Miele has officially entered the robot market! If you're thinking Rosie, the live-in robot from the old Jetson's cartoon, you're on the right track, but probably getting ahead of yourself a little. No, I'm talking about a Miele robot vacuum cleaner. As the first of its kind, the Miele RX1 Scout robotic vacuum is packed with the innovation, advanced features and cleaning ability that has made Miele a popular name in both the luxury appliance and healthy cleaning markets.
_Before I get into the specifics of the Miele Scout, it's worth taking a few moments to take a look at other robot vacuum cleaners on the market. Everyone remembers the Roomba, right? These little guys were popular gifts that would bounce around the house cleaning as they went. This type of robot vacuum is not, however, very efficient at actually cleaning. With any robovac, there has always been a disparity between the cleaning ability of it and a traditional upright or canister. Beyond this, most robotic vacuums use a ‘chaos’ navigation system. This means, the will head off it some direction until they bump into something, then reorient themselves and go bumbling off in some other random direct. The entirely random or chaotic nature of their movement IS their cleaning pattern. This often leaves spots uncleaned or areas where the vacuum may clean multiple times.
Run time has also been a concern with automatic vacuums. Rechargeable battery technology has advanced quite a bit since their commercial inception in 2002. In turn, so has the run time of these vacs and the lifespan of the batteries.
_The Miele RX1 Scout displays advances in both of these trouble areas and showcases a few additional features that make it a unique addition to any home. First, instead of the ‘chaos navigation’ or using ultrasound, the Scout uses an array of seven sensors and an integrated ceiling camera to determine its exact position. So while it cleans, this Smart Navigation allows it to map out where it's been and where it still needs to clean. This dramatically improves upon older navigation systems and ensures that your entire floor is cleaned. And as far as the ceiling came goes, no, it's not spying on you! I uses the cam for positioning only, and mapping data is not stored after the Scout is finished cleaning.
In addition to the advanced navigation, the gyro and other sensors keep the Miele RX1 from actually hitting objects in your home. It can sense furniture, walls and even steps to avoid collisions and unexpected falls. If only toddlers were this well trained…. A soft rubber bumper surrounds the Scout, so should something unexpected happen, there won't be any scuffs or marks as a reminder.
The way the Scout cleans is by combining suction, a turbobrush, and two soft brushes that looks like little arms spinning out in front of the machine, pulling in dirt, pet hair and debris. Debris and mess is picked up and stored in an easy-to-empty bin, and while the Scout does lack the power of a traditional Miele vacuum, it does come equipped with a Miele AirClean filter to trap microparticles and allergens. The RX1 offers up around two hours of continuous service (or 1600 sq. ft.) before it will quietly return to its charging dock. After another two hours, the Scout and its lithium ion battery are ready to go again!
In addition to automatic cleaning, the Miele Scout also has Corners, Spot and Turbo modes. A well-lit LCD display on the top lets you know what mode the Scout is operating in as well as the time, and an included remote gives you complete control of the Scout.
It's good to keep in mind that the Scout is NOT a replacement for your regular vacuum cleaner. A weekly deep cleaning with your standard Miele is still a good idea, but the Scout makes for a great everyday, maintenance vacuum. For someone like me, who has all smooth floors and a dog, the Scout is the ideal way to clean up dog hair and dirt while I'm at work. It keeps me from having to use a dust mop each day, and at the end of the week, I still use my regular Miele canister to give the house a good, thorough cleaning. The Scout also makes a neat gift for that hard to buy for person in your life or for the ‘gadget’ person who is always looking for the latest and greatest. Overall, the Miele RX1 Scout robotic vacuum has a lot to offer, and don't worry about carpet. It does clean carpet and rugs too!
The Scout should be hitting shelves in just a couple weeks (expect them to start shipping by the last week in June), so until then you can visit our Miele RX1 Scout vacuum cleaner page to view a video of the Scout and to see more images.
_Author: K. Gilmore