Ecovacs Deepoo D76 review

Ecovacs Deepoo (or Deebot) D76 is a member of a very exclusive group of robotic vacuum cleaners: there are only three robots on the market at the moment that come with a dust bin cleaning docking station, and the D76 is one of them. Recently I had the chance to use it for about six week in my house to see how it compares to other, better known products.

In Practice

Ecovacs Deepoo D76 is a randomly wandering robot that goes from wall to wall, and from furniture to furniture. It sometimes switches to spot mode to draw a spiral pattern, or to wall following mode to go somewhere else. The way it goes around reminds me to some other Chinese robots, but I have to admit that the D76 does a superior job to those.

Ecovacs Deepoo D76 on dock

The Ecovacs Deepoo D76 scheduling can be set to a certain time of the day. The bad news is that it will start cleaning at the same time every day. Not even a day exclusion is possible. The good news is that it can handle two times every day, so it can be set to clean in the morning and at the evening as well. It is always weird to see why robot manufacturers cripple their robots with limited scheduling.

The D76 starts with a very sudden motion, and starts cleaning right away. It is not nearly as quiet as the LG Hom-Bot (Roboking), but noticeably quieter than iRoot Roombas. During cleaning, the Deepoo D76 was fairly autonomous. If the room was organized (as it should when a robot is cleaning the house) Deepoo got back to its base almost every single time. It sometimes had trouble with area rugs, and the cable of a cell phone charger laying on the ground was way too tempting not to jam it, but other than that it seemed to be pretty reliable.

The robot cleans for 60 minutes before it starts looking for the charger, and it finds the dock by wandering around. The docking station emits an IR beam that the robot needs to cross to see where to find the station. After crossing, the robot can dock quickly and securely. After docking the dust bin is being emptied what takes about 10 seconds.

Debris collection with the brushes work well, it even picked up a heavy steel ball lost from a toy. Vacuuming works as well, but the narrow cleaning path combined with the relatively short cleaning time (on one charge) limits the capabilities of the robot. It seemed to me that the ~50 sq m (~540 sq ft) was too large for Deepoo D76 to cover nicely with one charge. Thankfully it can run twice a day, what is certainly enough for this and even for slightly bigger houses.

The nice, shiny exterior of the robot becomes a disadvantage quickly as it reveals even the smallest amount of dust on itself.
Power consumption is very reasonable. The dock consumes 500W during that 10 seconds while it is cleaning the dust bin, and only 20W while charging the battery of the robot. When sitting idle, it consumes less than what I could measure with my meter. Charging takes approximately 2 hours.

Problem solving

A good robot is reliable. Not just the way that it doesn't break every other month, but that it will do its job without me going after it every single day. If a robot has to be rescued several times a week, it is not a good robot. The standard to beat here is iRobot Roomba. It might not look smart, but it is the most prepared robot out there. I am not saying that it never gets stuck. It does get trapped in certain situations, but the variety of these situations is a lot less versatile than at other robots. The Deepoo D76 is probably not 100% as good as the Roomba, but it is pretty darn close. It recognizes problems just as well as the Roomba, but not always as good in finding the right movement as its competitor. If the challenging traps, discovered during the first week of operation, are addressed correctly, the Deepoo is one of the most reliable vacuum cleaner on the market.

Infra beams

The robot comes with an IR remote and an IR virtual wall, and also uses infrared beam to find the docking station. All these have worked fine most of the times, but they failed in a few occasions. It had trouble dealing with two IR signals (e.g. dock and remote) at the same time, and I have seen it crossing the virtual wall once. I guess a not 100% fool proof system can be a crucial at some places, so anyone planning to buy this should be aware of this. In our house it wasn't a problem, so it didn't bother me. If IR is not an option we can still use the magnetic stripe as a barrier.

