Vacuum cleaner robot October 15, 2013 11:36 am

Review of the vacuum cleaner robot LG Hom-bot Square 3.0 (1127 & 1129)

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After many requests to LG, and after becoming tired of waiting for a response for a robot that never arrived, I decided to break my piggy bank and order myself the LG Hom-bot Square 1129. It must be said that I was eager to test this new revolutionary robot, its shape promises better cleaning for boundaries and corners and I have not been disappointed. The results of my various tests are stunning! However the robot encountered problems of navigation, which is relatively important.

Two models are sold in France: the VR1129B and the VR1127B. The 1129 has an additional brush specifically designed for carpets and rugs but it is very expensive! I have in effect paid 100 euros more to acquire the 1129 !

The robot is shipped with

  • A database for loading and a bracket for the remote control (very convenient and it avoids misplacing the remote control)
  • A remote control and 2 AA batteries
  • A HEPA filter replacement
  • A bracket to the microfibre cloth
  • 2 Microfibre Cloths
  • 2 Cleaning tools
  • 2 Side brushes additional
  • 1 Additional brush for carpets (only with the VR1129B)

 

contenu boite lg hom bot square

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The 1129 is black and the 1127 red.

lg hom-bot square

Upper Part

LG has designed their robot with with beautiful curves and quality materials. With the Hom-bot Square, almost reaches perfection!

lg hom bot square

The LG Hom-bot Square maps its environment thanks to 2 cameras, one of which is located on the robot (above the logo LG, see photo above).

panneau de controle lg hom-bot

The control panel is made up of 4 tactile buttons:

  • A button to activate the Turbo mode
  • A button to select one of the 3 modes
  • A button to return the robot to its database
  • A Start/Stop button

On the side we find 3 ultrasonic sensors that allow the robot to detect the obstacles and slow down without ever touching obstacles (except sometimes for some obstacles such as chairs).

At the rear is an On/Off switch and the air outlet.

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Lower Part

As with a lot of vacuum cleaners robots, there is the presence of 2 side brushes. They have their advantages but also disadvantages. These brushes allow you to reach the borders and corners but in return, they will repel dirt in inaccessible places (under furniture for example) or disperse the fine particles of dust in the air. Only the Neato does not have side brushes. Others have only one as the Roomba.

In the vicinity of the side brushes are located the 3 vacuum sensors.

lg hom bot 3.0

Located towards the back (to the right of the small wheel) is the second camera.

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Positive Point, the bearings do not require little maintenance as you can see on this photo:

 

roulements lg hom bot square

The Square 1129 is sold with 2 brushes. The black is the one presented on the 2 models (1127 & 1129). The red is supplied with the 1129 and specially designed for the carpets and rugs. It is difficult to find the difference between the 2 brushes, but on a closer look we note that the red brush has 2 additional rows of bristles arranged differently. We will see later, if it brings a real improvement on carpet.

brosse lg hom bot 3.0

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Hair wraps easily around these 2 brushes. It must therefore require regular brushing with a comb. I used the old brush of the LG Hom-bot 2.0 :

brosse-centrale-lg-hom-bot2-0

The dust trap

There are no better. Ergonomics is once again very well thought out. It is accessed by a simple pressure on the hood and a handle allows you to enter. The opening for the drain is also well designed, little dust escapes when opening.

bac poussieres lg square

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There is a double HEPA filter sponge in the HOM BOT. Nothing to complain about, it is so simple to remove even a child could do it. In addition, the HEPA filter require virtually no maintenance thanks to the protective grid in the tray and the sponge filter which retain the large particles of dust. The engineers and ergonomists of LG have done an excellent job, bravo to them!

filtre lg bom bot square

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As you can see in the following video, the dust trap is very easy to remove:

The shortcomings of navigation

The LG Hom-bot Square 3.0 sailed in a methodical manner by mapping its environment thanks to 2 cameras located at the top and in the bottom of the vacuum cleaner. This enables it to only pass once through each zone, this is the reverse robot with random navigation such as the Roomba.

