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Hands-on with the SwitchBot S10 robot vacuum mop

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After previewing its newest robotic invention earlier this month, SwitchBot formally launched the S10 robot vacuum and mop at IFA 2023 in Berlin final week. The $1,199.99 bot, coming to Kickstarter in October, options an automated water refill station that does away with the cumbersome water tanks housed in big auto-empty docks which have change into the hallmark of top-of-the-line ground cleaners from Roborock, Ecovacs, and so on.

Not like these fashions that clear and dry their soiled mops in a small “sink” within the dock, the SwitchBot S10 has an inner curler brush mop that it cleans utilizing a squeegee technique because it vacuums. This implies no standing water or scuzzy mop left to get smelly.

Anybody who owns a robotic vacuum will inform you they aren’t completely hands-free. You must clear and keep them, and these new big multi-purpose docks that wash the robotic’s mops can get actually grungy. After a number of months of use, it’s a must to get down in your knees and scrub the dock with a little bit brush for those who don’t need it to scent like a sewer. There’s no enjoyable in that.

SwitchBot says its S10 solves this drawback by successfully conserving all of the water and mess out of sight (and scent).

At $1,200 MSRP, the S10 is round $400 cheaper than opponents’ related choices, nevertheless it’s the corporate’s first foray into robotic vacuum cleaners. With 6,500pa suction energy, lidar navigation, and AI-powered impediment avoidance, it has the hallmarks of a top-of-the-line bot, however will it ship?

The detachable and replaceable curler mop concurrently scrubs and washes, performing a self-clean 300 instances per minute.

I received a take a look at the S10 in motion on the present ground in Berlin. Essentially the most acquainted half is the auto-empty dock, which prices the robotic and empties the bin. It’s compact and appears like many of the auto-empty bases that don’t additionally cram in water tanks for mopping. The principle distinction is 2 little dryer vents that sit on the dock’s base and blast scorching air on the S10’s mop when charging.

SwitchBot has a separate water station as a substitute of these massive water tanks. This compact battery-powered pump delivers water out of your pipes into the robotic and drains soiled water into your sewer. The station solely makes use of a small quantity of battery to energy the pump and is able to being reverse-charged by the robotic.

These vents on the underside of the SwitchBot auto-empty dock blow scorching air on the mop when the vacuum is docked.

Sean Tan of SwitchBot confirmed me a demo of the S10 sucking up oatmeal after which depositing it into its auto-empty bin. It then used the separate water station to fill itself up and drain the water out after the mop was soiled.

The refill course of — utilizing a pair of water bottles standing in for the shortage of plumbing on a commerce present ground — was clean and fast. After including some coloured liquid to the detachable mop to simulate grime, the robotic spun its motor, cleaned the mop, and drained the soiled water right into a second bottle.

The forthcoming SwitchBot Humidifier (proper) subsequent to the water station. The S10 will have the ability to refill the humidifier with water from the station.

The mop itself is plush and spongey, however there’s a restricted quantity of floor space touching the ground and no oscillating motion, so I’m skeptical about how efficient it is going to be at scrubbing the ground.

The robotic itself can also be big and really heavy. It felt round twice as heavy and possibly half as massive once more as one thing just like the Roomba j7 Plus, so could also be awkward to choose up and transfer round. That weight is essentially because of the massive battery the bot has on board, which SwitchBot plans to make use of to assist facilitate the S10 refilling a brand new humidifier and, sooner or later, drain a dehumidifier the corporate is engaged on.

The potential for a roving robotic with a giant battery and water on board to assist round the home is kind of intriguing. However the firm must get the S10 out the door first; it is releasing the vacuum on Kickstarter on October thirteenth. I’ll try it out and have a full overview within the coming months.

Photographs and video by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

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