Robotic vacuum cleaners or robot floor cleaners are a must-have item in many homes. Lower costs and greater choice mean that many homeowners can afford one of these helpers. There is a wide range of vacuum models for different needs, budgets and tastes, which means a higher chance of finding the perfect bot for the job.
Roomba is a name now synonymous with robot floor cleaners and has long been the top model for many homes. Other brands are catching up. This guide will compare the consumer-favorite Roomba 980 with the bObi Bobsweep. And according to RobotsInMyHome.com, the differences between the bObi and Roomba are great. Is Roomba still miles ahead of the competition regarding tech and performance? Or, does bObi offer a comparable experience at a better price?
The bObi bObsweep vs. the Roomba 980: Why these two models?
There are a few key reasons why these two machines are a part of this comparison. First of all, this looks like it should be a one-sided fight between a heavyweight prizefighter and a lesser, lighter model. Performance details and user-feedback suggest it may not be that one-sided at all.
Second of all, there is the issue of popularity. There is a high level of popularity and brand recognition with Roomba at the best of times. The choice of the current 980 model amplifies this with a “must-have” specification that should highlight the best that the brand can offer.
Then we have the dark horse of Bobsweep and the bObi brand. This brand isn’t as well known, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t win people over. This comparison will focus on some of the main issues for consumers to measure the capabilities of each bot side by side. The first consideration has to be the cleaning performance. Charging abilities, intelligence, controls and other helpful features are also important.
(Source: Olivia Ogley)
How Well Does the Roomba 980 and the bObi handle dirt, dust, and hair?
The cleaning performance is essential with any of these machines, regardless of their intelligence. Fancy sensors are useless if it doesn’t clean the mess. Both machines should handle dirt, dust, and hair fairly well. Both have strong rotating extractors and high-end cleaning tools to pick up the worst of the mess. Both are effective and fairly reliable on all sorts of mess, including pet hair. Both have a turbo mode for problem area and HEPA filtration to handle allergens.
However, there are some issues to note with the Roomba 980. First of all, some owners moan about the need to untangle hair from what iRobot advertise as a maintenance-free system. Others note that the dirt canister needs replacing quite often and the bot struggles in low light. The latter issue is down to the use of cameras that determine the robot’s path.
Another interesting factor with the cleaning performance is that bObi can do more.
The key selling point with this bObi robotic vacuum cleaner is that it is more of an all-purpose floor cleaner. The bot can handle a small amount of water to use the “waffle” effect on stains. Roomba 980 has nothing that comes close.
Furthermore, bObi uses a UV sterilization feature to kill germs and ensure that it cleans the floor to the best of its abilities. There are limitations here, as it can’t handle large areas of water and depths. Still, this is an interesting combination of tools for those that don’t want a separate robotic vacuum cleaner and robotic mop.
Does the Intelligence of these Robotic Vacuum Cleaners allow them to Deal with this Mess Effectively?
Intelligence is essential with modern cleaning robots for the home. They have to be smart enough to handle the task without much intervention. They also have to be smarter than the competition for companies to make sales. Therefore there are high expectations over the intellect of these two machines. The simple answer here is that the Roomba 980 is smarter than the bObi. The bObi isn’t exactly dumb and will be smart enough for many people.
The main difference here is the use of algorithms. There is a highly sophisticated SLAM algorithm with Roomba bots. This allows for a clear, direct path for a more efficient approach. The bObi bot doesn’t have this. It can, therefore, seem a little more random in its movements compared to the Roomba. This could waste time and effort. This all means that users tend to prefer the programming of the Roomba, especially as it offers entire level cleaning. The owners can trust the Roomba to work through the whole downstairs of the home on its own and maneuver around furniture or portable appliances.
A bonus here is that it always returns to its last position after users clean out that small dirt container. Buyers should also note that the Roomba 980 comes with a setting for virtual walls. These barricades stop Roomba from entering certain areas. This is great for avoiding corners of a room with pets or big spills.
The bObi cleaner is still capable, with 80 sensors, including five wall sensors, for a smart approach to that single room. It works well in rooms with obstacles and furniture, as it dodges them pretty well unlike they are too dark to register. There is a clear lack of programming and navigation that becomes clear to those that test these models side by side. This won’t be an issue to newcomers but may be a problem to those with experience with high-end models.
All of this intelligence, programming, and cleaning requires a good battery life.
Once again, the battery life is an area where this new Roomba outshines the bObi Bobsweep. A strong battery life is essential in this machine if they are going to handle large areas in an effective manner. This is another area where the bObi may be better than expected, but the Roomba edges out in front. Both self-charging with the ability to return to the dock and resume a program.
