What Is the Eufy RoboVac 11c?
Eufy is a brand launched by Ankler, a Chinese electronics company that was founded by a former senior software engineer for Google in 2011. Eufy is dedicated to creating a wide range of smart home appliances which includes everything from Wi-Fi light bulbs to smart plugs and vacuum cleaners. Their flagship product, however, is the RoboVac.
The RoboVac is a series of robot vacuum cleaners for those who want their very own R2-D2 on a budget. Eufy’s latest release is the RoboVac 11c. Now, while Star Wars fans may be left disappointed at the droid’s lack of communication and initiative, most owners have been pleasantly surprised at just how effective this affordable machine is at cleaning their homes.
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The big question people ask themselves at this point is why should they fork out for a high-end robot vacuum cleaner like the Roomba 980 when the RoboVac 11c could do the job at more or less a third of the price? Luckily for you, we bought one to write this RoboVac 11c review and demonstrate its strengths and weaknesses.
- Inexpensive – Compared to other robot vacuum cleaners, the RoboVac 11c is affordable yet still effective.
- Low Profile – At just 7.8cm high this vacuum will find its way under most furniture to eliminate those dust bunnies.
- Scheduling – With the app, you can set a daily and weekly cleaning schedule so your home always stays immaculate.
- Remote Control – In addition to the app, you also get a remote control to fully control the robot vacuum.
- Google Assistant – Although you can issue voice commands with Amazon Alexa, at this time the RoboVac 11c doesn’t work with Google Assistant.
- Thick Carpets – The 11c is best suited for hard floors and thin carpets, and either won’t perform well or get stuck on thick carpets and rugs.
Eufy RoboVac 11c Key Features
Triple Filter System – The RoboVac 11c uses a triple filter system which includes a HEPA filter and a foam filter. This makes it ideal for those who suffer from allergies and are concerned about the air quality in their home.
Multi-Dimensional Cleaning – In addition to a bristled rolling brush which is great at picking up all sorts of dirt and debris, there are two rotating side brushes to clean edges and direct dirt into the centre of the RoboVac where the powerful suction makes it magically disappear.
Various Cleaning Modes – The 11c has multiple cleaning modes that can be activated with the app or remote control. This includes auto, edge, spot, single room, max and manual cleaning.
Battery and Charging
The RoboVac 11c uses a lithium-ion battery that allows it to clean for up to 90 minutes without fading. The runtime will be lower (around 45 minutes) if you use the max mode, which is usually only necessary for those with carpeted flooring. For those with small homes and carpets, it’s possible to have the RoboVac complete a full cleaning cycle on one charge, though it will self-dock when it wants to skive or otherwise charge – which can, unfortunately, take up to five hours.
The fact that it self-docks is actually quite impressive considering that it doesn’t use mapping or camera visualization, but instead follows a signal that the dock sends out when the battery is low – kind of like a tractor beam.
The dock can’t be considered ‘chic’ when it comes to design so many owners like to try and place it in an inconspicuous place. This may be in spite of the recommended adequate free space for the RoboVac 11c to be able to come and go as it pleases (one meter on the sides and two meters in front). Owners who have used smaller areas for their dock haven’t had issues though, so you’d have to see what works for you.
You can choose to charge the RoboVac directly with the cable or do what 99.9% of robot vacuum owners do and use the charging dock (we’re not sure why this was an option though perhaps for those who don’t have enough space for the dock). The dock has a status light to let you know when the 11c has docked properly, and there is also an indicator light on the robot itself to let you know when it’s low on power (red), charging (flashing blue), and fully charged (solid blue).
While the dock may be representative of the price in terms of looks, thankfully the actual robot vacuum is quite easy on the eye. It’s available in a medium/light grey with an anti-scratch glass cover with brush effect on top. On the front, it features a pressure sensitive bumper with a dark strip which contains 11 infrared sensors to help it navigate around. This gives it a slight Geordi La Forge-esque appearance for all you ‘Trekkies’. It does navigate quite easily with its two large treaded wheels and front swivel wheel, though it isn’t designed to traverse thick carpets. The build quality seems robust, but it’s probably best not to test this assumption by throwing it down the stairs.
On top of the 11c is a silver on/off button with blue LED illumination which also acts as a battery and error indicator light, and alongside that is a tiny blue Wi-Fi indicator light. It’s worth adding that on the side is the main power switch if you intend to not use it for a long period of time, which is situated next to the cable charging point. It would have been nice if there had been full bin and dirty filter indicator lights, though for the price of the robot we can’t be too fussy.
Like other robot vacuum cleaners, the 11c does use beeps to signify when it needs help which may reinforce the R2-D2 reference. The full list of error codes is present in the user manual, though for example it may beep once if its trapped, or beep three times if the sensors are dirty and need to be cleaned. On the topic of cleaning, maintenance is fairly straightforward although not quite as easy as some of the more expensive robots. At certain intervals, you’ll need to remove the rolling brush to cut away hair and other debris, clean or replace the side brushes, and clean the charging pins. Provided in the box is a cleaning tool to assist with this, as well as two spare side brushes, a spare sponge filter and a spare HEPA filter.
The dirt receptacle and filters are part of one unit and can easily be removed from the back of the RoboVac by pressing the release button and pulling it out. You can then open and empty the dirt receptacle into a bin – though you may need to brush it out to get all the dirt out. On top of the dirt, the receptacle is a flap which allows you to access the filters. It’s advised to periodically clean these though it’s important to keep in mind that you can wash the bin, filter cover and sponge filter, must not wash the HEPA filter. Again, clear instructions are provided in the manual.
