4 Ways to Clean a Home with Multiple Floors Using a Vacuum Robot

Multiple floor cleaning with roomba
Homes with multiple floors are challenging to vacuum robots, although today’s vacuum robots are very good at home cleaning. Indeed, home robots are still all wheeled and can’t deal with stairs. Although there exist many legged robots, they are still experimental and way too expensive to be used for domestic applications.

In this post we present 4 workarounds to automate cleaning a multi-floor home using current vacuum robots. We start by the most basic one and progress to the most convenient solution.

Make Roomba Clean Multiple Floors

Roomba 690 Can Clean Multiple Floors

The cheapest solution to sweep multiple floors is to move your vacuum robot from one floor to the other. A low-cost Roomba 600 series or alike will do the job. Your cleaning robot will stay most of the time in the most high-traffic floor. This is typically the first floor with the kitchen and the living room. Then maybe once or twice a week you’ll have to move it upstairs to do a cleaning.

Don’t “Kidnap” a Roomba 980 In the Middle of a Cleaning Cycle

As with the cheap Roomba, you can move the high-end Roomba 900 series around as you wish. Don’t worry about it affecting the navigation. The iRobot Home app will work just as fine.

There is a caveat here. Don’t “kidnap” the Roomba 980. If you move the vacuum robot to another floor in the middle of a cleaning cycle, it will won’t resume cleaning. You’ll have to clear out the memory by pressing and hold the CLEAN button until the light turns off.

Use a Floor-Aware Vacuum Robot

Neato botvac D7 connected is the first and currently the only vacuum cleaning robot capable of distinguishing different floors. This new feature is part of the Neato’s summer 2018 free update. The D7 was already able to remember your home’s map and virtual No-Go lines. This feature is now extended so the Neato can store in its memory up to 3 floor plans, each with a different set of No-Go lines.

Multiple floor support is available through the Neato’s mobile app. The side menu allows listing existing floors, adding new ones, and assigning each floor a different name.

To have the D7 clean a given floor, you have to carry it to the level you want to clean. You can then either trigger cleaning manually, or rely on the cleaning schedule.

Roomba i7+ is the first of iRobot vacuum robots to support multiple floors. It remembers the layout of up to 10 floors and can plan accordingly the next time you ask it to clean.

Install Multiple Charging Stations in Your Home

Once finished cleaning most vacuum robots including Roomba and Neato go back to their charging station. The battery is then recharged so the robot is ready for the next cleaning sessions.

Carrying the charging station and its cable around with the vacuum robot is inconvenient. It’s heavy and requires finding a free electric outlet each time you move the robot around. This is why it is more convenient to have one charging station per floor. The robot can seamlessly perform multiple cleaning cycles based on its programmed schedule until you move to another floor.

Another reason to install a charger in every floor is the recharge and resume cleaning feature of the high-end vacuum robots such as the Roomba 980 and the Neato D7. To deal with large surfaces and multiple rooms, a such robotic vacuum map the floor. Whenever the battery is low, a high-end vacuum robot goes to its charging dock. Once the battery is full it continues cleaning at the exact spot where it stopped.

While most docking stations are rather cheap, this is not the case with Roomba i7+. Indeed, the dock for this new generation of Roomba does also include a whole system to automatically empty the dirt bin of the Roomba. This brings home cleaning automation to the next level. But, at the expense of a higher price.

Use a Fleet of Vacuum Robots to Clean Multiple Floors

The most convenient option by far is to use multiple vacuum robots. Assign one cleaning robot and its charging station to every floor of your home. Et voila! No need to carry anything around. The only cons of this solution is the price, since you need to buy multiple robots. But, this can be mitigated by buying cheap vacuum robots such as the Roomba 690.

By choosing a robot that supports scheduling, you basically set it and forget it. Just define your cleaning schedule, and your robotic servants will take care of cleaning your home. You can have different schedules for different floors. So, the robots will operate at different times that best meet your needs on your habits.

Beside being very convenient, having multiple vacuum robots also speeds up the cleaning of your home. Indeed, robots can operate in parallel. As a bonus, you can use your fleet of vacuum robots to speed up the cleaning of a single floor. All you have to do is launching them from different locations or different rooms.

Buy iRobot Roomba 980Buy from Amazon
iRobot Roomba 980
Buy Neato Botvac D7 ConnectedBuy from Amazon
Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Buy iRobot Roomba 690Buy from Amazon
iRobot Roomba 690

Credits: Photo by Chor Hung Tsang on Unsplash

3 Comments

    • Good vacuum robots such as Neato and Roomba have wheels mounted on springs. This allows going over flooring transitions. Thresholds that are less than half an inch high (approx. 1.3 cm) are not a problem. Robotic vacuums can go over higher thresholds if they have round edges.

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