Smart home technology is fast becoming a necessity for modern living from – smart video doorbells to the robotic vacuum cleaners, we have come very far. But do these smart gadgets actually work and make your life easier? Here our very own Meghan Pollock from the Homefocus team reviews the Vorwerk Kobold VR300, to find out if the latest technology in the robotic vacuum cleaner lives up to expectations…
I know that the robotic vacuum cleaner has taken off in other countries – in the USA and Scandinavia in particular – but no-one I know has one, to be frank. So I thought I'd take the leap and try one out for myself.
I wasn’t expecting the Vorwerk Kobold VR300 to be able to keep up with the hair left over from animals, and even from myself! How wrong I was.
Setting up the Kobold is quick and easy – in fact I would go so far as to say it’s idiot-proof because even I did it within 10 minutes without asking for help from a more technically minded person. The robot has the familiar D-shaped design, which I thought was much more efficient as other robotic vacuums we have tested have all been circular and therefore failed when it came to corners. With this design I felt that there was nowhere for the dust to hide!
The size of this is a major advantage as it can fit under most couches – it's only 90mm high. A combination of a brush and a rubber fin on its underside rotates at 1800rpm to gather up the dirt, which is then sucked up into the bin.
A pop-up handle at the back makes the robot easy to carry and it’s easier to spot. The Kobold connects to your home Wi-Fi and the app is a clever way to manage the schedule and use of your vacuum.
I set it to vacuum once a day, at 9.30am after every one had left for work, and my cats are settled as they do have a habit of chasing the hover round.
You can set the Kabold off on an extra clean if, for example, you’ve just had a spillage and need immediate action you can pick it up with the handle and move it to where ever you need it to be.
You can also check on its care. So if the bin is full, or the debris extractors need cleaning, the app will alert you. To empty the bin compartment you’ll see a small cut-out, which is the exact size of the nozzle on the upright vacuum cleaner the Vorwerk Kobold VK200. Just put the nozzle into this and you can suck the dirt out of the bin.
But what happens if you don't have a Vorwerk Kobold VK200? Don’t worry, you can pull the bin out, move the filter and tap it out as normal.
This equipment is amazing – just like a child your vacuum needs to learn the same and map out your house so it knows where to go and not go during its clean. All of this is done very easily via the app. Once the vacuum has mapped your floor, the work can begin.
During its clean I was asked by my partner 'What happens if it goes where its not meant to?' – no problem! You can draw no-go areas on the map via the app, this means there will be no need to get up and check if the vacuum cleaner has got stuck, you can just leave it to get on with its job. For those who think 'well surely that takes up a lot of power?' – think again. From the app, you can put the robot into Eco mode, which cuts suction power but improves your battery life.
I got asked a lot well how loud is the robotic vacuum cleaner? If you think, a normal vacuum cleaner is so loud you can't have a conversation unless you switch it off. Well it's loud enough that you can hear it, but you can have a conversation while the vacuum cleaner is doing its thing which is an added bonus. If I set the Kobold VR300 to clean in the dining room and had the TV on in the lounge, for example, the vacuum wasn't even noticeable. Which was one of the biggest bonuses for me as my two kittens weren't even phased by the noise.
Overall I was very impressed by the Kobold VR300 and it's something I would definitely invest in as it's convenient, easy to use and doesn't scare my animals which is always a bonus. It is a great piece of technology and if you're looking to take the step to buying one in the future I can't recommend this enough.
For more information or more innovate products and to see the whole range please visit https://www.vorwerk.co.uk/kobold/home/