To cut to the chase, Roborock’s S7 Robot Vacuum / Mop is the best hybrid I’ve ever used on my floors. Thanks to an innovative scrub set and sonic scrub technology, it wet cleans every part and vacuums to provide balanced cleanings that leave everybody your impeccable floors. Coupled with Roborock’s self-emptying base, which dramatically reduces how often you need to touch a vacuum bag, it makes maintaining your home floors a much simpler and less hated task.
The S7 closely resembles the design of previous Roborock models. The circular robot measures 13.9 inches wide and 3.8 inches at its tallest point due to a turret that houses a LiDAR (Light and Range Detection) scanner that aids in navigation. Next to the turret are buttons to start / pause cleaning jobs, clean stains, and send the S7 back to its base.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best robotic mops, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.
It’s when you flip the S7 that Roborock’s latest innovations become apparent. The conventional bristle brush has been replaced with a more durable rubber one for better dirt agitation and less pet hair tangles. The brush now also “floats”, allowing it to adapt to uneven terrain so that it remains in constant contact with the ground for a more thorough cleaning.
The most impressive change, however, is the S7’s cleaning technology. The robot uses sonic vibration technology to scrub hard floors up to 3,000 times per minute while water from a 300ml tank is continuously fed to the rear-mounted mop to keep it saturated. This allows you to loosen stains, something that most robot vacuum / mop hybrids, which simply drag a damp cloth across the floor, are unable to do. If you have multiple types of floors in your home, the S7 will recognize when you are on a carpet and will automatically raise the mop assembly 5mm from the floor.
While the S7 ships with a conventional charging cradle, it can also be used with Roborock’s Automatic emptying spring, which the company provided for this review. In addition to charging the S7, the automatic drain base automatically vacuums the contents of the S7 trash can into a 3-liter container each time the robot recharges its battery. Roborock claims it can hold up to 8 weeks of dust, and when full, the dust bag seals automatically for trouble-free disposal. Roborock offers the S7 ($ 650) and Auto Empty Dock ($ 300) as separate purchases, or you can buy them together as the Roborock S7 + for the same full price ($ 950).
Configuration and performance
As I mentioned earlier, Roborock provided us with the Auto Empty Dock along with the S7. The base requires minimal assembly; just insert the canister assembly into the base and plug it in. While the S7 is charging, download the Roborock app, select the S7 from a list of Roborock products, and follow the instructions in the app to connect the S7 to your Wi-Fi. Roborock has one of the most streamlined setup processes I’ve come across, and I had the S7 up and running in about five minutes.
The S7 uses LiDAR to map gaps while cleaning. It took a couple of cleanings to get a full ground floor level map of my house and once done I had a map of the floor plan in the app. The app even tries to divide the space into color-coded rooms, and it performed quite well in my tests, precisely delineating the downstairs living room, kitchen, and bathroom. In case the S7 does not get the rooms correctly, you can designate them manually by adding dividing lines at the appropriate places and naming the rooms. Once you have an accurate map, you can save it and use it to customize cleaning jobs by adding virtual boundaries and no scrub zones, sending the S7 to specific rooms, and more.
The S7 has a maximum suction of 2500 Pa, which was more than enough to suck every crumb of food, dust and pet hair from my laminate floors. It was equally thorough on a couple of mats (suction automatically increases when the S7 recognizes the mat) and was able to get through them without wrinkling or turning them over.
While I was expecting that kind of suction performance from a Roborock product, the mop was a revelation. Since most robot / mop hybrids simply drag a moistened microfiber cloth in their wake, they lack the agitation needed to remove dry or deep stains. The vibrating set of the S7 was powerful enough to release a couple of these on my floors. I don’t plan on getting rid of my mop anytime soon, but I’m sure regular mopping with the S7 would dramatically reduce how often I have to take it out of the closet.
Roborock’s Auto Dump Dock detects when the S7 returns to its charging pins and automatically sucks the contents out of your trash can. It offers four vacuum modes, selectable in the app, that intelligently adjust the emptying according to your use: Light, Balanced, Maximum and Smart. The first three essentially allow you to configure the emptying performance based on the size of your home, while the smart mode allows Roborock’s algorithms to choose the best mode for your environment. The base also includes automatic trash can detection, which prevents the S7 trash can from being emptied when it recognizes that the container has been removed from the base.
If you have multiple types of floors in your home, the logical choice is a robot that can vacuum and mop. The S7 balances those cleaning modes better and produces more impressive results than any of the competing hybrids I’ve used. While the Auto Empty Dock isn’t strictly necessary, it’s a great convenience, especially if you have four-legged family members, given that pet hair tends to fill up the tiny garbage cans of a robot vacuum rather quickly. You may find that getting rid of your dust bags every month instead of every day is worth the added expense.