The robot vacuum cleaner stores data of a household during its cleaning and then backs up the data when it returns on its charging base. After its first use, it starts learning a map of your home. Once the programming is complete, the following cycles will be carried out quicker.

It will reset and will store its environment if the location of the base was changed.

The return to the database is done by the shortest path. Just as the Neato it is able to locate and direct itself to its database.

It has an autonomy of 1h40. That is a record for a vacuum cleaner with methodical navigation (record equal with the latest Samsung 8950 and 8980). It takes 3h for a full charge.

It is always very difficult to give an estimate of the area that a robot can clean. It depends very much on the type of ground and the navigation of the paths. Nevertheless we can say that the Hom-bot Square will clean 150 m2 in a single cycle (on hard ground).

If it doesn’t have enough battery to finish cleaning, it resumes its work where it stopped. There is a light indicating whether there are still areas to clean when the robot is in charge.

There are 4 modes of cleaning.

  • Zigzag mode

In mode ‘cleaning in a zigzag manner’, the vacuum cleaner robot repeats an operation in a zigzag manner to clean every corner of the house. According to the manufacturer the robot will be faster, but less accurate. This is the default mode for factory settings.

This is first video in this mode that I had stopped fairly quickly as the robot cleaned to the contours of the carpet. It did become stuck on a low table an issue concerning the navigation. 

I have therefore renewed the same test without the low table. This time the vacuum cleaner flows well on the carpet and outside. However, it has forgotten an area large enough between the table and the buffet. I redid several tests and from time to time it forgets this area but, it is nothing dramatic.

After several passages, the robot appears to have a better understanding of its environment, and the coffee table doesn’t raise any more concern.

The robot has difficulties on thick rugs, there is a sense that on this regime there will be difficulties in advanced cleaning techniques. It even manages to get stuck because of its side brushes which take the hairs of the carpet:

It also fails on a threshold bars because of the side brushes which can get stuck under the threshold bar and start to peel away. The two side brushes rotate with the same engine as the central brush. Unlike the Roomba the robot cannot therefore stop a side brush which would be jammed by a cable or a treadmill etc.

In Zigzag mode, it works perfectly in the black.

Last comment: it is discrete, as it is only 60 decibels you can without any problem operate in your presence or in the night.

  • Cell by Cell mode (per Zone)

In mode ” zone by zone “, the robot vacuum cleaner cleans the house by dividing rectangular spaces.

For a meticulous cleaning, select this mode. The 1st step is to clean the edges of an area of 3 m x 3 m (the size of the contour evolves according to the inner shape of the home.) During the 2nd step, the inside of the contour will be cleaned by a path in a zigzag fashion. It reproduces these 2 steps up to clean the entire surface.

Unfortunately there is no point to this mode. I have found (as well as other users on the forum Kelrobot), that he did not go around the whole of the surface to be cleaned. I have had this experience on several occasions and in particular during the test of the sugar which here is the video:

  • My space mode

This mode allows you to clean a space that you have defined. The 1st step is to delineate manually (using the remote control) the contours of the area to be cleaned. The distance between the starting point and the point of arrival must be less than 1 meter. Then the robot will clean the area.

  • The Spot mode

This function is used to clean up a certain part of the house. The vacuum cleaner robot made of spirals on a space of approximately 1.5 m in diameter.

  • The manual mode

The robot driver manually using the remote control.

  • Turbo Options, Repeat and wipe

These modes can be combined with 2 very useful options: Turbo mode and the Repeat mode.

In Turbo mode, the robot works with more power and in Repeat mode, the robot repeats the cleaning until the battery is discharged.

The wipe mode appears an unnecessary function, seeing as the robot gets better results in syphoning crumbs and other dirt. In addition, with this mode the robot does not mount on carpets.

In conclusion of this part, the Hom-bot Square requires more preparation of the surface to be cleaned than any other robot. It is essential to follow for the first use, to re-arrange obstacles you think it may get caught on.

