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Hands-on with the Roborock MaxV Ultra
Hands-on with the Roborock MaxV Ultra IBTimes / Jeff Li

The robot vacuum has been an autonomous way of keeping the house clean with less intervention needed than ever before, but the endeavor is far from over. The latest robots can now mop the floor as well as vacuum, and there has been innovation in the charging stations that can self-empty the vacuum and also self-clean the mop - but there has yet to be one that can do both.

Enter the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra - the latest from the Beijing and Silicon Valley operated company that has been released along with its new dock, which is a self-emptying and self-cleaning station for wet and dry mopping. Will this be the beginning of the next revolution that sweeps over the home cleaning scene? Let's dive in to find out.


New Multi-Camera Obstacle Avoidance System

The first obvious upgrade that the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra has from the standard S7 is the large multi-camera module on the front of the unit. Inside of the module, a multiple camera array can be seen, which has cameras working together in tandem to give the S7 MaxV Ultra its superior ability to avoid obstacles and hazards. Coincidence or not, the new camera system reminds me of the infamous camera bump on the M11 Ultra - a child of Roborock's parent company Xiaomi.

According to Roborock, the camera system is a mix of three different kinds of technology: the LiDAR cameras on top (Same as the S7 cameras), then a Structured Light 3D Scanning camera and a more conventional RGB camera.

After my experience with robot vacuum cleaners, I have recommended friends with children not to get them for the sheer reason that they are not that good at avoiding small obstacles. When there are shoes, toys and clothes frequently lying around, you can't help but rule out the viability of relying on autonomous vacuum cleaners because they go out of action too often.

But with the S7 MaxV Ultra, its next level camera hardware coupled with the ReactiveAI 2.0 Obstacle Avoidance software, it's now autonomous enough to be useful in a minefield of random scattered objects. Of course this also means that in an office, it's avoiding power cables, pot plants and dust bins under the desks. In my time using the S7 MaxV Ultra I've yet to have received a distress call from it on my phone.


Security Promise with Localized Data

If you're reading this article on a laptop with tape covering the built-in webcam, like me, you're someone who takes cyber security seriously. It's attractive to have a robot seeing the house, avoiding obstacles and even having the ability to determine what room of the house it is in by recognizing the furniture, but the thought of someone else having access to that information is equally repulsive, if not more so.

Roborock knowing this, has acquired a third-party certification from TUV Rheinland that assures the privacy of the IoT device, as well as the baseline cyber security certification. With the promise that the ReactiveAI 2.0 is just that - reactive, and not saving any images, you can use the S7 MaxV Ultra with peace of mind when it comes to security.


The Self Emptying and Cleaning Dock

Other than the major vision system upgrade on the S7 MaxV Ultra, the other 'elephant in the room' is of course the dock. While some might feel the dock is on the larger side, you must remember what it does: the first dock that both empties the vacuum, as well as scrubs the mop pad, empties the dirty water, as well as refills the robovac with clean water, not to mention charges the S7 MaxV Ultra 30% faster than its predecessors. For a docking station that does all this, it shouldn't be a surprise that it has a more significant footprint.


One of the most useful designs of the S7 MaxV Ultra dock is how easy the bins are to remove and replace. Each bin is shaped like a rectangular bucket that has its own handle, and simply sits in a cradle in the dock. Installing the bins feels like an oversized inkjet printer cartridge - they securely re-attaches themselves with a satisfying click.

The clean water tank can hold a little over 3 quarts of water, while the dirty water tank can hold almost 2 and a half quarts. In my 900 square feet office space, I find myself emptying and refilling the tanks roughly once a week.


Preinstalled, the S7 MaxV Ultra dock uses a dust bag to collect the vacuum debris. There is also an extra bag included in the package, and each bag is estimated to last up to 7 weeks. This is the only feature that I have a complaint about, as I personally prefer a bagless solution. If bagless vacuuming solution is the utmost important for you, then you should go for the S7 MaxV Plus which forgoes the wet works of the Ultra, and instead has a vacuum tower that empties the robovac baglessly.


Double the Suction Power

Most of the actual cleaning operation of the S7 MaxV Ultra is the same as that of the S7, which we have covered previously. Both the floating rubber finned brush, sonic reciprocating mop, which has the ability to retract itself when going from hard floor to carpet, are working as effectively as its sibling.

One upgrade however is the power of the vacuum suction which received a whopping upgrade from 2,500 Pa to 5,100 Pa. That is the maximum suction power, which does not mean that the S7 MaxV Ultra is always vacuuming at this capacity. The power is in the hand of the user, and can be activated when the Max+ mode is enabled.


Final Verdict

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is the equivalent of your Formula-One of robot vacuums, coming in with all the maxed out technology that the company has to throw at it. With that, as expected comes also with a premium price tag, expecting to retail at $1,399.99 when available.


If you're after the best autonomous floor cleaning solution there is, with minimal human intervention needed - whether it is rescuing a stranded robovac, or emptying and cleaning the mop - the S7 MaxV Ultra is the one to watch for, and we're awarding it with the IBTimes Best Products badge.

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra will be available soon for purchase on the Roborock Website.

Sam is a production engineer turned tech writer who specializes in seeking out gadgets that enhances productivity while still looking sharp. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Home Productivity.