Product: Moneual Rydis MR6550 Hybrid Robot Cleaner / Dry Mop
Price: $399.99 ($299.99 Amazon)
A fellow design blogger and I recently got into a discussion about robot vacuums, where she deemed them "totally unnecessary", a solution already solved by a regular vacuum and some good ole elbow grease. And do you know what? I totally agree. That being said, I also believe robotic vacuum devices are the future, especially in regards to the growing demographic of elderly and two income households (not to mention for people who just hate to clean). Ironically, I love vacuuming and cleaning the floors, so I was curious how I would feel about having a floor cleaning sidekick for a few weeks...
The Rydis also filters incoming air using a high-efficiency filter to remove 99.5% particulates; sadly it is not an actual HEPA-rated cleaner. The package is completed with a battery powered room indicator unit to keep the Rydis out of certain areas, while a charging base station welcomes back the citron robot when charging is needed. Users can also clamp on detachable microfiber cleaning pad for hardwood, tile, or linoleum cleaning duties, but I kept this off in our mixed surface apartment during testing.
Setting up the unit for scheduled cleaning is sort of a hazy affair. Instead of inputting a specific scheduled time, users press the ambiguous "RESERVE" button on the included remote while the unit is on to designated a scheduled time, thus you're limited to a single time every day. A display on the top of the Rydis illuminates when settings are input, but I would have preferred a more straightforward clock program indication. Nevertheless, there is an internal clock mechanism within, because lo and behold, each morning the vacuum would begin cleaning with vim and vigor while I was still waiting for my second morning cup of coffee to kick in.
The "smart" technology didn't exhibit all too much intelligence though, a few times requiring rescue from a corner it found itself perpetually stuck in, and one time down and out after sucking in the corner of a bed spread. This brings up an important caveat: ideally all robotic vacuums are best suited in rooms with tidy floors free of cords, cables, hanging upholstery, and miscellaneous items that can tangle into the machines. And despite being equipped with collision sensors, watching the Rydis cleaning could sometimes prove more stress-inducing than one would expect from a device designed to make life easier; its random cleaning algorithm seemed too unpredictable, with the Rydis often skipping spots you'd hope it would "see" (the absence of a debris sensor is probably at fault).
In spite of any deficiencies, there was no doubt normally dirtier high traffic spots like our rug near our rear entry were noticeably cleaner day to day than without the aid of the Rydis. Pet owners will especially benefit from the Rydis when used daily, and I was frankly shocked at how much pet hair and dust was revealed every outing. My better half liked the Rydis enough she insisted we name it (I'd like to call it "Carson" after the butler from in Dowton Abbey).
Pros: Surprisingly powerful cleaning on both (low) carpets and hard surface, slim design lets the Rydis get to most sections of a room, "Shadow Cleaning Mode" is great for dusty bunny removal, handy remote control allows for manual mode, rated for 3 years of use every day before lithium iron phosphate battery needs replacement.
Cons: No debris sensor or true HEPA filtration, the "smart" sensor doesn't always seem so bright, not ideal for cluttered or messy homes, and you'll still need to really vacuum.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.