For the past two months I’ve been living with a robotic servant. It’s not quite Rosie the Robot Maid from the Jetsons, instead it’s the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930, a robot vacuum cleaner.
The Ozmo 930 was announced late last year with Alexa support, and after receiving Google Home integration this year, we thought we’d take a look at it. After all, being able to kick off your vacuuming with your voice is part of the smart home dream right?
Priced at $1,299 from Harvey Norman this little robot is a wet & dry solution for keeping your home clean, with a built-in reservoir and accompanying pad for the bottom that lets it both vacuum your house and mop it.
What’s in the box?
The contents of the box are fairly straightforward, you get your Deebot Ozmo 930, a charging station (with built-in power cable) and a bunch of paperwork including quick setup guide. You also get a mopping pad, complete with a spare microfibre cloth you can interchange as you need to and wash them, and a spare filter.
For the environmentally conscious the packaging is mostly cardboard instead of foam, so you can recycle that, and a cloth bag surrounds the vacuum to protect it in transit. There is a piece of foam around the edge, too.
Setup, Installation and Use
The setup and installation of the Deebot Ozmo 930 is relatively simple. The quickstart guide takes you through fairly plainly in pictures how (and where) to attach a couple of brushes to the bottom, and then fill the reservoir and attach the mopping pad – although you’ll need to remove it for the mapping component of setup which the Ozmo will let you know to do.
All in all, it’s all pretty easy, which is what you want from a robot vacuum cleaner.
The dock for the Ozmo 930 does take a little space, it requires a clear space with 50cm either side and 1.5m in front. To this end, we set up Ozmo in our dining room after clearing the table to the side for the review period.
There’s a four hour charge time for the Deebot Ozmo 930, it’s pretty easy to do, sit the unit on the charging dock – aligning the huge charging contacts is easy – and let it sit there. Once it’s charged it’s time to get smart – and that means you’ll need an app.
To setup the vacuum cleaner you lift the panel on the top, and slide the power switch to the right, at which point you’ll see lights, and a few seconds later get a pleasant startup sound. There’s a reset button below the power switch – hold that in for more than five seconds and you’ll reset it back to factory settings if this all fails.
Once setup in the app, Ozmo – as we took to calling it – announced it was off to clean, and off it went, mapping the area we’d set it up in.
Ecovacs includes “SMART NAVI technology” in the Ozmo, which incorporates lasers and other sensors for mapping, and avoiding any obstacles. The Ozmo 930 can navigate bumps up to 1cm, which meant it could transition from our tiles to the rug with nary an issue, but if you have any substantial thresholds in your home it may cause issues.
We did limit the Ozmo to our front rooms, as our 7-year olds play room is enough to send us humans into a lather avoiding toys strewn across the floor, let alone a robot vacuum cleaner.
This is a warning that you will need to do a quick once over to ensure that nothing is really left laying around – socks, shoes, toys etc. you know, the usual detritus a child (or just me being lazy) leaves laying around.
The app alerts you with a ‘suspended’ warning if the Ozmo does encounter something like an errant matchbox car – but for the most part it was smooth sailing.
We found our little area was able to be cleaned around 3-4 times with usual foot traffic before we needed to empty the dust/lint trap, an exercise that’s rather easy to do.
The big drawcard for me was the integration with both Google Home and Alexa. After the update, and the usual setup in the Alexa (and installing the skill) or Google Assistant app, you can then use your voice to tell the Ozmo to start cleaning, stop cleaning or go charge itself.
Setup on this side of things is quite easy for both. Enable the skill with your account in Amazon and then link to your Ecovacs account and you’re away. Same for Google Home, enable that Smart Home Control and you’re away.
I’ve been tending to find Alexa is a little easier – and faster – to respond to commands overall, and the vacuum does respond fairly quickly. There’s not much else to say on this one, the integration works well on both.
The Clean – is it effective?
As a new convert to robot vacuum cleaners I was admittedly sceptical when it came to essentially abandoning my usual vacuum cleaner and mop in favour of this, but I can admit I was wrong.
The floors – both tiles and rug – are clean.
The two brushes you clip in during install allow the Ozmo to get right into the nooks and crannies of your home, and despite it’s round shape it really does get in everywhere. The low profile of the Deebot Ozmo – it’s just over 10cm tall – allows it to slip under the coffee table where even most humans skip except on occasion.
The mop is pretty decent too, giving the tiles a good once over – and of course with the app you can actually target Ozmo to the specific area needing some extra attention. But it does struggle a bit on really heavy stains, but for a basic day-to-day clean, it works well.
Ozmo is also pretty quiet. You get a hum as she moves around the floor, but it’s actually less intrusive than the larger vacuum units, though they may give your carpets a deeper clean, but at a surface level they definitely look clean.
Should you buy one?
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930 is my first real interaction with robot vacuum cleaners. As a standard though, Ecovacs has set a high bar which I imagine may be hard to beat. It cleans well, it’s easy to setup and you have a lot of control over the vacuum cleaner even while you’re not in the house.
The $1,299 price tag is fairly substantial though, and there-in lies the question of whether it’s worth outlaying that much money compared to some of the fairly cheap ones you can import – but that’s also a bigger question, should you import? Vacuum cleaners can and do break down, so a local warranty, like that supplied by Ecovacs is definitely an advantage.
The quality of the unit though is unquestionable, it’s easy to use and maintain, and for my money I’m off to Harvey Norman to get one when they take this review unit away.