iRova KK8 Review: How smart and how dumb is it?

My initial expectation of this robotic vacuum cleaner might not be that smart compare to more expensive brands like iRobot, Neato, LG or Samsung. After a week of observation, this is what I can summarize.

How smart is it?

Apparently, the iRova KK8 is pretty smart. Other than bouncing off an obstacle and walls, this iRova KK8 can:
  1. Detects a dirtier area and automatically switches to Spot Cleaning Mode until the area is clean enough. It has a built in dust sensor located at the vacuum intake passage to detect the density of dust passing through. 
  2. Return to its docking station from a different room. I observe that it will do a 360 degrees scan to look for its docking station. If the docking station is not found, it will move around and run the scan again to look for its docking station. 
  3. Detects a cliff and move away to avoid falling down. 
  4. Be controlled of its movement using the remote control. Using the direction buttons on the remote control, I can control the iRova KK8 just like controlling a remote controlled cars. 
  5. Be scheduled to run daily at a preset time. Only daily schedule can be set. The schedule will be deleted if the power switch located at the bottom of the iRova KK8 is switched off. 

How dumb is it?

Comparing to well-known robotic vacuum brands such as iRobot, Neato, LG Home Bot, Samsung Navibot and etc:
  1. It does not know when to stop cleaning even if it already cover all floor space. This is due to lack of a mapping system to keep track of it cleaning progress. 
  2. It needs to knock on obstacle or walls to indicate it's a no go. Some brands does not even need to knock on walls to know it’s a wall. Because of this "feature", it bulldoze over light items like empty dust bins, toys or even chairs. 
  3. I notice that the battery charger is not a smart charger. I am guessing it's a timer based charger. I notice that when I was starting it from its fully charge state from its docking station just to clean a spot using remote control. After a minute, I press the home button to return to its docking station. An hour after it docks on the docking station, the charging indicator is still on showing it's still charging. If it was a smart charger, it will stop charging in minutes after return to docking station. I guess the charger is programed to charge for 300 minutes whenever it docks. To prevent overcharging due to short use of this iRova KK8, don't charge it unless it tells you that it's battery level is low. 
  4. Although it can be schedule to run at a preset time but there is only one setting which is daily setting. I wish that it can set the day, weekly or even multiple time in a day to run. 
  5. It doesn't know how to fry some eggs, do laundry or clean my toilets. If it can do that, it's perfect. 

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