IR beam to help docking

Maintenance

This is the area where the Ecovacs Deepoo D76 shines. When I first installed it, I have run it once almost every day for 3 weeks without touching it. Apart from the few occasions it got stuck on area rags or chocked on cell phone cables, I was free of vacuuming chores during this period. The robot returned to the dock and dumped its content to the larger bin at the dock. I have to admit, that we don't have pets in the house, but both my wife and my daughter have long hair. This has caused trouble to some of the robots, including Roombas, but it caused no problem to the D76. The level of self-sufficiency was very convincing.

Ecovacs Deepoo D76 after 3 weeks

After three weeks I decided to empty the canister of the docking station. It seemed to be full, so it was about time to do it. The amount on the floor doesn't seem to be a lot, but it was a bit more compact than the content of most robots' dust bin. If I had been running the robot twice as I should have, it might have lasted for only two weeks, but compared to the maintenance need of other robots, it is still impressive.

Maintenance of course doesn't stop at emptying the dust bin. The wheels and the brushes also need care, but the D76 excels here as well. After three weeks of cleaning, there was barely any hair on the main brush, what really surprised me. The hair mostly accumulate on the sides of the two sections, while the felt rings at the end of the bar did fairly good job to prevent hair to enter the driving belt area. It wasn't perfect though, so I would recommend everyone to clean this area at least once a month.

The review is not over yet!

Next page: Conclusion

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Comments

after reading this 70% positive and the 8845 70% negative (sort of :p) review, I wonder how it compares to the more expensive/superior samsung model SR8980 which is listed as a competitor.

since theres no p/review for SR8980 yet (and I do hope there will be one :), may I ask if I am to buy one of these two - D76 or SR8980, and my house contains lots of small chairs/lazybeans & my hair's longer than waist, which one shall i buy?

Tibor's picture

I wish I could tell how it compares to the new Samsung robot. Unfortunately I was unable to get hold of an SR8980 yet (but I'm not giving it up). In theory the Samsung is better cleaning the main brush (even less maintenance chores), and can cover larger, more complex areas. On the other hand this robot has a detachable hand held vacuum cleaner as an accessory.

think i'd wait a bit longer perhaps :)

Hi great review!! I would like to buy the D76...but my house is almost 125m^2 with 6 rooms + bathroom...do you think it will be able to clean my house with 2 runs in a day? Should I go for a roomba 581 with 3 lighthouses for almost the same price? I must admit I like d76 more than roomba...but I need something usefulll...how would you schedule d76 for cleaning a big house like mine? thank you

Coul d76 be able to clean a 125 m^2 house with 6 rooms and a bathroom, with 2 runs? Should go for Roomba 581 and 3 lighthouses? Better a mapping vaccum robot with inferior vaccum standards and worst cleaning capability, but with resuming?

I like d76 very much but I'm scared thinking about its short cleaning time....thank you again

Tibor's picture

In theory the D76 should be able to do it, but for that size of a house I would go for the Roomba with two light houses (to do the room to room navigation). With the Roomba you will have more maintenance to do, but you will end up with a cleaner house in all 125 sq m.

thank you for your kindness! One more question: do you think/know D76 has something similar to roomba AI, I mean they are random path robots but Irobots can map real time, not like samsung ones, the environment calculating rooms dimensions from collisions...does D76 have something like that? Is it possible, speaking about all random path robots, that they will eventually miss a room simply because of bad luck in finding an open spot (door entrance)?

Again thank you

Tibor's picture

First of all, iRobots calculate very little from collisions. I wouldn't call that mapping. They make a wild guess from the frequency of the collisions to the size of the room. I didn't notice that with the D76, but I wouldn't say it has nothing like that.
In theory, yes, randomly moving robots can miss a room in very large houses, but in case of iRobot it is very unlikely. If it happens on Tuesday, it will probably not happen on Wednesday, so the room will miss cleaning for only 1 day. Probably not a big deal in most houses.
On the other hand, Samsung robots have real mapping (SLAM) functionality, although the older models were not as refined as they should have been.

I've seen somewhere that Samsung's 8980 has a HEPA filter. How does the D76's anti-germ filter compare to HEPA?

Tibor's picture

The D76 comes with a normal filter. It is not HEPA grade. AntiGerm does not filter out tiny particles.

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