Until there is a new “top dog” in the robot vacuum space, this Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is IT, the one to beat. Now, after many months of hands-on experience, I am confident this article will provide useful insight for everyone interested in how the robot vacuum market has matured and where you could fit in.
This is my long-term review.
What won’t it or can’t it do? It cannot go up or down a step, such as to a room that is one or more steps up or down. It cannot vacuum baseboards or anything else that is above the floor level. It cannot nor should it be sent out to clean anything except bare floors or rugs/carpets that have any pile other than the lowest of the low. That’s not what this or any robot vacuum is designed to do. Its round shape makes it impossible to clean into corners. Finally, it cannot move furniture out of the way. That’s a pretty short can’t do list!
What it CAN do is unlike any other of which I am aware.
First, please, have a look at the extensive product details provided verbatim by Roborock. My comments will follow:
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is a robot vacuum that has been created to make cleaning your floor completely automatic. It is a robot vacuum and mop combo that you can genuinely set and forget for weeks at a time. Its ReactiveAI 2.0 obstacle avoidance system with enhanced hazard recognition keeps it away from hazards, so you don’t have to clear the floor before it runs. 5100 Pa of suction power deeply cleans dust on wood floors and carpets. The unique VibraRise mopping system scrubs your floor at up to 3000 scrubs per minute to eliminate dried-on stains. It can also lift up when carpet is detected, so you can mop floors and vacuum carpets in one run. To top it off, the Empty Wash Fill Dock is self-emptying and holds up to 7-weeks of debris, refills the water tank, and washes the mop, ready for another run so you don’t have to lift a finger!
Roborock’s Smartest Robot Combo Yet.
S7 MaxV Ultra provides a totally hands-free cleaning experience. The Empty Wash Fill Dock handles automatic dust emptying, mop washing, and robot water tank refilling. The dock even cleans itself too. Giving you previously impossible levels of convenience.
Auto Mop Washing.
Every time the robot returns to the dock, a unique mop washing system scrubs the mop clean and squeezes it dry while its water tank is refilled. That means your mop gets cleaned automatically, so you don’t have to do it, and the robot always is ready to go.
Wash Frequency Settings.
Mop washing frequency can be customized in the Roborock app. Options include by time and room.
The spinning brush of the mop cleaner drives debris and dirty water from the mop as it cleans. Simultaneously, it pushes that grimy water to the drain, where it is drawn into the dirty water tank. Automatic tank cleaning reduces manual cleaning, bacteria growth, and odor.
Auto-dustbin emptying means no more manual robot emptying and up to 7 weeks without changing the dock dustbag.
The robot water tank is automatically refilled when it returns to the dock, giving it a maximum mopping range of 300 sqm (3230 sq ft).
ReactiveAI 2.0 Obstacle avoidance uses a camera for hazard recognition, supplemented by an LED light for accurate recognition day or night.
Avoiding the Unknown.
Equipped with 3D Structured Light obstacle sensing, unknown obstacles are accurately identified and avoided.
Powerful Suction with Precision Navigation.
Clean extra deeply with a maximum suction of 5100Pa in Max+ mode and get maximum coverage with precision LiDAR navigation.
Sonic Vibration Technology.
Mop effectively with sonic mopping that scrubs at up to 3000 scrubs per minute to effectively shift dried-on stains.
Intelligent Mop Lifting.
Automatically lifts the mop up to 5 mm, making it possible to mop floors and vacuum carpets in one run without wetting the carpet. The mop also automatically lifts up at the end of a clean to keep the dirty mop off clean floors.
Multi-Directional Floating Brush.
Multi-plane floating brush keeps the brush close to the floor on uneven surfaces for better agitation.
Real-Time Video Calling.
Video call to anywhere in your home through your robot. See who you are talking to, and hear them too.
Built for Security and Privacy.
ReactiveAI 2.0 does not save a single image used for obstacle avoidance. No images saved means no images to lose. Not only that, S7 MaxV is certified as a safe smart home product by TUV Rheinland and meets ETSI EN 303 645 cyber security standards.
30% Faster Charging.
Charging times have been cut by over 30% (from empty to fully charged), so you can get back to cleaning faster. Off-Peak charging supported.
Have a look at my first Roborock robot vacuum review.
This is no simple point & shoot robovac!
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For small apartment dwellers the S7 MaxV Ultra is expensive overkill. Bare floors are its friend. Carpeting and rugs as a majority of floor coverings are best maintained with a stick vac or an upright, not this or any robot vacuum.
If you prefer going old school for much less money than any robot vacuum and with minimal maintenance cost or time-consuming upkeep, then do that! With no batteries to deal with and, with care, a very long and happy nearly maintenance-free life, there is NOTHING wrong with an excellent corded upright vacuum. I still use mine and would not for a nanosecond think of giving it up. Here is a favorite from Dyson. Fun fact – Not one of my Dysons has broken down since my first Dyson that was reviewed in 1993!
