What do I need to know about Homekit Robot Vacuums?

Firstly, does such a thing as a Homekit friendly Vacuum exist? And secondly, I’m totally new to this area, so what I should know about choosing one? What sort of thing should I be looking for and does anyone have any recommendations?

HomeKit doesn’t support vacuums. You can add a robot vacuum to the Home app through something like HomeBridge or Home Assistant, but it will appear as a series of switches/fans, which is not the same as a vacuum.

I used to have the Neato BotVac D7 when I lived in Austria. I left it behind when I moved to the UK (different plugs, a limited amount of moving space, and a friend who wanted it!), and here I have the Eufy 30C Max.

Definitely look into getting a vacuum that supports boundary strips/no go areas. I would say that ones with mapping are better—they’re not perfect, but it means you can draw virtual boundary lines and stop the robot going places without having to put down the magnetic strips. When I inevitably upgrade, I’ll look for one that can do that.

One thing to keep in mind is a robot vacuum is not as good as a human with a vacuum, but the robot can vacuum daily and just needs you to empty it—for me this is better than me doing it manually once a week, as I come out of my office at lunchtime, and as lunch cooks, empty the vacuum’s dust bin and set up the robot mop. It’s hardly any work for me (and I definitely wouldn’t vacuum at lunchtime), but my floors always look clean, and my cable management has got a lot better too :joy:

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I agree with everything that @RosemaryOrchard stated.

We have Roomba i8+ sold at Costco. It is the Costco version of the Roomba 7+. The Costco version comes with bigger battery, an extra bag for the bin, and costs less. It maps your house and you can set rooms/areas of the house. For example, we have a large great room and I have set a living area and a dining area, so you can have it vacuum only the area that you want. You can also set an area within an area (such as an area under a desk with many cables) that you don’t want it to vacuum. I haven’t really tested this. It also has a bin that it empties into after it completes its job. This is very loud (like an airliner taking off) and takes about 15-20 seconds, I think. I never have to empty the Roomba itself but I have to empty the bin around every 4 months, sometimes longer. It would be more costly to empty more frequently because it has a bag in the bin. About every 2 months I clean the roomba (very easy).

It is not HomeKit compatible and I haven’t tried to connect it using my Hoobs. I will do this and report back.

Overall, it does a very great job of vacuuming for us, although not perfect (no vacuum is perfect).

I installed a Homebridge Docker on my Synology with the Roomba plugin.
About all it bought me was being able to say, “hey Siri, start Preston” or “hey Siri, stop Preston”.
I just use the app now.
The iRobot app works well. I’m not sure what being HomeKit compatible would provide that their app doesn’t.
Looks like there might be IFTTT support for Roomba.

TL;DR rather than HomeKit, I would get one that does a good job.

Incidentally, to Rosemary’s mention of magnetic strips, the Roomba instead has infrared beacons that you can use as either an invisible line [e.g. stairs), or a circular area (e.g. pet food area) to keep the Roomba away. (Along with the usual edge sensors.)

Yes, but you would be missing out on Siri replying, “I cannot find ‘Start Preston’ on Apple Music”.