LG HOM-BOT SQUARE
Numerous cleaning modes. My Space limits device to a fixed area. Misses low-lying obstructions. Sweeping brushes prone to getting tangled.
The Hom-Bot Square is easily the most distinctive robotic vacuum cleaner in this shootout thanks to its glossy candy red chassis and its square design. According to LG, the Hom-Bot Square features a square design so that it can better clean hard to reach corners with its long sweeping brushes.
The Hom-Bot Square also has a highly advanced system of sensors that includes three front-facing ultrasonic sensors, cliff detectors near its sweeping brushes, and a top-mounted camera and bottom-mounted optical sensor that is together known as Dual Eye 2.0. This array helps the device to create an accurate map of its surroundings and pinpoint its position in a room. The top camera takes as many as 30 photos a second, whereas the optical sensor can scan the surface up to 2,000 times a second.
The device offers four different cleaning modes: “Cell by Cell”, “My Space”, “Spiral” and “Zig-Zag”. The first two are arguably the most useful. In “Cell by Cell” mode, the HomBot Square divides the house into smaller blocks and then proceeds to clean each block before moving on to the next. There is also an additional “Turbo” mode that is automatically activated when the Hom-Bot Square senses that it is vacuuming carpets.
In “My Space” mode, users can specify the area to clean by first directing the Hom-Bot Square to draw its boundaries. It will then proceed to only clean the area within these drawn boundaries. This is useful because users can direct the Hom-Bot Square to areas that require more attention and also keep it away from areas that it might get stuck in.
On the whole, we were pleased with the Hom-Bot Square’s cleaning abilities. While it was amongst the quietest, that does not mean that it has sacrifice on suction power and we found that it was able to clean thoroughly. Maintenance is also very easy, simply open the top lid to remove its dirt bin. However, since its uses a brush roller at the bottom, users would need to clean it regularly to prevent dirt from accumulating and restricting its vacuuming performance.
On the navigation front, we were pleased to find that unlike other robotic vacuum cleaners, the Hom-Bot Square does not gently bump into object to see if it could actually go through them. It dutifully avoids any obstructions that its front-facing sensors pick up and only attempts to get as close as possible to clean around the obstruction.
Sadly, despite its advanced sensors, we found that the Hom-Bot Square would sometimes miss low-lying objects and was prone to get stuck in certain situations. For example, since it was programmed to go as close as possible to obstructions, we found that cleaning the sides of walls, its sweeping brushes often got tangled with wires. The sweeping brushes would also get tangled up in other objects such as light rugs and even loose fibers from carpets.