it's an expensive system when you include the dock option and the added costs of things like the self-emptying dust bags.
We're also sad to see Roborock moving away from some basic features that used to be included in its more affordable machines. In previous models, you had washable filters and a small tool for cutting hair off the main cleaning brush. Those things are no longer included. Yet they were items that made it stand out from the crowd.
This is one superb robotic vacuum cleaner and mop. Its self-emptying and cleaning dock is a key highlight, but there are other gems too: the quality of the obstacle-avoidance system, the cleaning capabilities, and the remote control and camera features. That said, it's a far cry from the competitively priced bots that the company first released and its dock is physically massive. Still, it's a pleasure to live with and delivers a great clean without any hassle.