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It has been claimed that robot vacuum cleaners (or Hoovers as I like to call them) are one of the best additions to everyday life in recent times. While they won’t replace your big and powerful vacuum cleaner anytime soon they are great at picking up crumbs and dust around the modern smart home.

While I, unfortunately, don’t personally own one (yet) I did write this article based on reviews by the popular and very thorough YouTube channel Vacuum Wars and posts made in the many Home Assistant communities. I’ve picked three of the most popular robot vacuum cleaners among the members and compared their level of integration with Home Assistant.

How this list of robot vacuum cleaners was written

I’ve selected the top picks for three different categories of robot vacuum cleaners: one for all the tinkerers (of which there are many in the Home Assistant community), one for those that want a solid but easy to set up integration, and the most luxurious and powerful robot vacuum cleaner you can buy right now.

Integrating a robot vacuum cleaner with Home Assistant makes perfect sense. Using a simple automation you can set it to clean your house when nobody is home. Or you could tell it to clean up after you in the kitchen. As with everything Home Assistant does, the possibilities are near endless. No robot vacuum cleaner would be complete without a proper brain behind its operation. And Home Assistant is, most likely, the best brain you can gift to any robot butler.

For nerds and tinkerers: Roborock S5 series (S50/S51/S55)

For the nerds and tinkerers, the absolute top choice has to be the very popular Roborock S5 (S50/S51/S55) series of robot vacuum cleaners. As far as I can tell, the different numbers refer to the different available colours. The Roborock S50 is the white version, the S51 the white version with a red trim, and the S55 is the black version.

The Roborock S50
The Roborock S50
The Roborock S55
The Roborock S55
The Roborock S51
The Roborock S51

The Roborock S5 Max isn’t included in this selection, only the S5X models without any suffix. The reason these are the top picks in this category are twofold: They are excellent at what they do for a decent price, and they can be rooted. Also, the fact that the positioning sensors are located in a little pod on top of the vacuum cleaner makes it look like a product from a sci-fi film. Unlike the other two options mentioned in this article, the Roborock S5 supports mopping as an added bonus.

Update February 1, 2021

As the Roborock S5 series (non-Max) has been succeeded by the Roborock S6 series, stock is slowly but surely running out. Your best bet of purchasing a Roborock S5 is by checking the second-hand market.

Why you might want a rooted Roborock S5

Having a rooted robot vacuum cleaner has one main benefit: it isn’t reliant on any cloud services whatsoever. Valetudo, which is the software you can install on a rooted Roborock S5, provides almost the same amount of control as the Xiaomi Vacuum app as a mobile-friendly web interface.

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It can easily be integrated with Home Assistant using the MQTT autodiscovery. I’m assuming that part of the reason why you are using Home Assistant is that you like your privacy and the good news is that a rooted Roborock S5 robot vacuum will never call home.

Roborock integration with Home Assistant witout rooting

Even without being rooted the Roborock vacuum cleaners are fantastically integrated with Home Assistant. It does take some work getting the access token but once you’ve set it up you gain access to a bunch of services. Here are just a few of the things you can do:

