External review of robotic vacuum cleaners
Both robotic vacuum cleaners are made in a standard round form factor. Both models have a laser rangefinder on the top cover. The height of the S6 is slightly lower than that of the U100, at 9.65 cm versus 9.85 cm for the U100 Laser. The vacuum cleaners are approximately the same in width – the diameter of the robots is 35 and 33 cm, respectively. Roborock S6 is presented in black and white colors, Okami U100 Laser in only one – Digital Gray, reminiscent of digital camouflage. In terms of soiling, the U100 Laser is less easily soiled than the S6 in black, but inferior to the white version of the competitor.
On the cover of the U100 Laser, in addition to the lidar tower, there are two buttons. One is the on/off button and the other is the return to base. On the right side is the power button and direct charging connector, and on the left is the speaker. In some countries, it is possible to play online radio through the speaker of the robot cleaner. The thing is controversial and in EU is still inaccessible. On the front bumper, in addition to the classic IR and optical sensors, the Okami U100 Laser has a hole through which a special TOF sensor measures the distance to the walls. This allows the U100 Laser robot to clean as close to walls as possible.
Let’s take a look at the Roborock S6 from above. On the cover you can see the protruding tower of the laser rangefinder. Like the U100 Laser, the turret has the ability to lean back slightly. This play allows the robot not to get stuck under furniture. In addition to the lidar, there are several buttons with similar functions on the cover. The bumper has not one, like the U100 Laser, but two TOF sensors at once. The first is located on the right side of the bumper and serves to estimate the distance to the wall, and the second is located in front. During testing, we did not notice a significant difference in the proximity of the entrance of robots to obstacles, but most likely the S6 does it a little better.
If we compare the lower part of vacuum cleaners, the first thing that catches the eye is the missing second side brush on the S6. According to the logic of the developers, the vacuum cleaner is removed along the walls only with its right side and, therefore, it does not need the left brush. However, this significantly reduces the coverage of classical cleaning, which is carried out not only along the walls. Roborock S6 has one brush – a standard five-beam one. Okami U100 Laser is equipped with two side brushes with three beams, in addition, each brush has a small protrusion that “unwinds” hair and wool. This is an undoubted advantage that pet owners and owners of long hair will appreciate. Both robotic vacuum cleaners are equipped with a combination of lint and silicone brushes, made in a spiral shape. This is a standard form for modern robots, so we will not dwell on it. Both robots have two drive wheels and one drive, as well as a battery compartment. It is worth noting a significant difference in the volume of lithium batteries – 5200 mAh for the S6 versus 3200 mAh for the U100 Laser. The cleaning time is comparable – 120-150 minutes for the S6 versus 100-120 minutes in the dry cleaning mode for the U100 Laser and 150 minutes in the wet mode. You will soon find out why the working time during dry cleaning differs from the time during wet cleaning.
Different in robots and the method of installing / removing the dust collector. In Roborock S6, the dust collector compartment is located under the top cover and access to it, respectively, is vertical. The U100 Laser has a rear mounted trash can. Both methods are simple and allow you to remove an overflowing tank in a matter of seconds, open it and shake out the garbage. The dust container capacity of the Roborock S6 is 480 ml, while that of the U100 Laser is 600 ml.
In the S6 model, as in previous models, wet cleaning is carried out using a special nozzle with a volume of 140 ml, on which one of ten disposable wipes is attached. The tank is installed on the bottom of the robot and works simultaneously with dry cleaning. As for the U100 Laser, the developers have made a serious emphasis on wet cleaning, thanks to which it is not much inferior to specialized cleaning robots. Firstly, U100 Laser is equipped with a separate full tank for wet cleaning with a volume of 360 ml. The tank is installed not from below as a nozzle, but as a full-fledged one – instead of a tank for dry cleaning. In addition to the water tank, this tank has a compartment for dry waste. The fact is that during wet cleaning, the central brush still works at the vacuum cleaner, which means that dry cleaning continues along with wet cleaning. The U100 Laser has a choice of the intensity of wetting the microfiber cloth through the smartphone application. There are two rags in the set, they can be washed. An important advantage of the U100 Laser, which puts it almost on a par with full-fledged washers, is its route of movement during wet cleaning. When the water tank is installed, the robot changes its usual movement algorithm to a Y-shaped one. As it travels forward, it comes back a little each time, carrying out back and forth friction. This significantly increases the quality of wet cleaning. The operating time in the wet cleaning mode of the U100 Laser is 40-50% higher than in the dry mode. This is due to the location of the engine inside the classic cleaning tank, which consumes most of the energy.
