Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner
Avg. consumer rating = 87/100
We dont review a lot of robotic vacuums but the Evolution Robotics Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner is getting good reviews and it can be found for under $200 at some online retailers (it is also a best-seller on Amazon). As such, it warrants a look. It should be pointed out that this is not a vacuum but rather a robotic sweeper and mopper.
Consumer reviews and ratings for the Robotic Mint Floor Cleaner are not widespread but a few sites have input and these are provided in the table below. The figures suggest a fairly high level of satisfaction with the cleaner, but consumers do have some issues which you can see in the pros and cons section.
|Amazon||4.4 stars out of 5||93|
|Viewpoints||4.33 stars out of 5||3|
|Epinions||3 stars out of 5||2|
Evolution robotics are no stranger to working with robotic devices. They have developed state-of-the-art facial recognition systems as well as location awareness systems for popular consumer robotics in the past. They also develop robotics solutions for commercial use. The company started in 2002 and has headquarters in the US and regional offices in Germany and Japan. The Evolution Robotics Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner was released in 2010.
The Mint cleaner sweeps and mops, and is therefore intended for hard floors only (hardwood, linoleum, tile, etc). It does not operate on carpet and does not have suction or openings to suck in dirt/dust, nor does it have a dust container to empty.
This unit uses dry or moistened cloths attached to the underside and a navigation system that helps it move across open areas, around furniture and along the edge of the walls. The navigation used by the Mint Floor Cleaner is known as the NorthStar Navigation System, and it uses a cube that projects an infrared signal on the ceiling that the cleaning robot uses to determine its location. While the robot cleans, a map of the area is generated on the fly by the navigation system. The NorthStar navigation uses 2 C batteries. The Mint cleaner robot can also work in the dark and has sensors that keep it off of rugs and stop it from going over drop-offs and stairs.
According to the Mint website the robot can clean up to 800 square feet in sweep mode but is restricted to 250 square feet in mop mode as the mopping cloth needs to stay wet to be effective. When the Mint cleaner finishes an area it returns to the same spot it started from and turns itself off. The Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner has dimensions (W x L x H) 8.5 x 9.6 x 3.1 and the low profile allows it to get under most furniture easily.
A picture is worth a thousand words and a video can also be a great help, and while the following is a commercial it really helps to understand how this machine is intended to work.
The Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner comes with both dry and wet microfiber cleaning cloths. The flat dry cloths are used for sweep mode and the wet textured cloths are for mop mode, and changing between modes can be done via the click of a button. The cloths are all washable and re-usable, and other brands of disposable cloths (like Swiffers wet and dry pads) can be used. In mop mode the machine uses a mopping back and forth motion to help remove dirt and grime from the area.
The unit has a rechargeable battery (that has a lifespan of about a year or so and can be replaced) and comes with a recharging power adapter that plugs into the wall. On a full charge it can clean on sweep mode for up to 3 hours and on mop mode for up to 2 hours. The Mint Floor Cleaner carries a 1 year warranty.
Consumer comments are generally good but in certain instances sentiment varies widely. Some folks indicate that the units navigation is excellent while others feel it is inadequate. Some reviews indicate the cleaning, while not perfect, is sufficient, and some say it does not clean that well. Some say the battery charge lasts for a sufficiently long time others dont think so. Like many robotic vacuums it seems to evoke a wide range of sentiments from consumers.
It is possible that this may be a matter of managing expectations. Robotic vacuums (at this time) will not provide the level of cleaning that a full size manual vacuum will. But then many argue that this is not their intent. Those that feel the machine works well often see it as a kind of cleaning helper. It doesnt do the deep cleaning but it helps keep areas manageable and saves you time.
A review of consumer comments from several quality sites yields the following common Mint Cleaner likes and dislikes:
- Mapping and navigation system works better than a number of competing brands
- Very quiet
- Gets under and around furniture well
- Wet cleaning work well
- Good looking and stylish machine
- Easy to setup and get started
- Simple to maintain
- Like every robotic vacuum rooms have to be prepared before vacuuming
- Does not do a deep cleaning (similar issue for most robotic vacuums)
- No automatic charging base (you must plug it in to recharge)
- If you clean the cloth mid-run the unit forgets where it was (starts to redo areas)
- Sometimes gets stuck in areas or wanders
- Battery life only lasts for a few rooms & has a long recharge time
- The navigation unit must be redeployed for each room
For those folks looking for more information and product detail, the Evolution Cleaner Manual may be worth a look.
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