If you’re going to spend $749 on a robot vacuum, you want it to be pretty much perfect. The Roborock S6 MaxV can vacuum and mop, and does an excellent job at both. It’s also the company’s most powerful vacuum yet, with 2,500Pa of suction. Under the hood, it boasts a Qualcomm APQ8053 processor that powers an AI-based obstacle avoidance feature designed to help the MaxV steer clear of common household items that trip up other robot vacuums. But in testing it was no match for at least one common obstacle: dog toys. So while the S6 MaxV is a solid, versatile floor-cleaning robot, in this price range we prefer the $799.99 Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI for its superior AI-based obstacle avoidance technology, longer battery life, and unique home monitoring capabilities.
Features and Specs
At 3.8 inches tall and 13.8 inches in diameter, the S6 MaxV is one of the larger floor-cleaning robots we’ve tested.
On top, there’s a Clean/Power button in the middle, flanked by Dock and Spot Clean buttons. It has a raised LiDAR navigation sensor, similar to the one on the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI and the $500 Proscenic M7 Pro, two other robot mop/vacuum hybrids. On the bottom it has a main brush, an edge-sweeping brush, and several cliff sensors to prevent it from falling down stairs.
The S6 MaxV boasts an advanced obstacle avoidance feature dubbed ReactiveAI designed to prevent it from getting stuck on things, a common pain point for robot vacuums. It uses two cameras and on-device artificial intelligence image processing to spot obstacles, estimate their size and location, and automatically navigate around them. The cameras work together to capture detailed images at a maximum speed of at 30fps. The system then uses a convolutional neural network trained on thousands of real-world pictures to process images captured by the robot’s cameras.
Roborock says the system can recognize and bypass common home hazards as small as 2 inches wide and 1.1 inches tall, including things like power cords and slippers. It can even automatically identify and avoid pet waste instead of rolling over it and spreading it everywhere like we’ve seen some less expensive models do. For the sake of your privacy, images captured and processed by the robot are “deleted in an instant,” Roborock says. Images are never duplicated, stored, or sent to the cloud. The processing happens on the device itself.
Besides that, the S6 MaxV offers many other features you expect in a high-end robot vacuum, including app and voice control, scheduling, and zone cleaning. In the Roborock app (available for Android and iOS), you can save up to four maps if you have different levels in your home, and create virtual No-Go and No-Mop Zones, so the robot will avoid certain areas. There’s also a Cleaning History section that shows details of each job, including a map of the robot’s path. You have five cleaning modes to pick from: Balanced (which you’ll probably use most of the time), Gentle, Quiet, Turbo, and Max.
The S6 MaxV has a 5,200mAh battery, which Roborock says allows for up to three hours of continuous cleaning in Quiet mode without the mop system attached. In testing, it vacuumed for 116 minutes in Balanced mode before it got down to 19 percent battery and went back to its charging dock. I tried to run it again to see how much longer it would last, but it said the battery was too low, and it would resume cleaning when it was fully charged.
That’s a good result, crushing the $950 iRobot Roomba i7+ (60 minutes) and narrowly beating the Proscenic M7 Pro (103 minutes), but coming nowhere close to the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, which has better battery life than any robot mop or vacuum we’ve tested (170 minutes).
The S6 MaxV doesn’t come with a remote, but you can control it using the Roborock app or with your voice via Amazon Alexa. A Roborock spokesperson told me the company is working to get it certified to work with Google Assistant as well.
Roborock recommends placing the robot’s charging dock against a wall 1.6 feet away from objects on either side and 4.9 feet across from anything, and using double-sided tape to secure it in place.
To set it up, you need to download and install the Roborock app and create an account. From there, you turn the robot on and hold down the Spot Clean and Dock buttons until it says “Resetting Wi-Fi” and the Wi-Fi indicator light begins slowly blinking. You then open the Roborock app, tap the plus icon in the top right, select the S6 MaxV from the list, and follow the installation prompts to get it connected to Wi-Fi.
Setting it up to work with Alexa is pretty simple. You just enable the Roborock Plus skill in the Alexa app and sign in using your Roborock account credentials. From there, Alexa will begin searching for new devices. If Alexa doesn’t find it, make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the robot and try again. Once you get it connected to Alexa, you can use your voice to start and stop cleaning jobs.
Vacuuming and Obstacle Avoidance
As the S6 MaxV works, it creates a map of your home in the Roborock app on which you can see its exact cleaning path. The app also shows how long it’s been cleaning and the square meters it has covered (there doesn’t seem to be a way to change this to square feet). As it works, it moves quickly and efficiently, making straight lines.
The S6 MaxV isn’t the quietest robot vacuum I’ve tested, but it’s not too bad. Roborock says it runs at 67dB in Balanced mode (or about the same volume as classroom chatter, according to OSHA). In Max and Turbo modes, it’s louder. In comparison, the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI has a maximum volume of 67dB.
If you have carpeting in your home, you’ll want to enable the Carpet Mode feature in the app’s Vacuum Settings menu. When it’s enabled, the robot will automatically increase its suction power when it detects carpet. This is a nice feature you can also find on the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI and Proscenic M7 Pro.
In testing, the ReactiveAI obstacle avoidance feature was hit or miss. On its first full test run, the robot never got stuck and made it back to its base station when it was finished cleaning. When it detects an obstacle, it labels it on the map. It incorrectly labeled a brown extension cord as pet waste, which isn’t really a problem but kind of funny.