On many occasions I have found it blocked for various reasons. Sometimes it happens to sneak in places very cramped such as between the chairs in my living room and is unable to get out. It is cleans under my buffet but gets stuck immediately. Sometimes it slips when it switches to “false ” between a floor and a carpet for example.

It will even get rid of your carpet to hairs because there is a good chance it will become bogged down if they are too long.

Finally, what is even more annoying is its mapping system which leaves much to be desired. It focuses on the zigzag mode and is more successful than the mode cell by cell. But even with this mode, the robot can encounter great difficulties: it can happen that the robot will forget an areas or worse, it could reprogram itself to repeat mode which wears the battery more quicker.

Programming

With this new Hom-bot it is finally possible to schedule cleaning (this was not the case for the previous models). Nevertheless it is not possible to program at a different time for each day. You cannot define its programming between once or every day. The Deepoo D76 operates in the same manner.

Decidedly LG does not have a programming as mature on the Roomba or the Neato.

The programming is only possible with the remote control.

Test of sugar: a new record on hard ground!

I reproduce the same as the test of sugar for all vacuum cleaners robots which allows me to measure their performance effectiveness of suction.

I have several results to present to you according to the different modes.

Mode zone by zone

In mode zone by zone, on the 50 grams of sugar, the robot has sucked 31 grams (average). Unfortunately in turbo mode I met the problem of navigation already mentioned. It only travelled half the surface area and scored only 18 grams.

Zigzag Mode

In zigzag mode, the robot has syphoned 31 grams.

With turbo mode enabled it has obtained a score of breathtaking 40 grams or 80% of the sugar ! Here is the video of the test:

Its effectiveness along the wall allows it to exceed its competitors on this test.

So I recommend you constantly use it in Turbo mode particularly if your floors are dirty. In Turbo mode on hard ground i measured an autonomy of 1h30.

On carpets

Carpet on the Turbo mode is automatically engaged. With the normal brush it sucked 32 grams and with the special brush for carpets it picked up 36 grams. This is a very good score. By comparison the Neato XV-25 in has sucked 31 grams. The Roomba 650 holds the record with 37 grams, but the latter is advantage on this type of test thanks to its multiple passages.

Test in the corners

Undeniably the Hom-Bot Square is very effective in the corners. Its square form and its side brushes positioned in the corners allow the robot to go further than any other robot before. I have done a quick comparative test with the Neato, this last robot was the least gifted to clean the corners and edges with the absence of side brushes.

In conclusion

After testing a dozen robot vacuum cleaners, this LG Hom-Bot Square has been the most difficult to assess. My conclusions might still evolve in function of your returns and from my own experience.

Strong Points:

  • His suction
  • Its ergonomics and its exceptional design
  • Its form and the placement of side brushes to better reach the corners and borders
  • Very quiet (60db)
  • Delicate with the obstacles, stopping a few millimeters before contact
  • The bearings require no maintenance
  • The HEPA filter is remarkably well protected

Weak Points:

  • Navigation problems (can forget certain areas)
  • Will easily get stuck. Will require a lot of preparation
  • Its price (599EUR for the 1127 and 679EUR for the 1129)
  • Its programming (it is not possible to choose the day)
  • Maintenance of the main brush

This robot has undeniable qualities (suction, ergonomics, design etc. ) enabling it to obtain a very good note of 13.6 /20 either 1 point more than the previous model.

But unfortunately there are 2 major drawbacks: it gets stuck easily and it happens to forget certain areas (and here I speak only of the zigzag mode because, as we have seen the mode Cell by cell is not yet at the point). It will therefore make a significant effort to facilitate its navigation (prevent access to areas cramped, delete the long carpets, elevate or lower some furniture etc. ).

A USB port is present. An update of the navigation software could solve a number of these problems.

Whichrobot Rating: (how we rate)

Hom-bot Square 1127: 13.4 /20
Hom-bot Square 1129: 13.6 /20 

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