We’ve got a new robot in the house, with Lidar scanning. When you get a new robot you need to name it. You especially need to name it if it’s a part of your smart home and you’re going to be calling it by name. e.g. “Hey Google, ask XXXX to vacuum the kitchen’.
It’s structured cleaning process and the ability to identify where it is anywhere in the house is brilliant. It’s impossible not to like this great little unit.
I wanted to name our new Viomi V3 Max robotic vacuum cleaner ‘Dirt Muncher’. Seemed fitting but, the family disagreed. Our house, being a democracy, required a vote. My wife wanted to call it ‘Efficient’ as that’s what it is, efficient. That was also a fitting name for a robot. The final name we landed on for the Viomi V3 Max was simply, Max. Original, I know…
Max has come in to replace our previous Robot vacuum cleaner, Roomba. Roomba came with its own name, as did Max. You can see the theme here.
I’ve owned Roomba vacuum cleaners for over 13 years. It’s hard to believe that Roomba has dominated the robot vacuum cleaner market for so long and that only in recent years have other players started to really challenge both the price and features.
I’ve been watching the smart vacuum cleaner market for a while so when Viomi reached out I was all over it like a brush on carpet. Order made, now to wait.
My first order got bounced at delivery but I persisted and ordered again from Amazon. The second attempt was successful.
The overall box size and unboxing experience was pretty standard. It’s well put together and packaged to keep it safe and sound for a perfect arrival. If you’ve bought or owned any robot vacuum cleaner then it’s similar.
Placement & Wiring
The placement of the unit suggests you have at least 20″ of space to the left and right of the charging dock. I have a space in my kitchen that is narrow as shown in the photos below but the Viomi is smart enough, with its Lidar scanner that it can enter and leave the space without any problems.
The wire management in that area is also a nice thought. When you unclip the base you can plug in the power charger and then round wrap the wire to take up any excess cable cord you don’t need to use.
The unit comes with the core robot vacuum cleaner and docking/charging station. It also comes with:
- Spare brush (spinning brush)
- Disposable mopping pads
- 2 x reusable washable mopping pads (love these – easy to attach and easy to clean and reusable!)
- Cleaning tool with cutter
- Power cable
- Mopping clip (this is the hardware that is attached to the vacuum and you then connect the mopping pads to it)
- Dust and Water bin
At first, I put the cleaning tool back in the box. I’ve never used the Roomba one so figured this would be the same. I was wrong. This thing picked up so much stuff, including hair, that I need to give the brushes a good clean afterwards. The tool was perfect for this with stuff bristles and an easy to use cutting blade.
First Run and Set-Up
It’s important to note first up that this is an intelligent robotic vacuuming (and mopping) cleaner. I state this early on as I was a little unsure what was happening when I set it loose in the kitchen to clean the first time.
In my excitement, I had failed to charge the unit enough to do the whole house so it finished half the house and then told me it was tired and needed to return to charge up.
Firstly, this was awesome. A cleaner that not only knew when it needed to return to charge but also knew how much charge it needed to hold on to so it could make it back to the charging dock.
When looking at the iPhone app I was impressed with the Lidar mapping of the rooms but I still didn’t seem to have any ability to control mapping on the app. The below image shows the partial mapping of the house and it shows where the Viomi V3 Max has already vacuumed.
You can also watch it move across the map in real time, as it cleans, which is quite fun to watch. I found myself watching the Viomi V3 Max move around the house as it cleaned to the point I was accused of being addicted to my phone.
The Viomi V3 Max needs one full house scan first
So, first note: The Viomi V3 Max needs to do a full circuit of the edges of your house before it can create an editable map for the smartphone app. Once that first full house vacuum has occurred the app will automatically show you an editable map of your house.
My advice is to let it fully charge when you unpack it – resist the urge to get it cleaning straight away. Once it is fully charged set it loose.
The first time it cleans your house it will find and map every room available to it wall to wall. Once it has completed a full circuit of your house it will estimate what it thinks the rooms are in the smartphone app and you can begin to have some real fun from there.
If you don’t see the map after your first time out with the Viomi V3 Max, let it do a full run again.
The Maps in the smartphone app can be named, the borders of each can be edited if the rooms weren’t perfectly arranged automatically. This is likely as smart as the Viomi V3 Max is, you know better where your kitchen starts and dining room ends.
Once completely mapped you can also allow you to mark areas on the maps that you don’t want to be cleaned by the Viomi V3 Max or areas you don’t want to be mopped.
If you don’t get a perfect map or you renovate or open up a room previously out of bounds, there is an option in the application to do a single edge to edge remapping of the house.
On this first run, I did what I normally do with my Roomba, which is lifting curtains and moving soft objects from its path. As you’ll see in the Second Run section, this wasn’t necessary.
