For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a soft spot for robots. It started early with Voltes V, Transformers, R2D2 and my transforming Robot Watch. Even as a grown man, I’m almost embarrassed about how much Pacific Rim filled my geeky heart with glee. As such, I couldn’t help but smile when I first turned on the Moneual Rydis Robot Vacuum cleaner.
”Look at the little sucker go,” I chuckled as the little automated cleaner navigated itself around walls and under tables in my private abode.
An alternative to the popular Roomba line of robot vacuums, the Rydis tries to position itself with a price tag that can be $100 to $200 cheaper than iRobot’s top-of-the line models. I’ve seen the Rydis go even lower than the suggested retail price online, selling as low as $299 on Amazon.com. Feature-wise, Moneual’s robot vacuum sports a main brush underneath that’s supplemented by detachable side brushes in the front for gathering particles near corners and walls as well as an optional microfiber mop for cleaning hard surfaces such as linoleum and tile. Dust and other particles then go through a multi-layered filter prior to reaching the Rydis’ canister. Power is provided via a battery that takes about an hour or so to juice up via a charging dock.
The Rydis features various modes including circular patterns and corner-to-corner cleaning. Most of the time, I just stuck with automatic mode, which has pretty good overall coverage. A shadow mode also allows you to clean under tables and cabinets provided there’s sufficient distinction between light and dark areas. Meanwhile, a separate indicator unit allows you to narrow down the robot’s cleaning area even further. For more pinpoint accuracy, manual mode allows you to guide the Rydis to specific spots via its remote control as well. Usually, though, you’ll want the vacuum to just do its own thing without much guidance as convenience is the main reason to get one of these. A daily timer allows for even more automation. For maintenance, parts such as the dust canister and the main brush can be detached for cleaning.
In terms of performance, the Rydis had pretty good coverage and did a nice job covering the first floor of my house, which includes a living room, family room and kitchen. Detection works well and can even go around something like a PS3 controller though you’ll want to make sure to remove any cables or wires that may be in the way. It also isn’t quite as loud as some other robot cleaners. As far as picking up stuff, the vacuum does well for its size but certainly isn’t as powerful as, say, my Kirby vacuum cleaner or even my Samsung SC96P0 canister vacuum even when it’s set to turbo mode. I tested it with some grains, for example, and while it sucked in most of the stuff I sprinkled on the carpet, it left some during the first pass. Throw rugs and carpets can especially bedevil the Rydis and accounted for the bulk of errors that stymied the robot vacuum. I had to tuck in the long fabric strands of one throw rug, for example, because they would cause the Rydis to error out if they get stuck in the main brush. One especially thick area rug, meanwhile, would cause the vacuum to tilt up if it approaches it directly, causing an error as well. After cleaning, there were times when the Rydis had difficulty finding the charger. You also need to make sure that you secure the charging station well, especially on carpet, as movement could cause the automatic docking to fail. For its dust canister, the container is a bit on the small side but isn’t too much of an issue of you have a well-maintained house that isn’t, well, filthy. Instructions also could be better, like how to remove the main brush, for example.
Like its other robotic kin, the Rydis won’t replace dedicated vacuums when it comes to deep cleaning. For daily upkeep, however, the Moneual is a good option for folks who want an automated cleaning option without much hassle.
Final rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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