  • You can start, stop, and pause vacuuming.
  • The robot vacuum cleaner can be located and sent back to its base.
  • Perhaps most importantly, you can set it to clean a specific zone.
Most popular
Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum, Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop with Adaptive Routing, Multi-floor Mapping, Selective Room Cleaning, Super Strong Suction, and Extra Long Battery Life, Works with Alexa(black)
Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum Cleaner with ReactiveAI and Intelligent Mopping, No-mop Zones, Lidar Navigation, 2500Pa Strong Suction, Multi-Level Mapping, Robotic Vacuum and Mop
Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop, Multi-Floor Mapping, Lidar Navigation, No-go Zones, Selective Room Cleaning, 2000Pa Suction Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Wi-Fi Connected, Alexa Voice Control
Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum, Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop with Adaptive Routing, Multi-floor Mapping, Selective Room Cleaning, Super Strong Suction, and Extra Long Battery Life, Works with Alexa(black)
Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum Cleaner with ReactiveAI and Intelligent Mopping, No-mop Zones, Lidar Navigation, 2500Pa Strong Suction, Multi-Level Mapping, Robotic Vacuum and Mop
Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop, Multi-Floor Mapping, Lidar Navigation, No-go Zones, Selective Room Cleaning, 2000Pa Suction Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Wi-Fi Connected, Alexa Voice Control
$599.99
$699.99
$519.99
Most popular
Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum, Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop with Adaptive Routing, Multi-floor Mapping, Selective Room Cleaning, Super Strong Suction, and Extra Long Battery Life, Works with Alexa(black)
Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum, Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop with Adaptive Routing, Multi-floor Mapping, Selective Room Cleaning, Super Strong Suction, and Extra Long Battery Life, Works with Alexa(black)
$599.99
Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum Cleaner with ReactiveAI and Intelligent Mopping, No-mop Zones, Lidar Navigation, 2500Pa Strong Suction, Multi-Level Mapping, Robotic Vacuum and Mop
Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum Cleaner with ReactiveAI and Intelligent Mopping, No-mop Zones, Lidar Navigation, 2500Pa Strong Suction, Multi-Level Mapping, Robotic Vacuum and Mop
$699.99
Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop, Multi-Floor Mapping, Lidar Navigation, No-go Zones, Selective Room Cleaning, 2000Pa Suction Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Wi-Fi Connected, Alexa Voice Control
Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop, Multi-Floor Mapping, Lidar Navigation, No-go Zones, Selective Room Cleaning, 2000Pa Suction Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Wi-Fi Connected, Alexa Voice Control
$519.99

Is Roborock a Xiaomi brand?

As with many Chinese smart home brands, Roborock has close ties with Xiaomi. In fact, you will often find their robot vacuum cleaners titled as Xiaomi Roborock. While Roborock is its own entity they did receive an investment from Xiaomi just a few months after they were founded. Roborock has since then been a “member enterprise of Xiaomi ecological chain“. Just like many other Chinese products with links to Xiaomi, the Roborock robot vacuum cleaners are incredibly good value.

Roborock S5: Verdict

At a glance

Roborock S5

Battery: 5200mAh

Suction Power: 2000 Pa

Mapping sensor: Laser Distance Sensor (LDS)

Noise level: 68 dB

Filter: HEPA

While not the easiest to set up, the Roborock S5 series of robot vacuum cleaners are the best option for nerds, tinkerers, and those that don’t want their appliances calling home.

The Roborock S5 can easily be rooted, allowing you to replace the firmware with Valetudo.

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Alternatives to the Roborock S5

As the Roborock S5 is sadly no longer being manufactured and finding a functioning model can be quite a task, I have put together a list of possible alternatives to this legendary robot vacuum cleaner. If you are looking for a new Roborock S5, AliExpress might be your best bet.

Viomi V7 or Mijia STYJ02YM (Shenzhen 3irobotix Co.,Ltd.)

Shenzhen 3irobotix Co., Ltd. produces white-label robot vacuum cleaners. They are sold under various brands such as Cecotec, Conga and Viomi. Currently, there is only experimental support for the Viomi-branded ones which run a customized firmware. The Viomi model has multple names such as the Mijia STYJ02YM. Instructions on how to install Valetudo can be found here.

The easiest: Neato Botvac D7 Connected

The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is another popular choice among Home Assistant enthusiasts. It can be integrated with Home Assistant using the web UI, and it supports many features similar to the Roborock line of robot vacuum cleaners.

Neato is a company based in  San Jose, California and is an independent subsidiary of German corporate group Vorwerk.

