I Got a Robot Vacuum


So, you have probably seen or heard about robot vacuums. I had, although honestly thought they were a bit of a gimmick. However, a few people I know have them and sung their praises so I thought I’d see what the fuss was about.

I did some research and settled on the Dreame L10 Pro (Non-Associates link). This was in no small part because it is known to work with Valetudo which allows for fully local control of the robot. As well as a very usable web interface, it also provides MQTT control which I use for Home Assistant control.

It is fair to say that my expectations have been shattered by this device. I expected it to do a reasonable job, but that I would probably have to do a “proper” hoover once a week or so. That has not been the case. I have not had to manually hoover the floors at all since setting it up. I have been especially surprised by this as we have a dog who malts.

I have the vacuum set to vacuum our daytime living areas (lounge, kitchen, hall, study) every morning at 1am. I did not expect the quality of life improvement that we got from waking up every morning to a vacuumed house. Our bedroom is then vacuumed during the day while we work. Apart from emptying the vacuum’s dustbin, this is entirely automatic.

The vacuum I have has a detachable cloth and water tank that it can drag behind it and keep wet. I mostly got the device for its vacuum capabilities. However, the addition of the mop is nice. This, too, exceeded my expectations; although not to the same extent as the vacuum. It is nice to have, but I wouldn’t buy this particular robot for its mopping capabilities. We tend to attach this mop and manually instruct the vacuum to mop various rooms when we go out.

Any Cons?

Although this device has been an overwhelming positive in our life, it may not be for everyone.

We have hard floors throughout our flat. This obviously makes vacuuming and mopping easier for the robot. We do have a thick rug which it can struggle with a little. However, I have taken the robot to our parents’ houses who have carpet and it has tackled even quite thick carpets without issue. If you have a lot of very thick rugs, you may want to do a bit more research into robots that can deal with them.

Also, the dustbin in the vacuum is quite small. I tend to empty it every other day. Paying more can get you features such as auto-emptying dustbins which the robot I got doesn’t have.

We live in a flat, so we don’t have stairs to contend with. We are due to move very soon into a house. My long term plan is to buy a second robot, in order to have one up stairs and one downstairs. This (obviously) makes a fully automated vacuuming setup significantly more expensive. However, the fact that I am planning this hopefully demonstrates how happy I am with this vacuum.

Home Assistant

As mentioned, Valetudo allows me to control my robot entirely locally. My home automation platform of choice is Home Assistant which is supported by Valetudo.

With my smart light switches, it allows me to do things like push and hold the light switch in order to instruct the vacuum to come and hoover the room I’m in. It can also stop the vacuum from vacuuming every day while we are on holiday.