To really put its obstacle avoidance technology to the test, I intentionally placed dog toys around the room while it was cleaning and it got stuck twice. In comparison, the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI excelled at this test, detecting the toys in its way each time and changing directions accordingly.
In addition, the S6 MaxV got stuck on the base of my couch, an area that also tripped up the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI. Another time, I got a notification on my phone that the main brush was jammed. When I checked, I found one of those tiny fabric wristbands you get at a music festival looped around it.
Aside from these issues, the S6 MaxV did an excellent job sucking up crumbs, dirt, dust, and hair (both human and pet) from my floors. After just one full pass around my home, my floors looked a lot cleaner.
In testing, it performed equally well on hard floors, low-pile, and medium-pile carpeting. Weaker robot vacuums—like the iLife A9, which has 1,000Pa of suction power—struggle to clean all the debris from medium-pile carpeting, but the S6 MaxV had no such problem thanks to its strong 2,500Pa suction power.
In the user manual, Roborock says you should vacuum your floors at least three times before mopping to avoid excessive buildup on the mop. To enable mopping mode, you need to remove the water tank, fill it with water, then slide it back into the robot. You then dampen the washable mop cloth, put it on the mop cloth bracket, then slide the bracket onto the water tank. When it’s successfully installed, you’ll hear a click and the robot will say it’s in mopping mode. The mopping bracket has buttons on the side that make it easy to remove. When you remove it, the robot goes back to regular vacuuming mode.
The S6 MaxV’s mop cloth bracket (top) compared with the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI’s (bottom)< /small>
Like most other robot mops, including the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, the S6 MaxV cleans with water. On its water tank, there’s a note that says to avoid using cleaning products or disinfectants to prevent damaging it. If you’re a germaphobe and looking for a robot vacuum that offers support for cleaning solutions, not just water, check out the $500 iRobot Braava Jet m6.
The S6 MaxV has a large 10-ounce water tank (compared with the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI’s 8-ounce tank), and the largest mop cloth bracket of any robot mop I’ve tested.
The S6 MaxV’s water tank (left) compared with the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI’s (right)
Unlike the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, the S6 MaxV doesn’t automatically avoid carpets when mopping. You can, however, set No-Mop Zones in the app to prevent it from getting your carpets wet. You navigate to Map Settings > No-Go Zone > No-Mop Zone, and draw a square over carpeted rooms and areas. I made my bedroom and office No-Mop Zones, and the robot successfully avoided them.
On the downside, if you have hard floors and area rugs, you may have to make that whole room a No-Mop Zone. In my living room, for instance, I have laminate flooring and an area rug under the coffee table. I tried to make a No-Mop Zone over just the area rug, so the robot would clean the flooring around it, but it didn’t really work. It’s hard to estimate where an area rug is on the map and get the No-Mop Zone exactly right. You might be able to do it, but it’s a bit of a chore, and will probably take more than one try.
If you do have hard floors and area rugs in your home, I suggest opting for the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, which does an excellent job of automatically avoiding carpeting.
The good news is that once you create a No-Mop Zone, it’s saved in the app so you don’t have to do it again. And if you make a mistake, you can edit your Zones at any time. You can also set the water to high, low, or medium, and adjust the flow by room. It’s set to medium by default, which I thought was fine.
In terms of cleaning performance, the S6 MaxV did an excellent job mopping my floors. After the first pass, they looked and felt a lot cleaner, though I noticed a few spots left behind. The robot still had a lot of battery left, so I ran it again. After those two passes it removed all the grime and smudges from my floors, leaving them nice and shiny.
After two passes over my floors, the mop cloth was full of grime
Every robot vacuum requires some maintenance, but the S6 MaxV isn’t quite as needy as others. It doesn’t have the ability to empty its own dustbin (like the Roomba i7+ and S9+ can), but Roborock only recommends cleaning the dustbin and main brush weekly, and the washable filter every two weeks.
Normally, you have to empty a robot vacuum’s dustbin after every use. The S6 MaxV has a large 15.5-ounce dustbin (compared with the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI’s 14-ounce bin) that should be large enough to allow for several cleaning jobs before it needs emptying.
In the app, there’s an option called Maintenance in the Settings menu that tells you how much time the filter, main brush, and side brush have left before they need to be fully replaced. It also shows the remaining time until you need to clean the sensors.
Comparisons and Conclusions
The Roborock S6 MaxV has many of the bells and whistles you expect in a high-end 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop—with a price to match. It supports app and voice control (though it only integrates with Amazon Alexa at the moment), and lets you set virtual boundaries and cleaning schedules. Its strong suction power will leave your floors dirt-free, and its excellent mopping capabilities will make them shine.
In terms of design, features, and price, the Roborock S6 MaxV is similar to the Editors’ Choice Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI. Both are solid options, but I suggest spending $50 more and getting the latter, which offers automatic carpet detection when mopping, a novel video butler feature that lets you see your home as it cleans, better battery life, and superior AI-based obstacle avoidance technology.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a more affordable robot vacuum/mop hybrid with strong suction power, check out the Proscenic M7 Pro. It’s mopping capabilities are just okay, but it boasts 2,600Pa suction power—100Pa more than the S6 MaxV—and costs $250 less.
Roborock S6 MaxV Specs
|Dimensions||13.8 by 13.8 by 4.5 inches|
|Battery Life (Tested)||116 minutes|