LG Hom-Bot Square vacuum cleaner review

After launching the previous generation in a few select countries, the latest version of the Hom-Bot line is becoming available in more and more markets. It is time for our very detailed review.

Design

Similar to the other big Korean brand LG also knows how important design is in case of household appliances. It seems that LG did everything it could to approve this. The previous model was already rather elegant but the current device is even more spectacular. Red is not really my color but this claret tone with the shiny coat is really impressive. On the sides of the robot we find a black plastic edge on which the damages caused by operation can be hardly seen.

The elegant cover is not disrupted with a big screen or impressive buttons. The control panel is built in the flipping upper part which also hides the dust container. When the robot is turned off the panel cannot be seen. The four touch sensitive areas are also only signed by the painted lanes which outline the buttons. LG seems to pay a lot of attention to design. Clearly their aim was to create the most modern looking device on the market. The camera, which points to the ceiling and helps the robot in navigation, is situated on the upper front part of the machine.


The large dust container is located under the flip-up door that I mentioned before. The door is easy to open with a slight press on it. The dust container can be pulled out with the folding handle. The shape differs from the form of the previous version and the container is also bigger (it increased from 0.45 liter to 0.6 liter) but the structure remained the same. The cleaning brush that can be attached to the top of the container is a quite clever idea. The inlet of the container is protected by a thin plastic sheet which keeps the collected dust inside.


For emptying the container its whole top can be open which is not the best but not the worst design either what I have seen so far. To tell the truth the door which opens along the short edge causes the uncomfortable usage.


However the structure of the filter system is exceptional. On the way to the HEPA filter the dust and the dirt are first trapped by a plastic net with big holes on it (actually this is the lattice side of the container) and later by a sponge. This way the dust cannot block the HEPA filter right away what helps to maintain the efficient operation of the vacuum cleaner. Of course this system was already used by the previous model too. The innovation this time is the hanging plastic sheet in front of the filter which traps all the bigger debris and prevents those to cover the filter.

Under the cover beside the dust container we also find a USB port which will be supposedly used for maintenance purposes. The robot has no built-in handle therefore we need both of our hands to lift it up securely from the floor.

On the front this time we only find three ultrasonic sensors instead of the previous five (most likely because of the less curved shape). The role of these sensors is to inform the robot about the exact location of the coming obstacles. The advantage of the ultrasonic system over the infrared sensor is that it doesn’t only see that an obstacle is in a particular distance (mostly 1-2 cm from the robot) but it can also determine the exact distance of the next object. This way it is much easier for the robot to localize the obstacles in the room.

The bottom of the robot doesn’t seem to be unusual at first sight however if we look closely we find a few innovations here as well.


The drive is provided by the two larger wheels on the sides, while the caster wheel on the front and the fix axle wheel on the back support the balance. The two metal contacts next to the caster wheel provide the connection between the robot and the docking station to support the charging.

The 7 cm long brushes overreach the edges of the robot, therefore it is not only able to clean next to the furniture but it also reaches the corners of the room.


The 16.5 cm long roller brush is situated under a lattice which is easy to open. The roller brush and the side brushes are driven by the same motor. Although it can be seen as a limitation, I think it is a great idea.


The second camera, which tracks the motion of the robot inch by inch, is hidden on the right side of the back wheel. As a matter of fact it is not really a camera only a sensor, the same which is used in a computer mouse. Next to the gyroscope and the top camera it is an additional feedback about the robots movement compared to the ground. Its advantage over the top camera (which scans the ceiling) that it operates perfectly in the dark but obviously not on every surface. The combination of technologies chosen by LG perfectly complement each other, therefore the robot operates well in nearly every situation.

On the bottom front part of the robot we also find three depth sensors which protect the robot from a possible fall off the stairs.


The robot uses a 14.8V, 1.9 Ah lithium-polymer battery. The special battery is placed vertically in the robot, therefore needs relatively little space. The special fixing screw makes the change of the battery quite difficult at home. Good news is that I have used the previous model for ages without noticeable capacity loss so probably we won’t often have problems with the battery of the new model either.


The dust cloth holder is really easy to attach to the bottom of the robot. Thanks to the creative design we only need to slide the holder under the robot. The holder properly snaps into the three fixing points. The surface of the dust cloth which reaches the floor is surprisingly big, its size is 11.5×21.5 cm.


The provided remote control is a tiny but elegant tool which has a holder in the docking station. Too bad the holder cannot charge the battery of the remote. Obviously the extra charger would cost way too much compared to the few sets of non-rechargeable batteries the remote will go through during its lifetime.


LG Hom-Bot’s docking station is a simple but pretty part of the robot. The excess cable is easy to hide on the back of the station furthermore for the full power off we also find an on/off button on the side. The remote can be stood into the hole on the top so it is always easy to reach.

Neither virtual wall, nor magnetic tape comes with the robot therefore the machine cannot be locked out from certain parts of the house.

The review is not over yet!

Next page: In practice

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