What is it?
The Hobot Legee D8 Eco Compactor is a robotic vacuum cleaner and mop that cleans both hard floors and carpets. According to distributor Solenco, it is ideal for South African households, with a combination of powerful features, including robust suction, a deep-cleaning brushroll, and a mopping system.
The latter uses something called Reciprocate Mopping, which uses high-speed, wide-stroke high-pressure, and a 7mm auto-lift mop. This enables a seamless transition between different surfaces, adapts to various terrains, keeping carpets dry, and enhancing ventilation during charging.
The D8 also uses a new “Tangless” technology, designed to capture 82% of hair and lint before it can become entangled in the brushroll, providing hassle-free cleaning. It achieves this by rotating its two mops in opposite directions, while 4-in-1 Tangless Suction combines vacuuming, sweeping, water spraying, and reciprocating mopping. This means it mimics the thoroughness of a person’s cleaning through a combination of spraying, moving speed, and wiping frequency.
A D-shape design is a step away from the usual round-shaped robot vacuum, allowing it to access deep corners and clean along edges for comprehensive coverage.
The highlight is a built-in trash compactor that reduces the frequency of bin emptying by up to five times, and eliminates the need for an emptying dock or trash bags. My personal favourite, though, is an artificial intelligence (AI) Smart Spray, which helps the robot use the optimal amount of water for mopping, avoiding waste and preventing unsightly watermarks.
Just how intelligent is the device? When paired with the Legee App, it offers customisable cleaning modes, multi-storey Wi-Fi connectivity, voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant, and five different technologies for precise navigation around the home. The navigation, especially, is a cut above the rest.
The default voice of the device has not changed, but its command of English has. While the previous unit we tested a few years ago would say, “Legee go home” when its battery ran down and it headed back to its charging station, it now says “Legee is going home”. Not as cute, but certainly more intelligent.
It did such a great cleaning job when we tested it, that we were happy for Legee to come home for good.
We paired it with the Hobot Legee Lulu Washing Station, an all-in-one cleaning and charging hub designed specifically for the D8.
It introduces CNC ContourWash technology, with dual silicon roller brushes that move horizontally while the Legee-D8 moves vertically. The two brushes roll inward, efficiently scraping off the dirt, while a two-motor design ensures that the mop is cleaned completely.
If that’s not enough, it also introduces InstantDrain technology, with a “bidet sink” under the roller brush that moves with the brush to catch and pipe out waste water simultaneously. This prevents waste water sediment from falling on the base plate, and does away with manual maintenance.
This charging and cleaning station also recharges the Legee D8’s battery, and auto-refills its water tank. Finally, Quick Dry, with a 40℃ Direct Blow feature, ensures that the damp cloth dries evenly, quickly, and energy-efficiently.
All in all, the Hobot Legee D8 Eco Compactor is a feature-rich robot vacuum mop that offers several advantages over its competitors. However it noisier than most other robotic vacuum mops.
What does it cost?
The Hobot Legee D8 Eco Compactor is available for R11,499 from Solenco at https://www.solenco.co.za/products/hobot-legee-d8-robot-vacuum-cleaner-and-mop
The Hobot Legee Lulu Washing Station is available or R6,499 at https://www.solenco.co.za/products/hobot-legee-lulu-charging-and-cleaning-station-for-legee-d8
Why does it matter?
Robot vacuum cleaners are becoming not only smarter, but also more versatile. The Legee D8 introduces several features that are likely to become standard in high-end units over time, such as a compactor and AI Smart Spray. The former makes for greater efficiency, while the latter saves water and drying time by ensuring the optimal amount of water is used for mopping.
What are the biggest negatives?
- The Hobot Legee D8 Eco Compactor with Washing Station is an expensive option.
- It gets noisy when in use.
- The battery life is not as long as robotic vacuum mops in a similar price range.
What are the biggest positives?
- The dual mop system gives a more thorough clean than traditional robotic vacuum mops.
- The compactor makes it easier to empty the dustbin as a mini trash truck that automatically minimises trash occupancy, conserving up to five times the capacity, which means less time and effort spent emptying the dustbin, is a convenient feature.
- The mapping feature allows for easy creation of custom cleaning schedules and no-go zones.
* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee