Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum IBTimes US/Jeff Li

It does seem that self-driving cars are an inevitable future for us, even though no one knows just how long it will really take to happen. But way ahead of that, self-vacuuming robots have almost become a mainstream household cleaning product already, an automatic appliance that wouldn't surprise anyone to see in an average home.

That said, the next iteration of the robot vacuum revolution seems to be the self cleaning and self emptying dock, which actually have been unveiled all the way back in CES 2012. Only in the last few years, has the self-cleaning dock truly picked up in popularity and has become mainstream.

Fast forward to 2022, search 'Self emptying robot vacuum cleaner' on Amazon and you'd end up with a plethora of companies that are producing them, many of them from brands that are unheard of - an indication that the technology is no longer reserved for early adopters.

One of the companies that's producing these affordable robot vacuums is Yeedi, a Shenzhen based brand founded in 2019 that has released its own Vac Station Robot Vacuum. How does it compare on a day-to-day basis to the more well-known major brands on the market? Let's dive in to find out.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
Simple packages that were easy to put together IBTimes US/Jeff Li

Easy Assembly and Setup

The Yeedi Vac Station came in a surprisingly simple package, consisting of a few separately packed boxes and the main dome of the station. Once they were unwrapped, the assembly was equally simple - but well thought out. Only three screws are needed to put the station together, and Yeedi includes a good quality screwdriver so you won't need to find one that fits.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
Excellent build quality IBTimes US/Jeff Li

High Quality Hardware with no Compromise

When a relatively less known brand has an affordable price tag and is simple to put together, one might get worried about the quality of the product. But upon closer inspection, I'm happy to report that the Yeedi Vac Station might be affordable but it's not cheap. The hardware is unexpectedly well built, mostly covered in matte white, it looks and feels like any flagship robot vacuum out there.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
The brush/fin combo roller is well designed, and easy to remove for cleaning IBTimes US/Jeff Li

I was especially impressed with the main roller that's responsible for picking up dust and debris. Yeedi has gone with a hybrid of rubber fins and brushes, which gives it the best of both worlds. The removal of the main roller is also very simple, the cover can be removed with the roller with no tools needed. With the roller removed, any hair or wire-like debris can be easily removed. A hair removing blade is also included, stowed away in the main compartment on the top of the vacuum next to the dustbin.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
Easy to remove and empty dust bin IBTimes US/Jeff Li

Emptying the dustbin manually is a very easy process, due to how well it's built. Its handle acts as a lever that dislodges the dustbin from the vacuum, and a large button swings the filter open for the dirt to fall right out.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
Disposable dust bag in the auto emptying station IBTimes US/Jeff Li

If you prefer using the automatic emptying system of the Vac Station, it can be activated on the app. When the robot vac returns to the station for recharge, the station sucks what's in the dustbin into the bag in the tower automatically. Do note that the bag is not reusable, and once you use up the two included bags, you would need to purchase more separately from Yeedi.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
Removable mop pad for hard floors IBTimes US/Jeff Li

Mop for Hardfloors

The Yeedi Robot Vacuum also has a mop function, which slowly releases clean water out of its reservoir, offering a damp wipe down on top of the vacuuming.

This mop implementation is a rudimentary one however, and there is no auto-lift mechanism, which means the mop will be in contact with the ground constantly, whether the floor is carpeted or not. The mop therefore is only suitable for non-carpeted areas, like for wood or tiled flooring, and you'd be better off not installing the mop for carpeted areas.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
L-R: Setting up, Device added, Customizable Main Controls, Cleaning Preferences IBTimes US/Jeff Li

Powerful App Support

As much as Yeedi has invested in the hardware of the Vac Station Robot Vacuum, it has evidently put in great effort in making an intuitive and powerful software to go along with it. The Yeedi App was easily found and downloaded on the Google Play Store, and I was able to pair up the Vac Station to the phone in no time by following the instructions.

Once I had the vacuum connected to the app, it was an important step to run the first cleaning session for the entire area, as this also teaches the robot vac the perimeter of the cleaning area. After the first full run, I now have a virtual plan of the room area in the app. From here, I'm able to label the areas, as well as set zones where the vacuum should avoid - for example areas where there are cables that it can get caught up in.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
L-R: Before the first cleaning run, scanned map, red boxes indicate areas designated for the robot to avoid IBTimes US/Jeff Li

On a day-to-day basis, the functions in the app that I use the most is the Cleaning Scheduler - where I can set the days of the week, as well as the time for the vacuum to clean, as well as the Record section, with which I'm able to check the area and duration for each cleaning session, together with a plot of the area that has been cleaned.

There are further functions that can be enabled using the app, like toggling Auto-Empty on and off, setting the strength of suction, as well as other preferences like resume cleaning after recharge.

Overall, the Yeedi app greatly boosts the functionality of its Robot Vacuum, making it a full fledged connected smart appliance that offers powerful customization to its automated operations.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum
Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum is an excellent choice as a midrange robot vacuum IBTimes US/Jeff Li

Final Verdict

When there is strong competition in any industry, the consumers are almost always the winners. Just like the midrange smartphone sector has seen notable improvement in the last few years, with many current offerings functionalities and build quality that matches flagship phones. Companies like Yeedi will continue to push the envelope of what midrange priced robot vacuum cleaners can do, closing the gap to flagship robot vacs.

Hands-on with Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum

The Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum is easy to set up and operate, yet has the sophistication to provide highly customizable automated cleaning. Put that together with excellent build quality and simple assembly, you end up with a winning formula of an affordable robot vacuum cleaner. We're awarding the Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum with the IBTimes Recommended Badge.

A promotion is currently taking place from November 7-30, 2022 from Yeedi for a $110 off discount, just apply the coupon on the Amazon product page to obtain the Yeedi Vac Max for $239.98 (Originally $349.99).

David is a tech enthusiast/writer who is often on the move, but since the pandemic is on a mission to explore gadgets to improve his 'home work'. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Home Productivity.