USEFUL: Robotic vacuum cleaners can make life easier — for a price.
USEFUL: Robotic vacuum cleaners can make life easier — for a price.

Switch on and relax, let the robot do the cleaning

THERE are some jobs that should be left for robots.

Vacuuming is definitely one of them.

But how much would the average Australian be prepared to pay for the privilege of having a nifty little device clean their home each week?

And how effective are they?

Robotic vacuum cleaners can range from a few hundred dollars to up to a couple of thousand dollars.

We put Samsung's POWERbot VR9200 to the test over a month. With a recommended retail price of almost $1800 it is certainly not the most affordable around.

But the results were pretty impressive - as have been the reviews from customers using one.

The POWERbot, as it name implies, is designed for a deep and thorough clean across a range of surfaces, from tiles and wooden floors through to rugs.

There are numerous ways to operate it. From the simple press of a button where it sets about cleaning the whole house, to remote controlled spot cleaning.


The vacuum is even wi-fi capable, meaning you can use a compatible smart phone to operate it.

The promotional video shows a teenager being hassled by mum to clean up his room.

"I'm on it," he says as he pushes the control on his smart phone.

Of course, that capability means you don't even have to be home to get the vacuum out.

Through the Samsung Home Appliances App, you can give the house a once-over before unexpected guests arrive.

Of course, there are some ground rules when using a bot to do your dirty work.

Generally, you have to be careful that larger items which could be sucked up into the machine, are clear. Otherwise you might return home and find the vacuum has stopped after sucking up a cloth or something.

The vacuum comes with one barrier device to set a section of the house off limits. Or you could just close the door if your child's room is covered in clothing.

During our tests, the vacuum cleaned very precisely and methodically and managed to pick up everything from dirt to pet hair as it went from room to room.

It uses Samsung's "visionary mapping system" to memorise a floor plan to provide consistent and efficient cleaning.

If it runs out of juice during its clean, it simply returns to its charging base to recharge before continuing.

Both the VR5000 and POWERbot VR9200 operate with Point Clean which comes with the added benefit of a remote control.

That allows you to use a red light to direct the vacuum to an area requiring special attention.


The top of the line VR9200 comes with new Digital Inverter Motor, which seemed more than capable, even on our thick office mat.

The sensors the vacuum uses are very clever, meaning that it goes right to the edge of obstacles, whether it be the wall, doors or chair legs.

The wheels are designed so it can "climb" higher surfaces, such as mats, with ease.

The Samsung range also includes VR5000 Point Clean (SR10J5050UD) and VR5000 Light (SR10J5010UA).

The VR5000 Point Clean and VR5000 Light are designed for people who don't have a lot of daily messes, but need support in the dusting and sweeping of their home.

Standard features include Auto Docking technology, four cleaning modes and the visionary mapping.

The more advanced VR5000 Point Clean also comes with convenient features such as a daily schedule setting which will allow people to clean before they even return home.

The SR10J5010UA is available at the Good Guys with an RRP of $749 while the SR10J5050UD has a RRP of $849.

The POWERbot SR20J9250U is available at Harvey Norman, with an RRP of $1799.

Would I buy one at that price? Probably not. But I don't do the vacuuming.

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