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Robots are taking over. But that might be a good thing, as robots are now helping out with everyday chores.
One of the most popular ways to upgrade your life with robotic aid is a robot vacuum. These devices roam around your home, cleaning up dirt, debris, pet hair and even stains. The implications of a robot maid are pretty straightforward: you can enjoy clean floors without lifting a finger.
Robot vacuums have been around longer than you might think, as iRobot actually launched the now-famous Roomba way back in 2002. This has given the robot vacuum market ample time to develop products that work well and utilize plenty of smart features to clean like a human — or even better.
These little machines use sensors to explore your home. Some even go so far as to map the space for more efficient cleaning. They can navigate around furniture — or under it, depending on the model — and transition between hardwood and carpet. After a job well done, the robot vacuum will return to its dock to recharge. Debris gets collected in a small dust bin, which you do need to empty from time to time.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Robot Vacuum
Even though robot vacuums are a relatively new invention, there are still plenty of options to choose from. Below are some specs you’ll want to consider before making a decision.
Dust bin: All that pet hair, dirt and grime has to go somewhere. One of the drawbacks of (most) robot vacuums is that they can’t hold too much debris, meaning you’ll need to empty the dust bin after each vacuum job. However, some higher-end models such as the Roomba i7+ feature larger dust bins that can be left alone for months at a time.
Size: The size of your new cleaning robot is important for two reasons. Firstly, smaller robot vacuums can squeeze under low couches for a more complete cleaning. Secondly, a large vacuum can also be burdensome in small apartments and might get in the way.
Controls: Robot vacuums are either controlled with an included remote or via an app on your phone. Some also connect to smart home assistants such as Alexa for voice activation, so you can tell the vacuum to, say, clean up that cereal you spilled while working from home. App control is usually much easier and offers more features than a remote, and added voice control makes things even more high-tech.
Battery life: If you have a large home that requires big cleaning jobs, you’ll want a robot vacuum with longer battery life. This will allow the vacuum to get the job done in one go without needing to recharge halfway through.
Below is our shortlist of the best robot vacuums. Obviously, the famous Roomba is present, but we also have some very impressive Roomba alternatives that are worthy of any dirty floors.
1. iRobot Roomba i7
This i7 model is the high-end choice with powerful vacuuming capabilities, advanced navigation and comprehensive smart connectivity.
The Roomba is controlled with the intuitive iRobot app as well as home assistants like Alexa and Google Home. From the app, you can tell the Roomba to start and set up cleaning schedules that start automatically while you’re away or asleep
Power and navigation are where the i7 really shines. The robot learns your home’s layout, including different rooms, furniture and no-go zones, so that it can clean precisely and efficiently clean without getting in the way. Powerful suction also means it’ll pick up whatever you (or your pets) leave on the carpet and hardwood floor.
The only real downside with the i7 is battery life. It’ll only run for 75 minutes, but the Roomba accounts for that with a clever “recharge and resume” feature. If the i7 runs out of juice midway through a vacuum job, it’ll return to the dock, charge and get back to work.
2. Roborock S4 Robot Vacuum
Most robot vacuums require a separate device for creating a virtual barrier. So if you want your vacuum to clean the living room and not the always-busy kitchen, you’ll need to buy an extra gadget. The Roborock solves this with programmable virtual no-go zones in the app. You can even set the Roborock to avoid certain areas of a room (for example, that corner your cat likes).
The Roborock S4 also scores high on battery life with an impressive 150 minutes of run time. And even if it runs out of battery, it will automatically charge and return to finish the job.
The Roborock does have it’s setbacks. For one, it’s not great on thick carpets. It’ll clean low-pile carpets, but even then, it’s really built for hardwood or tile floors. And although the brand’s young age offers some fresh, innovative features, it also means we don’t know how well these vacuums hold up with age.
3. Neato Robotics D7 Vacuum
The shape of this Neato robot vacuum is a major upgrade, as pet hair and dirt tends to get pushed to the edges of the room. Plus, the D-shape also provides space for an extra-large spiral comb brush. The cleaning capabilities and unique design makes this a Roomba alternative worth considering.
The D7 connects to an app, as well as smart home assistants for easy control. The easy-to-use app gives you a range of features including schedules and virtual no-go zones to avoid specific spots in a room.
In terms of navigation, the D7 is also very advanced. It uses laser mapping to learn the entire space of your home and clean in the most effective pattern possible. The D7 can also learn multiple floors of one home, so you can move it around for vacuuming everywhere without a problem.
Other noteworthy features include a large 700-milliliter dust bin and two-hour battery life.
4. Yeedi K650 Robot Vacuum
We tested the Yeedi K650 on both (thick) carpet and kitchen tiles and it delivered a deep clean on both surfaces, effortlessly switching from one to another. That’s thanks to the vacuum’s powerful motor, which delivers 2000Pa of strong suction. Its slimmer design (just over three-inches in height) helps it get under tight spots too — think under the kitchen drawers or under the couch.
Concerned about dust and unhealthy particles trapped in your carpeting and floorboards? Yeedi says its its triple-filter system captures up to 99% of dust mites and allergens as small as six microns.
