Will I have a reliable automated home cleaner by 2028?
closes 2028

Right now, I have a Roborock automatic vacuum cleaner. It's useful, but it frequently misses spots (corners and edges near the wall, areas around furniture that move frequently like my office chair) and gets stuck (carpets, wires, and angled legs of things like music stands). If a significant improvement can ever be had for a reasonable price, I will likely buy it.

This market resolves to YES if I have an automated cleaner that I feel can reliably sweep/vacuum open spaces as well as a human can by 2028. Otherwise it resolves to NO.

I am not requiring such an improved robot to be able to do things like clean stairs, behind furniture, or non-floor surfaces, nor that it be able to mop. I am requiring that it not require extensive fiddling. If I have to micromanage it by telling it exactly how to clean each location properly, what things to avoid, or tell it to go clean an area again because it missed something the first time, that's no good. It needs to be a simple set-it-and-forget-it system. (Except emptying its dustbin; having to do that myself won't disqualify the system.)

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AlQuinn avatar
Al Quinnbought Ṁ10 of YES

get married and resolve YES

IsaacKing avatar

@AlQuinn A human doesn't count as automated.

AlQuinn avatar
Al Quinnis predicting YES at 47%

@IsaacKing what if the human is a p-zombie? just marry one of those

jack avatar

I was reading product reviews for robovacs recently, there's some systems that are starting to include computer vision based obstacle avoidance. I don't think they're sufficiently reliable yet, so still have to clean up cords and stuff, but I can see them getting reasonably good by 2028. I think they will deal with common obstacles well but not the long tail of possible ways to get stuck.

Which roborock model do you have?


Some high-end robot vacuums now include advanced obstacle recognition in their nav systems. In theory, these systems should help the robots simply drive around any floor clutter they find, and even avoid hazards like dog turds. (It’s rare, but accidents happen and smears follow.) The utopian vision is that, with this kind of so-called artificial intelligence, you’re freed from the burden of pre-tidying your home before you run the robot, and the bot will never get stuck on socks, cords, or any number of common traps.

But we’ve put the current AI bots to the test in the real world, and they aren’t that good yet. Certain models are pretty good at avoiding certain obstacles, but none of them reliably avoid every kind of common floor-clutter, and some models just don’t deliver on their promises at all.

If you understand that you’ll probably be disappointed but want to try an AI bot anyway, consider the iRobot Roomba j7 (or j7+) or the Roborock S6 MaxV (both are higher-end versions of our top picks, and each cost a few hundred dollars extra).


The Roborock s6 MaxV has dual front facing cameras with AI object avoidance. It does a great job in my experience. It will avoid areas with cords, laundry left on floor, random dryer sheets, and other things likely to get stuck and cause problems (their big advertisement is avoiding animal poop, but I don't have dogs and didn't think it necessary to poop on the floor to test it.)

IsaacKing avatar

@jack S4 max I think.

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