The modern world of technology has changed quite a few tasks throughout our daily life. The invention of products like dishwashers and electric ovens seems to have affected how we do chores for the better. One of the tasks that seem to have been made easier over the past decade is cleaning floors.
This is because many homes have now invested in robot vacuums. With a push of a button, these simple and convenient devices allow them to begin cleaning carpets or even hardwood floors without our assistance. But what happens when they encounter stairs? In this brief article, we’ll take a look at the answer to that question and much more. So, let’s get right to it!
Robot Vacuums – How Do They Work?
These vacuums are designed with sensors that should prevent them from going anywhere near a set of stairs or ledges. This is achieved by a small microprocessor that sends data to the brain of the devices. The data allows the vacuum to change its cleaning path to avoid danger.
Along with this, most of them are outfitted with several small infrared sensors underneath the main part of the body that keeps the device from bumping into obstacles as it follows its cleaning path. To be doubly sure that the device won’t take a dive down the stairs, most units will stop and analyze the data when they come against a set of stairs. This is done to make sure there is no chance of the vacuum falling down the stairs.
Defining Their Cleaning Path
We mentioned the cleaning path, and so we thought we would take a brief look at how the robot vacuum defines its path. The infrared sensors and other sensors are all a key part of this process. When first out of the box, you will have to do a little setup, and this starts by following the instructions and turning on the devices. These sensors will then begin plotting out the path. Typically, this begins with it following a spiral path from its docking station.
The path will then, for most models, change to a straight path. It will follow this path until it runs into something. This process will continue until it needs to recharge or it finishes the room. The good news is that all robot vacuum models come with a program that helps handle stairs, so there is never an accident.
Can You Count on the Cliff Sensors?
One of the features included in the design of these home electronic devices is the cliff sensor. This is the sensor we talked about that stops the vacuum from falling down the stairs. Like with any other electronic device, there is always room for malfunction. This is why in order to ensure the sensors work properly, you will need to clean them. If they get dirty, they may not be able to receive the data properly and may not detect the drop off of stairs.
So how often do you need to clean your sensor? Well, that all depends on how often you use your robot vacuum and the amount of dust present in the environment. Of course, there are other factors that might cause issues. Things like the color of your carpet or floor can affect the sensor too.
For instance, if you have a dark-colored carpet or flooring, your vacuum might think it is coming up to some stairs. So in order to make sure your sensor allows for your vacuum to keep from falling down the stairs, then you might want to clean it after every other use at least.
So, What About Stairs?
For those homes that do have stairs to worry about, there will be a need to vacuum both floors, but very few people want to invest in multiple robot vacuums. You can, however, purchase two docking stations and simply carry the vacuum up and down the stairs to make sure everything is nice and clean.
For those concerned with just one floor and not having their robot vacuum always falling down the stairs, you can also do a couple of other things to keep that from happening. You can utilize the programs that come in the devices that are called a virtual wall. This sends data to the system that defines the space around the stairs as a wall and will keep it from taking a trip down them.
Along with this, you can also use stationary objects like a children’s gate or even furniture to block the route. In the end, these fantastic little machines can be pretty helpful, and as long as you keep everything maintained, they should work well.
So as you can see, the answer of whether robot vacuums fall down the stairs is not a clear-cut one. They are designed with features that are intended to keep them from finding their way to the bottom of the stairs. But that doesn’t ensure it may never happen. These sensors, like every other piece of technology, are fallible. They can have issues with carpet color, and then there are, of course, the issues that arise when the sensors are dirty.
For the most part, though, as long as you maintain the device and keep it clean, you should have no problem with this issue. Basically, make sure your device is clean on the inside for proper performance. Also, make sure the exterior is clean too so that you can turn it on with confidence that you won’t end up having to take it to the repair shop every time you use it because it encounters some stairs.
We are sure as time passes, the future models of robot vacuums may address these issues as well, so it might be well worth it to invest in newer technology every now and then. We hope that this article has answered your question and given you some insight into the inner workings of your robot vacuum.