Review iRobot Roomba e5 robot vacuum: practical but not always smart [análise/vídeo]

Vacuum robots are appearing more and more in people’s lives, with more brands bringing their products to Brazil and the best known of them, iRobot, has a large number of options. One of the American company’s entry-level models is the Roomba e5, which follows the traditional look of these products, while evolving ideas for even more economical versions of the 600 line.

It doesn’t have the camera pointed at the ceiling, it sucks up dirt in a seemingly random fashion, but it displays many moments of intelligence and does the job well of covering a generous area of ​​the house with just one charge. There are annoying issues too and I’ve taken note of everyone to tell you in the next few paragraphs about my experience with Roomba e5 over the past few weeks.

Video Review of Roomba e5

ethics notice

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Roomba e5 was provided by iRobot on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

design

The Roomba e5, on top of that, neither intends nor strives to change the already characteristic look of this type of product. The robot vacuum is round, made of plastic and even so it has a great feeling of a well-finished product, without burrs or loose parts, which is true even for moving parts.


iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

On top are three buttons, one to go back to the docking cradle, the other to focus cleaning around Roomba e5, with the last one to start cleaning with no time limit. Still near the buttons are sensors that indicate internet connection, battery level and if anything is wrong.

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

The front is more protruding because of the sensors that detect walls, together with an infrared that also helps in this work. Underneath are more sensors, one to identify that Roomba could fall down the stairs, with another more hidden and responsible for detecting heavier dirt.

The dust compartment is at the back and it is removable for cleaning – which can even be done with water.

Compartment for the powder (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

Compartment for the powder (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

Cleanliness and Connectivity

All cleaning is done with the help of three parts: the motor that vacuums the dust, a small broom that pulls dirt from the corners and two rubberized brushes that help with the job of taking things to the dust compartment.

This is one of the main points of evolution when the Roomba e5 is compared to the entire 600 line. In this test model, iRobot replaced the brushes with hairs with a rubberized pair, which suffers much less from long strands like hair and pets. All maintenance is also easier. Just take out the two green parts and remove anything curled. The same goes for the corner broom, where a screwdriver removes the component for cleaning.

Roomba e5 moves by touch, not vision. He has no way of knowing what the cleaning place is like, so he hits it, turns and goes in another direction. At first glance, this behavior seems purely random, but there is an algorithm around here to detect walls and corners, following these paths and even making sharp turns from time to time.

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

As cleaning happens by bumping into corners, in my tests Roomba passed a room multiple times, leaving others less clean and not even passing through others. Only on the third attempt to clean the entire house did the robot make it to the kitchen.

Another important detail of this Roomba’s own navigation system is that it often gets lost inside an open place, with obstacles on several sides. The robot goes banging everywhere until it finds a way out and this can take some time.

In general, dust has been removed almost everywhere, along with anything along the way. Whether it’s a small piece of paper, larger grains or my dog’s hair and human hair. The suction power promises to be five times greater than that of the 600 line and, around here, it was enough to clean a not very high carpet. Speaking of this moment, the Roomba e5 doesn’t have a floor detector to increase engine power, as more expensive models do.

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

Climbing on rugs or getting out of wires on the floor is a smooth job, as the robot itself identifies these situations and forces the motor of the wheels.

Roomba e5 can be controlled by the buttons I’ve already talked about, or by iRobot’s own app. Here you can start a cleaning, adjust its timeout and even schedule the cleaning. With the location of the smartphone released, it is even possible to configure the robot to start cleaning whenever the user leaves the house. Also, you can use Alexa or Google Assistant for voice commands. They are simple, but they work well.

App for iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

App for iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

Alerts are also sent through the app, such as a reminder to empty the dust compartment, a distress call when Roomba has been stuck somewhere in the house, or even alerts for cleaning the sensors, which should be done from time to time.

Roomba e5: is it worth it?

The Roomba e5 is a good buy yes, as long as you understand its limitations. He does basic cleaning well to remove dust from the floor, he knows where it’s dirtiest and needs special attention, and all this happens on battery power for 90 minutes of work. As this model doesn’t have a mapping system, it will clean until the dust compartment is full, or the battery runs out, whichever comes first. In both cases the robot goes back to the charging base alone and notifies you in the app.

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

iRobot Roomba e5 (Image: André Fogaça/Tecnoblog)

Does it replace a traditional vacuum cleaner? No, not him and not even any other robot vacuum. Round models can’t reach the corners and some seats are too low for any Roomba to enter. There’s also all the dust that isn’t on the ground, the robot doesn’t pick up that one.

So, getting back to the question: is it worth it? Yes, Roomba e5 will give you a hand in daily cleaning and will keep pet hair off the floor at all times. I miss a smart navigation system to map the environment and clean up more efficiently, as is the case on every 900, S and i line, but adding this feature would make the e5 jump in category and get more expensive.

At the time of publication of this review the suggested price of Roomba e5 is R$ 3.6 thousand. It’s expensive, but it’s a nice comfort for anyone who can afford it.

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