What’s the advantage of any robot vacuum? From the set-it-and-forget-it mentality of marketers, consumers have been groomed towards the robovac trend.
ALL vacuuming requires access to the flooring. Traditional vacuums have to be maneuvered under and around obstacles, right? The move-things-as-you-go model has worked since the dawn of floor cleaning that preceeded vacuuming. And it still does. Except for a pair of large area rugs, a few mats and other items in the way on the floor, the surface here is tile.
Ah, but fully- or semi-autonomous robot vacuuming is at its best when the path is cleared in advance. In my world, this means moving the chairs out from being nested under the dining room table. The robot vac has to negotiate a path without obstructions so it can do its job. The dance of the dining room chairs has to consider that they need to be out from the table yet still allow space all around it for the robot to go between the chair legs, easily run under the table and use the space around the perimeter of obstacles to go on its merry path from room to room.
Here is what I do to prep for S7 MaxV Ultra’s regular work cycle. The chairs around the kitchen table are picked up, overturned and placed upside down on their chair pads on top of that table or the robot vacuum cannot find and clean efficiently underneath and around it.
Kitchen mats and rugs have to be picked up and stowed, usually atop the pile on the kitchen table leaving the floor as clear as possible for both vacuuming and floor washing.
The family room/den presents its own challenges. There is a media couch with electric seating. It’s not going to move for anything and there is no path available to clean underneath, even with the foot rests extended.
There is a pair of electric media chairs that, ideally, need their foot rests extended so a robot can crawl part way underneath and clean.
Also in that large room is a computer desk. The computer chair needs to be moved away for access under the desktop. While there are places at the left and right of the foot area, it is not high enough off the ground for any vacuum to access on its own. Cleaning under there requires a Swiffer or similar device, an improvised mop with a damp rag or a traditional vacuum’s attachments.
But wait, there’s more! The dog’s big bed must be picked up and set aside for access to the flooring.
And what about the very large area rug on the tile floor? It is mostly in the clear, but parts are under the couch and media seating.
There is a step down into the living room that is not accessible autonomously.
There are a couple of rugs from the family room/den in the hall on the way to a door that enters the garage. Make a hard right before the garage to find a powder room. Up comes the mat in front of the sink. Up comes the spare TP rolls holder and a little basket of reading materials from the floor. And the toilet cleaning tools have to go somewhere else during the robot’s prowl. Fortunately, the vanities in all bathrooms, upstairs and downstairs, are wall-hung making for easy robot access underneath.
And there is still more! Getting the picture?
I think we are not alone in finding a time to prep, then turn loose the robot to do its thing. Doing so means that nothing else can comfortably be going on during cleaning. There is a noise associated with vacuuming, any vacuuming, and then there is the possible inconvenience of having the robot working where we live. Yes, our feet moving about become obstacles to a robot’s roam.
I usually set this Roborock to both vacuum and wet-mop the floors. I employ the wet-mopping routine to be executed three times to be assured of not only good coverage, but also of effective cleaning. Roborock makes available a branded cleaning solution to add to the clean water reservoir that, in turn, is filled into the onboard clean water tank on the S7 MaxV Ultra.
I know of no one whose home floors are absolutely obstacle free. With today’s WFH (Work From Home) setups, office spaces often have things on floors that should be off limits to robots and otherwise carefully cleaned with traditional or stick vacuums. Washing those floor spaces takes added thought. In most cases, there will be electrical and computer wires to be left alone.
In the bedrooms, well, use your imagination. There is usually stuff that must be moved. And so it goes.
There are solutions for all the headscratchers above, so keep reading.
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra and power cord
- Dock with clean water bin, dirty water bin, dust bin with filter
This takes some time and effort. As per usual, RTFM (Read The F*****g Manual)!
Determine where will be the headquarters for the base, the dock for the mother ship.
Put on your patience hat and assemble this masterpiece.
Download the Roborock app from the App Store and/or the Google Play Store. Create an account.
After assembly is completed and the base is plugged in, press the power button on the S7 MaxV and, assuming there is enough power to turn it on, follow instructions to launch the app and enable Wi-Fi on the MaxV Ultra. Then, place the robot on the charging tabs in the base. Once the handshake has taken place between the robot and the app, look for and approve firmware updates that are sure to be available. Users may also select the robot voice of choice.
Let the MaxV Ultra fully charge.
Become familiar with the app and features. Oh, my goodness, there is so much to learn!
Mapping strategies, from whole house to individual rooms. Cleaning choices, from how many mopping passes over each room or all rooms, to the intensity of the mopping and the intensity of the suction.
Camera on or off? See it all on your smartphone in real time and TALK to whoever or whatever is within range!
Set object avoidance parameters to approach but not touch or to nuzzle right up to the walls or objects and let the front sensor “bumper” contact be the method by which she knows to stop and move on. Her smarts are really smart. She will see with her LiDAR eyes what’s around, remember and build a map in 2D, 3D or Matrix.
