When rechargeable batteries started to replace traditional batteries our technological equipment got a lot more versatile. These days almost any technological product that requires batteries utilizes rechargeable battery technology. The obvious benefit of this type of setup is that once you buy the product, all you need is a wall outlet to boost your product up to full power. It’s a simple solution to a long-standing problem.

Robot vacuum cleaners are fine examples of pieces of technology that rely heavily on rechargeable batteries to maintain their function. It’s certainly one big advantage they have over traditional vacuum cleaners that normally have a cord that you need to plug in. These traditional vacuums may be quite a bit more powerful and work just fine, but with that cord almost constantly in your way it can definitely be a bit annoying.

All robot vacuum cleaners may be cordless and rechargeable, but there are noticeable differences between how the less expensive models recharge and how the higher-end products accomplish this. For the most part, the cheaper robot vacuum cleaners recharge with a little bit of help from you. Normally, they come with a cord that plugs into your robot vacuum cleaner via USB for charging; when you’re running low on juice you will have to manually plug it in yourself to start the recharging. If you’re looking for a truly independent machine that will work without you then you’ll want to avoid this type of model, but if you’re more focused on an autonomous vacuum that can take care of the actual cleaning for you, these models will save you a little money and generally do the job just fine.

Self Docking Stations

The better robot vacuum cleaners are not only rechargeable, but they can also start the charging process themselves. These models have a rechargeable base which you plug in and place on the floor for the robot vacuum cleaner to find; normally they will look to return to their base once their power levels are less than 15% to 20%. This is definitely an improvement on the models we mentioned above that require you to plug them in, but they’re not perfect by any means. Most robot vacuum cleaners will return to their base when the charge runs low even if they’re not finished with the cleaning process, and they won’t resume cleaning once they’re fully charged. You will have to set the robot in motion again by hitting its start button, or wait for the next scheduled clean. If you have a large home this can be a little frustrating, with a job that’s left half done.

Self Docking and Resume

The higher-end robot vacuum cleaners take the recharging process to the next level – they not only return to their base when they’re running low on juice, they can also resume cleaning once they’re fully recharged. That means it won’t really matter if they didn’t complete the job originally as they will get there in the end without your help. These are the truly autonomous machines that do all of the work for you and allow you to go about your other daily tasks that are more pressing on your time.

Charging Times May Vary

How long your robot vacuum cleaner will maintain its charge really depends on the individual model and, in some cases, which setting you have it on. As a general rule, the more expensive models will hold their charge a little longer – normally somewhere in the 90 minute to 120 minute range. Even the least expensive robot vacuum cleaner will normally hold a charge for about an hour, which is enough time in most situations.

Minimum Recommendation

At a minimum I’d strongly recommend that you at least go with a model that has the ability to recharge on a base to which it can return itself – having to plug the cord in every time is simply a bit of a pain. With the exception of those models priced under $50, any robot vacuum cleaner you can buy should at least return to its base for recharging – the idea of one that can resume after charging is a nice idea, but not entirely necessary.

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