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It used to be impressive for robots to simply vacuum floors automatically, but now, more sophisticated machines offer both vacuuming and mopping functions. Other companies sell systems that combine two discrete robots, one designed for vacuuming and another built for wet mopping. 

This post looks at two solutions sold by different manufacturers. Each takes a unique approach to home floor care. Which one is the better choice? Read on to find out. 

iRobot

The original pioneer of the robot vacuum, iRobot was also the first to offer an autonomous mop. Its latest floor scrubber, the Braava Jet M6, wipes down your home’s hard flooring on command. And when paired with iRobot’s most sophisticated vacuum, the Roomba J7 Plus, both machines form a tag-team cleaning duo.

When the vacuum is done it will then instruct the Braava to start mopping. Both devices share your home’s floor plan, too, so they’ll be able to efficiently navigate over floors and through rooms with accuracy. 

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

One robot for total floor care

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Roborock

Founded in 2014, Roborock is a relative newcomer to the robot vacuum scene. Nevertheless, the company offers many advanced floor cleaning products. Most notable is the upcoming S7 MaxV Ultra. Expected to arrive in stores by the second quarter of 2022, this device combines a vacuum and mop into one robot. Roborock even says the Ultra performs its own maintenance so you can tidy up without getting your hands dirty. 

While I haven’t spent time with the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra, CNET has put the regular Roborock S7 through a battery of lab-based trials, and the newer system is built around an identical S7 unit. This means that it’ll likely deliver results similar to the S7 robot we previously used. If that’s the case, then the S7 MaxV Ultra should be a better vacuum overall than the Roomba J7 Plus.

The S7 was able to remove more sand across all three of our test surfaces (67% low-pile carpet, 84% hardwood, 65% medium-pile carpet). By comparison, the Roomba J7’s numbers were a mixed bag (60% low-pile carpet, 92% hardwood, 17% medium-pile carpet).

When it comes to pet hair, the S7 was the clear winner once more. It completely removed all traces of dander from hardwood, with only a few tufts left on medium and low-pile carpets. Conversely, the J7 picked up just 50% of hair from hardwood. That said, pulling pet hair from carpets was an easy task for the Roomba.

Both machines navigated CNET’s test room with efficiency and speed. However, the S7 narrowly beat the Roomba J7’s execution time by 1 minute (16 minutes compared with 17 minutes). 

Winner: Likely to be the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

Some robot vacuums like the Samsung Jet Bot AI Plus are billed to avoid pet poop but run into problems in the lab.


Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

Roborock also says that the S7 MaxV will be able to recognize and avoid solid pet waste, the same trick we’ve already seen successfully implemented in the Roomba J7. That said, I haven’t tested this on the S7 or S7 MaxV Ultra. Another company, Samsung, made similar claims, but unfortunately, its Jet Bot AI Plus couldn’t perform as advertised, so I’ll need to test Roborock’s navigational discretion for myself before I can give full credit here.

Winner: Draw

Self-cleaning abilities

This is the area where the Roborock S7 MaxV could clinch an undisputed win. Both robots have base stations that empty each vacuum’s dustbin when full. Both systems also can mop hard floors as part of the cleaning process.

However, the S7 MaxV raises the bar, at least in theory. According to Roborock, the “Ultra” base station not only replenishes the robot’s water reservoir, but it automatically cleans the S7’s mopping pad, too. If this function pans out, it’ll be a game-changer.

Winner: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra (at least on paper)   

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Price and value

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra sounds like a phenomenal machine. With a sticker price of $1,400, it doesn’t come cheap. Of course, iRobot’s solution isn’t for penny pinchers either. Adding up the price of the $850 Roomba J7 Plus and $550 Braava Jet M6 sets you back just as much ($1,400). And since the S7 does more for the same staggering pile of cash, my money is on the Roborock. After all, if I’m spending this much on either I’d rather have the more capable system.

Winner: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

As it currently stands, the S7 MaxV Ultra seems to hold all the cards. This floor cleaner battle’s score of 2 to 1 in favor of Roborock appears decisive. That said, it’s more of a paper win, and it hinges on whether the S7 MaxV delivers similar performance to the standard Roborock S7. Time will tell on that front.

The same is true for the machine’s promised pet poop avoidance and automatic mop-cleaning abilities. So, while the outcome looks clear-cut right now, we won’t know for sure until CNET is able to put Roborock’s fancy new robot through its paces. Stay tuned for that.



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