Thinking about my childhood, I never thought that one day much of the housework would be automated. I’m not that old, but I did have to do all of my chores the hard way (at least what I thought back then was the hard way).
Even though we did have a dishwasher, I wasn’t allowed to use it and had to wash dishes by hand. Plus, mopping was done on my hands and knees instead of with a mop. But hey, if it weren’t for me learning things the hard way, I don’t think I’d appreciate the easier way of doing things, let alone know how to actually do these things when machines and appliances fail.
Now it’s 2016 and we have gadgets like the iLife V5 Pro Intelligent Robotic Vacuum Cleaner to help make things in the home even more automated. This quiet 2-in-1 robotic vacuum is controlled by a simple and very handy remote control. It can be used as a vacuum and a wet mop thanks to the “mop cloth” that attaches (via velcro) to the bottom of the vacuum. Here’s an in-depth look at its many features.
What’s in the Box
There are quite a few things that come neatly packed in the V5 Pro’s box:
Main Body – The round body has three wheels that allow it to roll around hard floors and low/hard carpets effortlessly. There are two non-rotating wheels and a “nose wheel” at the front that helps it to turn.
Charging Home Base – This is where the vacuum goes to charge and where it remains until you’re ready to use it. When in “Auto Clean” mode it will go here automatically when the battery gets low. However, you can always force it to go home by pressing the “Home” button on the remote.
Remote Control – The small, easy-to-use remote is how you control the robotic vacuum (details below). The two AAA batteries needed to power it are included.
Adapter – The adapter plugs powers the Charging Home Base by plugging into the side of it. If there is ever an issue with the base, you can plug this adapter directly into the vacuum itself (details below).
Cleaning Tool – A cleaning brush is conveniently included and is great for cleaning underneath the vacuum.
User Manual – A detailed manual helps you get up and running with the robotic vacuum and provides some very handy illustrations.
Extra Side Brushes – The two side brushes towards the front of the vacuum help to pull in dirt and other things on the floor. They constantly rotate while the vacuum is in action. There are two extras in the box.
Extra HEPA Filter – The robotic vacuum uses a filter to help remove pollutants in the air, which is great if you suffer from allergies or asthma. There is already one inside the vacuum and an extra is included for good measure.
Water Tank – Besides the dust bin that comes inside the vacuum (simply push down on the top of the vacuum to access it), a .3L water tank is included as well. It uses a “self-help ooze water” design for mopping floors; you can use soap and water or a floor cleaner.
Extra Mop Cloth – This removable mop cloth can be used with the water tank to wet mop the floor. It’s also machine washable which is great since it can get dirty. There is one included on the vacuum but the extra one is sure to come in handy.
Controlling the Robotic Vacuum
Once you turn on the power switch on the side of the vacuum (this should remain on at all times and is required to use it), you’re ready to control it. The remote control is the key to controlling the vacuum, and it has a small, digital display screen that shows the current time and daily scheduled vacuum time (should you set one).
Here are the buttons on the remote and each use.
Directional Buttons – These are used to force the vacuum to change direction. Even though it moves on its own, sometimes you may want it to go to a specific area or don’t want it in a specific area. In this case it’s probably best to block off the area, but if you’re going to be around, you can use these to direct it away.
Clean Button – This button has a few functions – mainly, pressing it while the vacuum is in the Charging Home Base starts the “Auto Cleaning” mode. While the vacuum is cleaning, you can press this to temporarily stop it from cleaning and then press it again to start back. If you stop it for too long it will go into sleep mode; in that case, pressing this again will wake up the vacuum, and one final press will start the cleaning mode again.
Plan Button – This button is used to set a specific time each day to automatically start the vacuum. This is also why the Clock Button is important. This button is used to set the correct time, which is what the vacuum will go by when automatically starting each day.
Spot and Edge Buttons – These are two more cleaning modes that can be very handy. The Spot Button (bottom left) allows you to put the robot directly on a spot, such as wasted salt or a spilled drink. It will clean just that spot and then stop once nothing else is detected. It’s not 100% accurate but still pretty impressive. The Edge Button (bottom right) is for when you want it to clean just along the edge of the walls. It will go along the edge until it reaches the end and then find the next edge. It will keep doing this until you stop it.
Home Button – Finally, this is how you send it to the Charging Home Base manually. If you press the Clean Button and leave it alone, it will eventually go back to its home base once the battery gets low. However, you can stop it early by pressing this button.
Charging the Robotic Vacuum
The Charging Home Base is the best way to charge the robotic vacuum; the internal battery has a 2600mAh capacity. If for some reason the home base is malfunctioning, you can connect the adapter directly to the V5 Pro via the port on the side next to the power switch.
On arrival, you’ll want to charge the vacuum overnight. After that it only takes a few hours to charge it – charging time will depend on how long the vacuum is in use. If are just vacuuming fifteen to twenty minutes and sending it home, it will charge in no time.
There are blue LED indicators on top that blink while it’s charging, and there are three battery levels: one LED on each side (almost dead), two LED on each side (moderately charged), three LED on each side (almost full or fully charged). When they’re no longer blinking, you know that it’s fully charged.
Although I’ve barely scratched the surface of the iLife V5 Pro Intelligent Robotic Vacuum Cleaner’s features, here are the things that make it so intelligent.
- Anti-Collision System: It has sensors all around it that help it to detect furniture and other items around your home. When it detects something in the way, it turns on its own.
- Intelligent Drop Avoidance Induction: There are IR sensors at the bottom that detect high gaps (ie. staircases) which will stop it from falling/dropping and cause it to change direction.
- OBS Sensors: There is one wall sensor and five IR receivers on the body.
- Slim Design: Its slim design (7mm) allows it to work in narrow spaces, corners, and underneath some furniture items.
- Less Than 50db Low Noise Design: It’s noticeably quieter than a regular vacuum cleaner. Even my pet rabbit, who is disturbed by most sounds, wasn’t bothered by it – this says a lot.
- 850pa Strong Suction: Easy adsorption of dust, hair, and paper reduce the pollution of PM2.5.
A Few Cons
While the V5 Pro works great, I did find a few cons worth noting.
- Better on hard floors: While it has great suction, it works best on hard floors. There are just some things on the carpet that it tends to miss like lint, pet hair, and things of that nature.
- No off timer: Even though the automatic timer is great, you can only set a time for the vacuum to automatically start, not end. If your home isn’t that large, it’s just going to keep going over the same area for approx 2 hours – unless you’re at home to stop it.
- Can’t set boundaries: While I love the wet mop feature, I have a living room that is open to the dining room and kitchen. There’s no door to separate the two, so the vacuum will go back and forth between the two areas. If I want to use the wet mop feature, I have to block off the living room since there’s no way to actually set a boundary for the vacuum to stay in.
- Detection of low items iffy: While the vacuum is great at detecting tall items (furniture, appliances, walls), it’s not so great at detecting low items. For instance, it often runs into my dog’s food bowl, my feet, and other small/lower items.
Even though the iLife V5 Pro Intelligent Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is something my parents would not approve of when I was a child, I’m sure they’d welcome the convenience of it now. I sure do! With an operating time of 120 to 150 minutes, lots of handy features and accessories, and the fact that it’s so easy to use, it’s perfect for any home. The included water tank for wet mopping is also a nice bonus.
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