If there is a pet, users can set, “Pet details”. If selected, “your robot will move in a way that improves obstacle recognition but may slightly reduce cleaning efficiency.”
Select Pin n Go to tap a spot on the created map to set a target for spot cleaning or to send her to that area for further instructions.
Select the Child Lock feature to lock out all the buttons on the robot.
This barely scratches the surface of settings and options.
She’s all set up.
It’s time to . . .
**PUT IT TO THE TEST**
The first outing is for overall map creation. Let her see what there is to see and identify furniture and obstacles.
If there are other levels, such as our living room step-down and upstairs rooms, the app can be told there is a second floor. Her smarts prevent her from falling into the living room or falling down the stairs. She senses where she ought not go, feels her way and moves on.
There is plenty of battery capacity for even a large home. However, if she senses low battery, she will return to the dock, do a mop wash, stay put and charge, and then go out again on her appointed rounds.
Here is where I found something to put on my wish list for the next product hardware iteration.
Over the course of extended use, I learned that S7 MaxV Ultra cannot detect when her dust bin is full and requires emptying. On one occasion, the bin was so full and its contents so compressed that the contents could not be extracted by the auto-empty dock. The channel in the dock that takes the bin contents from the S7 Max through and up to be deposited into the bag in the tower was clogged. It took me a while to figure out the problem and to dismantle to the point that I could unclog the passage and move past this incident.
After EXCELLENT tech support calls, I learned there is no sensor for this purpose. I guess I need to clean more often so as to prevent reoccurrence. I am sure it is from dust that sits on the rugs, primarily the large rugs. There is quite a bit of foot traffic bringing in all that dirt.
Another workaround is to regularly vacuum the rugs with a good ol’ corded vacuum or a stick vac, such as our excellent Roborock H7 between S7 MaxV Ultra outings.
I see this as more of a localized, personal issue than one that will be of concern to the average consumer who may have less carpeted space.
Dust bin concerns aside, the S7 MaxV Ultra learns and updates her map and obstacle database with every use.
Roborock provides regular firmware updates to improve AI and other operational characteristics. This, along with the excellent, professional, US-based tech support by phone are both impressive.
With the dock downstairs, I carry the S7 MaxV Ultra for cleaning upstairs. Once I set her down and select the upstairs map, then click “Clean,” she is off and on the job. There is less to do upstairs, so she usually can finish without requiring a mop wash before she’s done, which would necessitate a trip to the dock downstairs with her under my arm.
I view the physically large and large capacity dock as a plus. With an on-board fresh water supply and on-board dirty water bin, this means less hands-on regular maintenance. Add to this the bag into which debris is emptied. The total package requires fewer trips to the sink and garbage. We can go about six weeks before bag replacement. As a matter of course, the dirty water is emptied ever week or two and its bin washed and dried. Clean water with cleaning solution is checked and topped up as required.
There are no concerns that the carpets will get wet. The Auto Lift feature works virtually flawlessly, tucking the mophead up and away when the S7 MaxV Ultra rises to crawl onto and vacuum the rug. However, there are times when she straddles the gap between the rug and bare floor, then seems a bit confused, teetering onto the tile floor, when the other direction onto the carpet. Software updates and experience have taught her to do better and better.
We are a busy bunch! It is usually difficult to regularly schedule cleaning as we would like. This means, for example, the kitchen floor’s traffic results in a greater need for kitchen floor care than regular cleaning everywhere would accomplish. To get the kitchen floor clean, especially in spots where spills occur, and they do occur, we must spot clean or do a wider cleaning just in the kitchen. The same holds true for the entryway where feet bring in dirt and debris from the outside. We sometimes send out our little friend for those jobs OR we rely on another Roborock product, an upright product called DYAD, to roller mop and vacuum those areas. More on this and my review in another post.
The dock effectively cleans the mop, so swapping out a dirty mop with a clean one is not generally needed on this model. The mop is at the front of the S7. For mop cleaning, she must go head first into the dock where the mop can be washed. Watch at the link to see her return to base, clean the mop and then go out again to complete her current cleaning assignment. Here is a video showing what happens at the end of floor cleaning. She returns to the dock, head in, washes the mop, extracts herself from the dock, puts it in reverse again and does a final docking, then charging, and ready for the next floor cleaning outing.
All things considered, this is one impressive and comprehensive robot vacuum, a welcome addition to Gadget Central and a prized member of the tech team at home.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is a premium product that includes the robot vacuum and auto-empty dock as one kit.
Her prowess and smarts are unlike any other robot vacuum of which I am aware. I continue to learn her ways and she continues to smartly learn her job around here.
The whole package is perfectly matched for any home, especially those steeped in consumer technology.
For everyone interested in THE ultimate robot vacuum, this is THE one to get!
One year manufacturer’s parts & labor warranty