Roomba loved to eat everything. Cables, chair legs, room edges and anything left in its path. The Viomi V3 Max with its amazing Lidar radar and soft touch with a total of 24 sensors knew when to stop pushing into areas.
Yes, it still ran over cables and mounted some edges around the windows but one of the biggest pluses for us if that we didn’t need to move our curtains out of the way. Instead of pushing through into the curtain it just gently nudged them and went around. This is a big deal as it means they won’t get damaged.
On the second run, I also didn’t put any blockers around other areas with things that could potentially be eaten. Under the bed, we have a bunch of storage bags and again, the Viomi V3 Max just went gently in, nudged a few things and cleaned where it could.
This is most important as when you have a robot vacuum cleaner you’re always worried about what it might be eating. While there are things you definitely need to get off the floor, there are many you don’t. This is just a lot more relaxing than an omnivore robot vacuum cleaner.
Third Run with Vacuum & Mopping function
Third major run it was time to not just vacuum but also mop!
The Viomi V3 Max is a vacuum and mopping robot and what is most awesome is that you can choose 1 of 3 cleaning modes. You can vacuum, you can mop OR you can vacuum AND mop.
I figured it made sense to do both.
The Viomi V3 Max dust and mopping receptacle is well designed with a space for vacuuming and a section reserved for water. If you are using the Viomi V3 Max regularly there is no reason not to leave some water in the unit for mopping when you need to.
The mopping function has 3 water mopping settings. 1, 2, or 3 levels of water output. At first we ran it on level 1 which wet the floor but quickly dried. This would be a perfect setting if you were about to entertain and wanted a quick treatment of the floors.
Level 2 increases output and then level 3 is quite a lot of water output. The important thing is not to put too much liquid soap in the unit to make the floor too slippery. Also, don’t put in any solid or granulated soap that might block the jets.
The receptacle/tank holds 400ml of 200ml water capacity was enough to do the kitchen dining area, 2 bathrooms and an ensuite. There is an optional 700ml water tank for larger houses or houses with hard surfaces.
So, after 3 trips around the house with the Viomi V3 Max?
After the first 3 trips, I was very impressed. The ability to click a room on the map and the Viomi V3 Max comes off its base and vacuums and/or mops just that section and returns to its docking station is awesome.
The other thing that impressed me was its ability to figure out where it was if it was paused or picked up and placed somewhere new. A quick spin around to scan the room with its Lidar scanner and it intelligently worked out where it was and went from there.
As the AI knows where it is in the house it is possible to select different disconnect rooms on the smartphone application and off it goes and only does the areas you select.
To do this all from the comfort of the couch with my iPhone is perfect.
But does it suck?
Couldn’t resist that one. Yes, it does. And you can set it on different suction modes from quiet, standard, medium and strong.
The suction rating of the V3 is 2700Pa. It certainly collected more than previous units we’ve owned.
A really great feature of the Viomi V3 Max i
The opening from the brushes to the dust bin is quite large. This is great for sucking up larger items like big cereal bits etc. Once the dust bin is full it’s super easy to empty just by clicking the button on the side while holding it over the rubbish bin.
Our Viomi V3 Max is stored on tiles. When it begins its cleaning it operates at a certain level. As soon as it hits the carpeted area of the lounge the vacuum automatically detects the carpet and increases the suction for maximum efficacy.
Smart Speaker and Smart Assistant Integration
I’ve had success launching a clean with Google Home but haven’t quite worked out the Alexa connection. I’ve connected the Skill but I think they might still be sorting that from the developer end as this is a new model.
The Smartphone Application
The smartphone app is really well put together. There are a few bits I couldn’t easily figure out but most of that was related to not understanding that first run where it really needed to mop the whole house the first time around.
The ability to choose which rooms to vacuum. Whether to vacuum, mop or both. What vacuuming strength to choose. And how much water volume to mop with, all from the app is great!
- Suction: 2700Pa
- 360° LDS LiDAR Laser scanner with mapping
- Ability to map up to 5 floors
- A35 quad-core processor and SLAM algorithm for fast processing of mapping and situational information
- Fall sensors
- Quiet mode for < 60db (57dB) noise emission (less than a whisper)
- 2-in-1 Dust & Water Tank (400ml dust receptacle + 200ml water tank)
- Boost mode for carpets
- 5200mAh Battery which gives you up to 3000sq ft cleaner area (quiet mode)
- Mop, Vacuum, Vacuum & Mop options
- MiHome Smart Phone App
- Alexa, Google Home & Mijia Compatible
- Brushless Motors
- 2cm obstacle height ability
Summing it up
The Viomi V3 Max hits all the right notes. It has great suction power. The smartphone app makes the management of the Viomi V3 Max vacuum effortless.
The Lidar radar mapping and sensors mean you worry less about what it’s doing, or what it’s eating. It also knows where it’s going and won’t get lost.
Max is certainly a permanent fixture in our house.
This post was last updated on 2021-10-16 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.