Vacuum cleaner navigation
Both robots are equipped with the latest version of the navigation system based on the use of a laser rangefinder along with optical and IR sensors. How it works? On the lid of the robots there is a tower, in which there is a rotating module with a laser. It measures the distance to surrounding objects, digitizing this data for itself and showing a map for you. Having made a drawing of the visible part of the room, the robot divides the area into zones, which are subsequently cleaned with a snake. Having finished with one block, he moves on to another. IR and optical sensors are already used for local navigation. For example, in order not to crash into a cat, which is comfortably located in the middle of the carpet. During the tests, the robots showed approximately the same level of navigation. You can see the drawings of the constructed maps below.
Learn about the possibilities of the mobile application. Okami U100 shows the room map that the robot creates. You can interact with this map, for example, highlight separate areas for cleaning. You can also set restricted areas where the robot is prohibited from entering. Another prohibitive function is virtual lines that have replaced magnetic tapes and beacons with IR signals. During cleaning, you can set up to three such lines, which will be saved for the next cleaning. During testing, all lines were installed successfully and the robot did not cross any of them. A big plus of U100 is the constant support for updates via Wi-Fi – the developer adds new features from time to time. For example, around November 15, the function to turn off voice notifications should appear. Roborock S6 has a similar mobile application, except that it is not translated into European in the tested copy. The application also shows the time, cleaning area and battery charge. In it, you can choose the suction power, but not the intensity of the water supply. In general, Roborock’s application is similar in functionality, but wins in appearance – it is more colorful and understandable than Okami U100.
Both robots showed impressive results in terms of cleaning quality – they have identical Japanese engines from Nidec, except that Okami has a slightly more powerful one, 2500 Pa versus 2000 Pa for Roborock S6. It is obvious that the Roborock S6 vacuum cleaner lacks a side brush – some of the debris remains after the passage and it is not a fact that it will be picked up on the next turn. In terms of noise level, the Roborock S6 is slightly quieter than the U100 in similar power modes. During testing, we asked the robots to collect dragee candies, buckwheat and salt. Okami U100 showed the best result on buckwheat and salt, but S6 was better on candies. This is due to the fact that the U100 has two side brushes and therefore it copes better with small debris (salt imitates the sand that we bring from the street). In general, both vacuum cleaners are approximately similar, the quality of cleaning is a solid “five”. Separately, we tested how high thresholds robots can overcome. The result is ambiguous. The fact is that the declared height – 2 cm for the U100 and 1.8 cm for the S6, is given to robots only in ideal conditions, when the threshold does not have an angle of 90 degrees. In our editorial office, there is only one threshold 1.5 cm high. Both robots coped with it and went on to clean up.
These are two of the best robotic vacuum cleaners out there right now. For the European market, perhaps, Okami U100 will be somewhat preferable, due to the presence of competent localization and an official representative. In terms of cleaning quality, the vacuum cleaners showed approximately the same results, except that the U100 has a second side brush. If you want to regularly use wet cleaning, then again, Okami has presented a more advanced solution here.
|Okami U100 Laser
|Speaks European. Application and instruction in European.
|By default, it speaks English or Chinese, but it is possible to download European firmware. Translation of instructions depends on the place of purchase.
|Separate tank with adjustable water supply
|Disposable wipes and a small tank
|Works with Alexa
|Works with MiHome