Yujin iClebo Arte review

Besides the two consumer electronics giants of South Korea there is a third company who we have to mention when we talk about robotic vacuum cleaners. That is Yujin Robotics, the maker of iClebo robots. Their newest robot was announced at CES 2012 and become available last summer in Korea. I was lucky enough the get an early model for a long term use.

Design and Technology

The iClebo Arte is a classical, disk shaped robot vacuum cleaner with a hexagonal face plate. It is made in two versions, one with black and one with painted face plates. I had the black version on what the top resembles the pattern of fiberglass. The hexagonal shape is contoured with light red line. I have to admit that although I haven’t seen the previous generation in person, from the product images I would prefer that design over this new one. I especially had this feeling after I saw it at CES, but the final product became slightly more appealing.

iClebo Arte

The robot is 34 cm (13.4 in) in diameter and only 8.9 cm high, what makes iClebo one of the slimmest full feature vacuum cleaning robot on the market.

iClebo Arte control panel

The control panel on the top of the robot is very simple, but not entirely straightforward. The circular opening on the top is exactly what it seems, a camera monitoring the ceiling above the robot. The camera continuously takes pictures of the world above the robot (mostly ceilings and walls, but the bottom part of tables, chairs and couches count as well). The exact parameters of the camera are not known, but it takes very wide angle photos (143 degrees to be precise), so it can look for reference points on a large area at every single point in time.

The icon on the left side of the camera is lit when the scheduling is on, while the other icon on the right gives feedback on battery charge. The four digit display is used for the following:

  • Shows the time when the robot is idle.
  • Shows the scheduled start time during setup.
  • Shows the passed cleaning time during operation.
  • Shows the final step (back to dock, or back to starting position) when cleaning is done.
  • Shows the error code when something goes wrong.

The two icons below the digits represent the systematic and random cleaning modes. When both are lit the the robot cleans the floor systematically first then instead of returning to the dock it keeps cleaning in a random fashion while battery lasts (called Max mode).

The bottom left icon is lit when the mop holder is attached, while the one on the right is on when the robot is in climb mode. In normal mode (climb mode off) the robot does not go over any obstacles, so door sills or floor dividers will keep the robot in a single area. When the climb mode is activated the robot can cross barriers up to 2 cm (0.87 in) in height even when the mop holder is attached.

The last row of the user interface holds three touch sensitive buttons. The first is the power button, the second is the mode selector (toggles through systematic, systematic + climb, random and random + climb modes), while the third is the start / stop button. Scheduling, max mode and spot modes are available only from the remote control.

The robot has no handle to pick it up, therefore two hands are needed for transportation. Alternatively, it can be moved with a remote control when the new position is directly accessible for the robot.

Front bumper

The front part of the robot works as a push-in bumper that not only absorbs the force of collisions, but hides several sensors to detect such collisions. iClebo Arte is generally a non colliding robot, using three infrared sensors to detect obstacles a few seconds before they are hit. A 1.4 cm (0.55 in) wide plastic protector is attached to the bumper to protect furniture and walls when the robot occasionally hits them.

The main power switch is located on the right side of the robot along the direct power input. This latter one can be used when the robot is operated without its docking station (manual charge).


The back part of the robot serves as a removable dust bin, similarly to the iRobot dust bin design. Although it looks similar, it is very different from the kind used in the American robots. While the Roomba dust bins have the small vacuum motor built in, the Arte’s is a simple plastic box with the necessary filter. The vacuum motor resides in the robot’s main body, therefore the dust bin itself can be washed under running water.

The dust bin is one of my favorite of all. It is very simple and easy to clean. The top part that holds the filter comes off easily while all the dust and debris stays in the bottom tray. The normal (not HEPA) filter is held in by a removable frame and can be cleaned and reused several times. The bin itself can hold debris up to 0.6 l (20.3 fl oz).

Bottom of iClebo Arte

The bottom of the robot doesn’t offer lots of surprises. The drive is provided by the two larger wheels on the sides, while the front part of the robot sits on a small, fix axle wheel. The two large wheels can reach out up to 3 cm (1.2 in) from their normal, pushed in position, what provides contact with the ground even when the robot is crossing a 2 cm (0.78 in) high barrier. The front wheel is equipped with a magnetic encoder sensor that provides feedbacks of the robot’s movements.

The main brush bar of the iClebo Arte is 19 cm (7.48 in) long and can be easily removed for cleaning. The robot has no beater bar, but the two side brushes on the front help to collect the dust from the sides of the robot, cleaning the paths of the drive wheels.

The two metal plates on the sides of the front wheel work as contact points for the docking station. When docking, the robot drives over the two metal contacts on the dock what starts the charging process. The two side brushes are long enough to block the contact, but it has never any problems during the 6 months I was using the robot.

The 14.8V 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery pack of the robots is hidden behind the small door between the drive wheels. The proprietary battery pack is surprisingly small for a robot that runs not less than three hours on one charge. The compartment door is only secured with two screws, what makes the battery replacement process very easy.

The mopping attachment is designed to collect residue dust after the main brush. It uses a microfiber cloth to clean the floor, and as we have seen with many other robots, those cloths do an amazing job.

The iClebo Arte comes with an infrared remote control that provides extra functions over the rather limited user interface on the face plate. It holds a set of four directional navigation butons, mode selector buttons, clock and schedule activation buttons and of course the power and start/stop buttons. The remote is very simple and looks cheap for such a high end robot.

The robot has no virtual walls or smart gates to limit its movements, but a 1 m (39 in) long magnetic strip is included to block a single doorway or to use it around small areas.

The docking station of the iClebo Arte is a bit bulkier than what we are used to, but there is a reason for that. The unit is cleverly designed to hold all the unnecessary cables and the power adaptor. The cable to the power outlet can be released from the housing on either side, what helps a lot to keep the wiring neat and tidy. The single large lamp on the top provides information about the status of the dock. When lit red, the station is powered, but robot is not charging. The blinking red light means the robot is being charged, while the solid green light shows that the battery is fully charged. The removable top of the docking station hides a small compartment, where the special cleaning tool is stored. It is a very clever way to store this handy tool.

The review is not over yet!

Next page: In Practice

Next page »
  1. Introduction
  2. Design and Technology
  3. In Practice
  4. Conclusion

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