Get up to 130 minutes of runtime on a single charge; the vacuum automatically returns to its charging dock when it’s out of battery. The 800ml dustbin is one of the largest of any model on our list and means less frequent need to empty its contents.
Despite the strong motor, the vacuum is surprisingly quiet; if was barely noticeable even on our Zoom calls. The Yeedi App is easy to use and lets you monitor cleaning progress and control settings. You can also use Alexa to control the vacuum using your voice.
5. iRobot Roomba i7+
This Roomba i7+ is the best-of-the-best. The name might not make it obvious, but that extra + over the regular i7 is, well, a huge plus.
The i7+ charging dock includes a dust bin disposal. It’ll collect debris from the Roomba after each use, so you don’t have to worry about anything for up to 60 days. That’s two months of letting the Roomba do its thing all by itself.
Blackstarkids’ ‘Acting Normal’ Offers ’00s Nostalgia Through A Gen Z Lens
After debuting a handful of self-released albums as well as a collection of demos, Blackstarkids have signed to Dirty Hit and now share a label with the likes of The 1975, Rina Sawayama, Beabadoobee, and The Japanese House. The Kansas City trio are days away from releasing their next full-length effort and have already caused a stir with their recent singles. Offering one last taste of their LP Whatever, Man, Blackstarkids share the buzzing track “Acting Normal.”
Tapping into early ’00s nostalgia through the lens of suburban, Gen Z musicians, “Acting Normal” boasts videogame-like synths, fuzzy guitar, and driving drums. While upbeat, the instrumentals leave ample room for each member of Blackstarkids to offer their own daydream about a day as a “normal” person. “I’m done acting normal / No I don’t give a damn / About what they say / ‘Cause I know who I am,” they sing.
“Acting Normal” is the latest single released off of Whatever, Man and follows a handful of well-received tracks. Their recent single titled “Frankie Muniz” even saw a sincere co-sign from the Malcolm In The Middle actor himself.
Listen to Blackstarkids’ “Acting Normal” above.
Whatever, Man is out 10/22 via Dirty Hit. Pre-order it here.
‘Euphoria’ Plots Two Special Episodes Ahead of Second Season
HBO will air two special episodes of Euphoria ahead of the show’s second season, Variety reports.
The first, “Trouble Don’t Last Always,” will air December 6th on HBO before streaming on HBO Max. A title and release date for the second episode has yet to be announced. Both episodes were reportedly made under Covid-19 safety guidelines.
“Trouble Don’t Always” last will pick up after the events of the Season One finale (spoiler alert), following Rue (Zendaya) as she celebrates Christmas after being left by Jules (Hunter Schafer) at the train station and relapsing. Colman Domingo will also appear in the episode as the recovering addict Ali. Series creator Sam Levinson wrote and directed the episode.
Zendaya had teased the possibility of a couple of “bridge” episodes after production on Season Two of Euphoria was delayed because of the pandemic. In an interview with Ben Platt — who was guest-hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live! in August — she said, “We might end up doing a little bridge episode. An episode that we can do with a limited amount of people in a safer environment that can give people something — because we also miss Euphoria as the people who create it, too — and give everyone who loves the show a little something so we have something to live on until we are able to go into Season Two.”
Euphoria’s acclaimed first season aired in 2019, and in September Zendaya won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her turn on the show. The series also picked up a pair of Creative Arts Emmys, including Outstanding Contemporary Makeup and Outstanding Music for Labrinth’s “All for Us.”
Watch A NSW Cop Tread On The Phone Of A Legal Observer At Last Week’s USyd Student Protest
More footage has emerged from last week’s student protest against cuts to education at the University of Sydney, and this time it appears to show a cop treading on a legal observer’s phone.
The video, shared by the Sydney University Education Action Group, shows a legal observer falling to the ground after apparently being shoved from behind.
“I’m not part of this protest, I’m only getting evidence,” he can be heard saying to an officer.
“I’m down, I’m down, I’m down,” he told the officer, who proceeded to step on his phone at last four times.
New footage has arisen of the rally last Wednesday from a broken phone (smashed by a police officer stepping on it…
Posted by Sydney University Education Action Group on Monday, 19 October 2020
It’s unclear whether it was deliberate or an accident, however several students described to PEDESTRIAN.TV being pushed, dragged and even thrown by police officers on the day of the protest.
The legal observer behind the camera was simply trying to hand out legal information to protesters and collect footage of the altercation at the Parramatta Road as evidence to be used later in the event of police brutality.
“It is an absolute joke that police officers can use force like this in order to uphold ‘health and safety’,” the Education Action Group said in a post.
“Police are using COVID-19 laws to criminalise, fine and abuse protesters.”
According to the group, the phone was “smashed” after the incident.
The peaceful protest was a response to government changes that will shift funding from some courses like arts and law to STEM and other “job-ready” fields.
The changes threaten to make some arts degrees more than double in price to around $14,000 per year, while students who fail classes early on will be penalised by losing government funding.
On top of that, the students were also rallying against job cuts at the University of Sydney and elsewhere, which they say is part of the wider trend of casualisation in higher education.
During and after the demonstration, NSW Police issued 14 Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs), which are $1,000 each.
Students are now raising money to pay these fines.
Facebook / Sydney University Education Action Group
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