Setup Process, App Functionality and Cleaning Pattern
Before using the RoboVac 11c, it’s necessary to unbox it, turn on the main power switch on the side of the robot and place it on the dock to fully charge. Once it’s charged you can either press the power button on top to make it auto clean (which also works as a pause button) or use the provided remote control to either manually control it (never-ending amusement if you have a dog or a cat) or select one of the following cleaning modes:
Auto Cleaning – It will calculate the size of the room (or consider the whole floor as a single room if the doors are open) and start earning its keep.
Spot Cleaning – By choosing this mode it will ‘intensively’ clean a specific area in a spiral pattern.
Edge Cleaning – When this mode is selected it will find a wall, reduce its speed and then follow it around the house to clean all skirting boards.
Single Room Cleaning – This is an option if you just want to clean your bedroom for instance, but you’ll need to close the door to confine it. It will clean the room thoroughly and stop once it’s done as it won’t be able to return to the dock. You can also use this feature when moving the robot to another floor.
Max Cleaning – This is the most powerful suction mode which is best for carpets but does reduce the battery life by around 50%.
To take advantage of scheduling or to operate the RoboVac 11c away from home you’ll need to use the app. The app is called EufyHome which can be used to control a number of their other products. It’s available from Google Play and the App Store, and once downloaded you’ll need to create an account, connect it to your Wi-Fi and follow the prompts to set up your robot vacuum. One bonus feature of the app is you can schedule multi-day cleaning which means having the 11c clean more than once a day at specified times, as well as on specified days.
The app allows you to adjust the modes similar to the remote control, and control it manually. However, controlling the RoboVac from the app is more difficult than the remote control – most likely due to connectivity and lag issues. One other app feature that is handy is the ability to locate your robot as they do sometimes have a tendency to sneak away for a break. Users who have Amazon Alexa can also control their robot using voice commands.
The RoboVac 11c doesn’t map your home which some people may or may not like and does clean in a seemingly random pattern compared to the high-end robot vacuums like the Roomba 980 or Botvac D7 which do so in a linear and efficient manner. It also doesn’t use camera visualization or lasers, but rather uses infrared sensors to get its bearings and gradually clean your home. This means that it’s not limited by light like the Dyson 360 Eye or Roomba 980 which is triple the price (though they are both great products that you can read about by clicking the links).
For such an inexpensive robot vacuum, the RoboVac 11c is surprisingly powerful and doesn’t discriminate between regular dust, dirt, and even cheerios (the latter is important if you have kids who will quickly take to the robot as if it’s another pet). Of course, it’s only suitable for hard flooring and thin carpets which are easier to clean, but if your home fits this description then the 11c can make your life easier.
One awesome trait of the RoboVac is that it has no qualms picking up pet hair. This is true whether you have a tabby cat or a golden retriever, both of which can make your life a nightmare in springtime when they are shedding. If you constantly find fur on your clothing, curtains, sofa, under furniture, in corners and so on then the 11c will be your new friend and saviour.
If you’ve tried other robot vacuum cleaners you may have had an issue with the noise and had to schedule cleaning while you were away from home. However, at around 40dB the RoboVac can clean while you are watching TV or even during the night while everyone is asleep. Of course, if it gets trapped for any reason the beeping might be annoying, but it generally does a good job of going about its business unhindered.
You will find the RoboVac 11c is like a growing teenager in that there is no limit to its hunger. Make sure to tuck away rug tassels, as well as tidy up cables, small toys (i.e. lego) and anything else you don’t want it trying to eat before you set it to clean.
For the price, there aren’t many negative points to dwell on, although it would have been nice if it came with virtual walls to stop it knocking into ornaments and dog bowls – though it’s usually quite careful. There have been warnings that it might not detect a drop if you have dark or reflective flooring, but most will find that it doesn’t have the same tendencies of a lemming and won’t need to worry.
While it doesn’t map your home and has limitations depending on your flooring type, the RoboVac 11c is a simple robot vacuum that does what it’s supposed to. It’s affordable (in contention with the cheapest Roomba), backed by a one year warranty and comes with spare filters and side brushes. If you are interested in a robot vacuum cleaner but don’t want to break the bank, then definitely consider the RoboVac.
We are still a long way from having a robot replace a traditional vacuum cleaner. This is especially true when it comes to upholstery, stairs and crevices. However, rather than hoovering once or twice a week, you’ll find yourself only doing it once or twice a month instead. Overall your floor will be cleaner, there will be less dust on shelves and ornaments, and the air quality will be better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the batteries included with the remote control?
No, you’ll have to purchase batteries separately. The remote control uses two AAA batteries.
How much does the RoboVac 11c weigh?
What are the RoboVac 11c dimensions?
32.6cm x 33cm x 7.8cm
Is this a good robot vacuum for those with pets?
Yes, this does a very good job at picking up hair though it’s important to note that it’s only designed for homes with hard floors and short pile carpets.
Will the 11c fall down stairs?
The RoboVac 11c uses sensors to detect drops and will stop itself from falling. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that if the sensors are dirty or if the floor is dark or reflective, it may have trouble detecting the drop. If this is the case, it might be prudent to place a barrier to block the stairs.
Can I manually control the vacuum when I’m away from home?
You can start cleaning and schedule the RoboVac 11c while you are away from home, but once you are outside of your home network manually operating it is disabled.