The Roomba 980 leads the pack regarding battery power, as it has a lithium-ion battery with a 2-hour life. The bObi is weaker by comparison, as it has a nickel-cadmium battery with a 1.5-hour life.
Users should also note that this is the maximum for these machines. Extended use of the turbo feature will reduce this time. Each robot should be able to handle plenty of dirt in this time. However, the more efficient path and extra 30 minutes could be the deal breaker that puts the Roomba further out in front.
Controlling these Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
The best robotic vacuum, or any robots for that matter, are the ones that don’t require much human interaction. Simple controls are essential for a good user experience. Where possible, they should be far away from the robot. This is the case with both of these machines but in two different ways. One uses a familiar remote control, while the other uses an app.
There are pros and cons to both choices here. The bObi remote control is a feature appreciated by many users that find it very easy to understand and use. They have a nice shape and design that isn’t too intimidating to newcomers and technophobic users.
The controls are pretty easy to understand and minimal – even if they have slightly quirky names. Once users understand that the “waffle” button is the mop, it all becomes clearer. Still, the remote may seem old-fashioned to those used to a more mobile-friendly world.
This is where the Roomba 980 does highlight its full potential to technology-loving consumers that want the full hands-off experience. Apps are the obvious step forward from the remote control, with a user-friendly touchscreen interface and simple controls.
More importantly, this allows owners to program Roomba from another location. For example, those that forget to alter a schedule can do so when they get to work. This requires plenty of trust in Roomba to handle the changes by itself. The performance and tech show that it is capable.
The downside is that some people will want the smarter Roomba that does everything itself because they don’t like controls, apps, and programming.
Other Important Factors that Separate the bObi from the Roomba 980
Last, but perhaps not least, there are two other factors to consider when comparing these machines. They are the design and the cost.
The design may seem fairly unimportant in a small robot working away on its own. But, there are plenty of comments from users about this factor. The cost is far more important and may sway those that are on the fence when it comes to the other factors.
The design of these robots looks pretty similar at first – aside from one being white and the other black. They are both small, round machines with a low profile that allows them to go underneath furniture. However, some users feel that the Roomba is stark and unfriendly looking, while bObi is more attractive and “warm.” This may seem odd, but it is important to many consumers that trust these helpful companions. It doesn’t hurt that the white look and branding on bObi reminds people of Apple.
As for the cost, this is where the divide between the two robots is clearest. The iRobot company that makes Roomba bots is large and successful with a big research and development budget. This leads to a high-end model with top tech and a large price tag. Many are willing to pay that higher price because they expect high performance and a quality machine.
Bobsweep is smaller and has less to throw at their machines. This often leads to a fairer, lower price tag. Therefore the bObi is more of a budget machine for those that love the idea of the Roomba, but can’t afford one.
The Pros and Cons of the Roomba 980
It is easy to talk about the pros of this machine because every feature is helpful and well-thought-out. The cleaning programmes are effective and executed intelligently.
The phone app and charging features mean that this is the hands-off experience that many homeowners come to expect. However, this isn’t the perfect model that some consumers assume it to be.
Every feature is top of the line, but bObi proves that it is possible for robotic vacuum cleaners to do more. This cheaper option highlights limitations in the Roomba, even if these limitations are inconsequential to many homeowners.
The Pros and Cons of the bObiBobsweeper
The clear selling points with this bObi model are that it does a surprising amount, effectively, for a much lower cost. The cleaning capabilities here stand out the most when looking at the positives.
Not only does it hold its own against Roomba when dealing with the dust and hair, but it also has that mopping and UV sterilization. Consumers should not overlook the unique nature of this feature This makes bObi quite the dark horse in the world of robotic vacuum cleaners. This is the ultimate multi-purpose cleaner regarding function – as Roomba lovers will need a separate mop and increased effort.
The problem is that the mapping and battery life don’t compare to Roomba, and it seems a little slow and inefficient by comparison. This is down to the lack of budget and research and development with this brand.
So Which Option Comes Out On Top?
There is no doubt that the bObiBobsweep cleaner is impressive for the low costs and development. It does a lot more than users might expect. This is therefore highly recommendable to those that are on a budget, or those that want that full cleaning experience. But, this is only the case for those prepared to help it back on course at times.
On the other side, there is little to fault with the abilities of the Roomba, which therefore makes it highly recommendable to all brand-loyal Roomba lovers. Those that don’t want a mop and crave the high-tech intelligence of Roomba should opt for this top 980 model.
The final decision comes down to the desire for the full cleaning experience, cost and the immediate reaction to the Roomba name. Fans of Roomba are sure to become won over instantly by the specification of the 980, and won’t look twice at the bObi. Those that are more open-minded may see past the sharp intellect of the 980 to a more interesting, affordable Bobsweep.