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Can Roomba And Other Robot Vacuums Go Over Bumps

iRobot Roomba and other robot vacuums are designed to traverse over bumps and other small obstacles as they move around the area.

Robot vacuums feature sensors and software that allow them to detect and avoid obstacles. Also, they can climb over small obstacles such as thresholds, carpets, doorsteps, cords, etc.

Published: December 30, 2022.

roomba on uneven carpet

Quick Intro To Robot Vacuums

Robot vacuums are mostly round and flat devices with two main wheels and one additional caster wheel.

While the main wheels, each one with its own electric motor, are used for propulsion, the caster wheel is used for stabilization.

This configuration ensures excellent maneuverability over flat terrain and even allows the robot vacuum to turn on the spot.

However, due to the need to be very low over the ground to access and clean various places at home, robot vacuums generally have a very low tolerance for floor obstacles.

Thus, it is important to note that robot vacuums cannot climb over very large or steep obstacles, and they may not be able to navigate very cluttered or uneven surfaces.

Before starting a cleaning cycle, it is always a good idea to ensure that the area you want to clean is free of large obstacles or debris.

Some robot vacuums are specifically designed for use on carpets and bare floors, and as such, they feature larger wheels and larger climbing heights, while others are better suited for use on hard floors only.

What Is Climbing Height?

The climbing height of a robot vacuum refers to the maximum height of an obstacle that the vacuum can climb over.

This can vary depending on the model and design of the robot vacuum, but it is usually in the 0.5 and 0.8 inches (1.3 - 2.0 cm), rarely more.

Some robot vacuums can climb over higher obstacles than others, but in general, most robot vacuums are not designed for climbing over very large or steep obstacles.

When using a robot vacuum, it is important to keep this in mind and ensure that the area you want to clean is free of large obstacles or debris before starting a cleaning cycle.

robot vacuum climbing

Note: when trying to climb over a certain obstacle, for example, a doorway, if the robot gets stuck, most modern robot vacuums will try to free themselves by driving backward or left/right, or combined. And when they get stuck, they call for help - sometimes literally :)

Robot Climbing Height Examples

Here are a few examples of robot vacuums climbing heights:

  • Coredy R500+ Robot Vacuum Cleaner: 0.64 inches (~16 mm)
  • Coredy R3500S Robot Vacuum Cleaner: 0.64 inches (~16 mm)
  • ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 Robot Vacuum: 0.55 inches (~14 mm)
  • eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX: 0.63 inches (~16 mm)
  • eufy RoboVac 35C Robot Vacuum Cleaner: 0.63 inches (~16 mm)
  • ILIFE V9e Robotic Vacuum Cleaner: 0.8 inches (~20 mm)
  • iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaners: 0.625 inches (~16 mm)
  • Neato Botvac D3 Connected Robot Vacuum: 0.75 inches (~19 mm)
  • Neato Botvac D4 Connected Robot Vacuum: 0.75 inches (~19 mm)
  • Neato Robotics D7 Connected Robot Vacuum: 0.75 inches (~19 mm)
  • Roborock E25 Robot Vacuum Cleaner: 0.79 inches (~20 mm)
  • Roborock E35 Robot Vacuum Cleaner: 0.79 inches (~20 mm)
  • Roborock S4 Robot Vacuum Cleaner: 0.59 inches (~15 mm)
  • Roborock S6 (MaxV, Max, Pure): 0.79 inches (~20 mm)

samsung r7260

Of course, there are many other models on the market with similar results. However, some models, for example, from Samsung, feature much higher climbing heights thanks to the special mechanism which allows the main wheels to adjust their height and climb surprisingly high obstacles - and no, they can't climb the stairs, at least, not yet...

Note: some robot vacuums are designed to operate as robot vacuums or as robot vacuums/mops. When converting them into robot mops, a water tank and mopping pad are added, which can reduce climbing height significantly and cause problems when such a unit has to navigate an area with obstacles.

Long Story Short: Robot vacuums are designed for climbing low-pile carpets and area rugs to vacuum them. That's why their climbing height of 0.5-0.8 inches is more than enough.

Theoretically, they can climb even thicker carpets, but thick, soft and fluffy carpets will make robot vacuums stuck permanently.

So, can robot vacuums go ver bumps? Yes, they can, but their climbing ability is limited.