Most popular
Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Connected Robot Vacuum - Laser Navigation, Wi-Fi Connectivity, Ideal for Corners, Pet Hair, Carpets & Hard Floors
Neato Robotics D6 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair, Works with Amazon Alexa, Black
Neato Botvac D5 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Pet & Allergy, Works with Smartphones, Alexa, Smartwatches
Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Connected Robot Vacuum - Laser Navigation, Wi-Fi Connectivity, Ideal for Corners, Pet Hair, Carpets & Hard Floors
Neato Robotics D6 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair, Works with Amazon Alexa, Black
Neato Botvac D5 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Pet & Allergy, Works with Smartphones, Alexa, Smartwatches
$327.05
$469.99
$245.00
Zone cleaning
No zone cleaning
No zone cleaning
Up to 120 minutes of cleaning time
Up to 120 min minutes of cleaning time
Up to 75 minutes minutes of cleaning time
Ultra performance filter
Ultra performance filter
High performance filter
Spiral Combo brush
Spiral Combo brush
Combo brush
Most popular
Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Connected Robot Vacuum - Laser Navigation, Wi-Fi Connectivity, Ideal for Corners, Pet Hair, Carpets & Hard Floors
Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Connected Robot Vacuum - Laser Navigation, Wi-Fi Connectivity, Ideal for Corners, Pet Hair, Carpets & Hard Floors
$327.05
Zone cleaning
Up to 120 minutes of cleaning time
Ultra performance filter
Spiral Combo brush
Neato Robotics D6 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair, Works with Amazon Alexa, Black
Neato Robotics D6 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair, Works with Amazon Alexa, Black
$469.99
No zone cleaning
Up to 120 min minutes of cleaning time
Ultra performance filter
Spiral Combo brush
Neato Botvac D5 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Pet & Allergy, Works with Smartphones, Alexa, Smartwatches
Neato Botvac D5 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Pet & Allergy, Works with Smartphones, Alexa, Smartwatches
$245.00
No zone cleaning
Up to 75 minutes minutes of cleaning time
High performance filter
Combo brush

The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is the model of choice because it, unlike the cheaper variants, supports zones. Zones can be set up in the Neato app (Android and iOS), and they can, in turn, be used by Home Assistant. Using the zones you could, for example, have the robot vacuum cleaner clean the living room while you are in the office and the door is closed. You could also tell a voice assistant to clean the kitchen area after you’re done eating.

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If you don’t need the ability to clean zones and want to save a bit of money, other connected Neato robot vacuum cleaners such as the D6 and D5 can also be integrated with Home Assistant. The Neato robot vacuum cleaners mentioned in this article do not support mopping. But according to reviews, the Neato Botvac D7 Connected has impressively long battery life.

Neato Botvac D7: Verdict

At a glance

Neato Botvac D7

Battery: Up to two hours

Suction Power: 2000 Pa

Mapping sensor: Lidar

Noise level: 66.3

Filter: HEPA

The Neato Botvac D7 wins the prize for being the easiest robot vacuum cleaner to integrate with Home Assistant. You don’t have to fiddle around with apps and look for an access token and don’t have to edit any YAML to get it working. You will, however, have to set up zones using the app and there is a possibility that this robot vacuum cleaner will call home and is reliant on cloud services.

The luxury option: iRobot Roomba s9+

The iRobot Roomba s9+ is possibly the most feature-rich robot vacuum cleaner you can buy right now but is, unexpectedly, also the priciest of them all. However, if a deep integration with Home Assistant is your top priority you might better be looking at Neato’s or Roborock’s offering. A bit of tinkering is required to get this robot vacuum cleaner talking nicely with Home Assistant.

To my knowledge, the iRobot Roomba s9+ is the first robot vacuum cleaner which will empty its own bin. That could make it a favourite among those who want complete automation. It is also directly compatible with both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

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Reviewers have praised this robot vacuum cleaner for its ultra-powerful suction but that does have the downside of making it louder. The iRobot Roomba s9+ does not support mopping. iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaners are connected using an MQTT server which runs on the vacuum itself. Theoretically, this allows you to use it without having it connected to a cloud service.

iRobot is headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S. and is mainly known for their robot vacuum cleaners (Roomba) and floor moppers (Braava).

IROBOT ROOMBA S9+: Verdict

At a glance

iRobot Roomba s9+

Battery: 3300 mAh (up to two hours of cleaning)

Suction Power: 2200 Pa

Mapping sensor: Camera

Noise level: 65- 75

Filter: High-Efficiency Filters

In terms of performance and autonomy, the iRobot Roomba s9+ is the best of the best. It empties its bin and is incredibly powerful. If that is what you are after, this robot vacuum cleaner is for you.

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About Liam Alexander Colman

Liam Alexander Colman has been using Home Assistant for various projects for quite some time. What started of with a Raspberry Pi quickly became three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-blown server. I now use Unraid as my operating system and Home Assistant happily runs in a Docker container. My personal setup includes many Zigbee devices as well as integrations with existing products such as my Android TV box. Read on to find out more on how I got started with Home Assistant.

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