Top robotic vacuums
From NASA-inspired navigation to cheap and cheerful, we cast our eye over the best robot vacuum cleaners on the market today.
Unlike jet-packs and flying cars, mere mortals can actually buy these sci-fi gadgets that will run free cleaning your dusty domain. But which of the robo-army should you let loose to exterminate the filth from your house?
We've rounded up the best robot vacuum cleaners to consider investing in. Now you can put your feet up and busy yourself with more pressing matters - like a few more games on the Xbox, for instance.
AirCraft PILOT MAX Robot Vacuum Cleaner
The robots are coming, and they're going to look very much like this. With solid build quality, effortless obstacle avoidance and a reasonable programming function, this is a bot that you really could come to love. Unfortunately you still need to empty its little dust hopper, but otherwise it's self sustaining and can charge itself into the bargain. If you're yearning for a traditional vac that may not be so keen to enslave mankind, then the AirCraft triLite 3-in-1 vacuum is well worth a look…
£319.99 | I Want One Of Those
Miele Scout RX1
Miele's first ever robotic vacuum is mightily impressive with a three way navigation system comprising of a gyroscopic sensor that tracks each turn, camera for accurate mapping and ten IR sensors to help prevent collisions and step falls. Also boasts a whopping 120 minutes battery life, enough juice to clean up to 150m2.
Vileda Cleaning Robot
Persistence rather than advanced robotic intelligence is the order of the day here. Instead of advanced mapping cameras there's a big bumper bar that changes the robot's direction once it has crashed - albeit delicately - into the furniture, while sensors prevent it from falling. It's remedial but effective, and a bargain at £200.
Laser-guided scanners methodically map out your home and while it's super loud – no biggie, just set the daily timer to clean while you're at work – it picks up masses of dust, the capacity is huge compared to many, and works extremely well on pet hair-infested homes.
£399.99 | Buy it now on Amazon
Maplin Mini Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
File under 'novelty' for now, but this dinky 75mm design has twin sweeper arms, a removable dust container and motion sensors to prevent it from taking a tumble down the stairs. The ideal choice for anyone with a tiny flat and undemanding approach to cleanliness.
£59.99 | Buy it now on Maplin
LG Hom Bot VR62701LVMB
Despite its square design the stylish Hom Bot cleverly avoids getting wedged in the corners while the long brushes help get right into the nooks. It uses two cameras to plot a more efficient route and learns quickly to avoid cleaning the same spot twice. Good for allergy sufferers too with a HEPA filter that traps more particles from escaping back into the room.
iRobot Scooba 450
iRobot Roomba 770
Appearances are deceptive with this old stager. It actually cleans really well despite bouncing around like a demented hockey puck with seemingly zero intelligence. You'll definitely want to remove breakables from your floors and leave it to clean when you go out – it's a slow old thing, and worryingly violent.
This has both automatic and manual cleaning functions, the latter of which is controlled via a remote with plenty of potential for amusement. The Rydis is pre-programmed with special cleaning modes, designed to get all the grime out of carpets, whether they're underneath your bed, in the corner of a room or in a well-trodden hallway.
Price: £399 | Monueal
Samsung Silencio SR8895
The exact opposite of the iRobot, this is so clever it practically demands citizenship, yet is rather disappointing when it comes to the business of actually sucking stuff up off your floor. Presumably that's why it's so quiet compared to some other more brutish models, but watching it is like poetry in motion.
Vorwerk Kobold VR100
More intelligent and less aggressive than the Roomba, this can surmount most obstacles, is easy to empty and has generally very respectable cleaning performance. As indeed it should for 650 notes. It's a shame then, that it is so ugly and has a less than ideal battery life - even if it is the only cleaner that properly gets into corners.
Price: £650 | Vorwerk