Unboxing & Set Up
Laying eyes on the S6 for the first time was a pleasure. The device is sleek, polished, and all white. It has a nearly flat top, except for a small raised section in its center that contains the laser distance and height sensors. In addition to the vacuum itself, the box includes a water tank, reusable and disposable mop cloths, a mounting plate for the mop cloths, a charging dock, a power cable, and a damp-proof mat that attaches to the charging dock to make sure wet mop cloths don't ruin your floor. The box also includes a replacement air and water filter.
Before you can start cleaning your floor, you'll want to set up the dock to charge the device. Unlike other robot vacuums that direct you to plug in the base and hit the home button on the robot, causing it to make its own way home, you're meant to place the S6 directly on the charging base yourself for the first time. When I did this, I couldn't quite tell if the device was charging. I fiddled around with it for a moment until I heard the vacuum utter "CHARGING" in a cool, would-be female, yet still very much so robotic voice. Okay!
While it's charging, the instructions recommend downloading the Mi Home app (available for Android
). The app unlocks several features like the remote control, scheduled cleaning, and most notably, floor plan zone editing and no-go zones. These will allow you to selectively clean your home. For instance, once set up, you could instruct your device to only clean the bedroom. Or if there's a certain lamp with a complicated base not designed to be easily maneuvered around by a robot vacuum, you can create a "no-go" zone around the lamp so the S6 knows to stay away.
Getting the S6 to work with the app was pretty simple. I had to create a Mi Home account and connect the device to my wifi network, which only took a few steps. Once that was done, we were ready to get cleaning. Tapping the clean icon in the app turns the robot on. It lets out a matter-of-fact "READY TO CLEAN" before turning the motor on and disembarking from the dock. As this happens, the laser distance scanner on top of the device furiously spins, taking in scans of its surroundings. (It completes five 360-degree scans per second!) In the app, a layout of my apartment begins to materialize in real time. Yes, the S6 is observing and creating a damn-near accurate floor plan of my space. Watching the map generate for the first time feels a little like magic.
The Roborock S6 uses laser sensors to create a real-time map of the home layout. In doing this, it can intelligently plan the most efficient cleaning route.Cleaning
True to Roborock's claims, the S6 begins cleaning each section of my apartment by first going around the edges (or perimeter) of the space before then cleaning the middle in a z-shape formation. It performed well on my polished concrete floors, picking up dirt and debris without leaving a trace. I purposefully made a bit of a mess to test its abilities by leaving a pile of peanuts and crushed cheese puffs on the floor. The S6 did a good job picking up my crumbs. To my surprise, the constantly spinning side brush did not make more of a mess by flinging everything around. (Something I've definitely seen other robot vacuums do!)
The mopping feature worked very nicely as well. It requires you to fill up and attach the water tank + mop cloth/mounting plate before you can get started. There's no special switch to flip to enable mopping mode. As soon as the mopping accessories have been installed (the S6 of course announces "WATER TANK INSTALLED"), it's business as usual. I was surprised the instructions didn't advise mopping with some kind of no-rinse cleaning solution, but I didn't want to break anything, so I stuck with water. The results were definitely noticeable and the device didn't leave behind any unsightly streaks on the floor.
On carpet the S6 held its own. You can enable carpet mode in the Mi Home app that allows the vacuum to detect when it's cleaning a carpet, automatically switching the suction to maximum.Everything Else
Overall, I was very happy with the Roborock S6. I didn't allow it to complete a full charge before initiating the first clean, and it had to return to the dock halfway through the cleaning process to recharge. While it was recharging, I stepped out to grab some lunch. I noticed, while I was out, a notification from Mi Home pop up on my phone alerting me that charging had completed and that the S6 was en route to finish its job. I opened up the app and watched the S6 leave the dock and pick up exactly where it left off. When the cleaning was complete, I got another notification that cleaning was complete and the device was returning back to the dock! Pretty cool.
In addition to many of the features I've already mentioned, the app allows you to schedule cleanings, change the level of vacuum suction (ranging from "quiet" to "MAX"), access a digital remote control, install firmware updates, and get information on the health of all the device accessories.Overall
The Roborock S6 seems like a more than solid choice for someone looking for a smarter-than-most autonomous robot vacuum. Its many sensors allows for some unique features that I thought were very useful. The 14 different types of sensors still didn't stop the device from getting stuck on my avant-garde lamp base. So, you may need to add "no go" areas before letting it loose when you're not home (should it get caught in a jam). The ability to instruct it to only clean a specific room is amazingly useful. As someone who hasn't mopped a floor since I moved out of my parents' house before college, the mopping feature is a no-brainer. If these features sound like something your home could use, go ahead and take the jump!The Roborock S6 is now available! Click here to learn more.