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What is Auto-Recharge and How Does it Work? Robot Vacuum Feature Explained

Robot vacuums come with all sorts of awesome features and functions. For instance, they have an auto-recharge function that lets them clean for longer periods of time and without interruption. Let’s look at this often-overlooked feature in greater detail.

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What Is Auto-Recharge?

Auto-recharge, which is one of the most fundamental features in all of robot vacuum kind, is pretty self-explanatory. This function forces your robot vacuum to return to its charging station before its battery completely runs out of power.

For instance, if your robot’s 3,000-mAh battery pack produces 60 minutes of runtime per session, your robot will make a beeline for its charging station when it detects that its battery can only provide power for 10 more minutes, give or take.

The purpose for auto-recharge is convenience—it automates the recharging function so users don’t have to manually search for their robots and place them in their charging stations. The next time you want to run your robot vacuum, it’ll have a full battery and will be prepared to tackle whatever task you give it.

Roborock Robot Vacuum
Roborock Robot Vacuum

How Does Auto-Recharge Work?

This feature works differently from model to model and brand to brand, but in a general sense, this is how it’s done.

The robot vacuum constantly measures how much power is left in its battery pack. When there’s very little power left—between 10 and 20%, depending on the model—the robot will stop what it’s doing and immediately attempt to return to its charging dock.

Robot vacuums may or may not come with high-tech navigation systems, but even so, they do have a sort of auto-recharge system in operation. Older models rely solely on the charging station to emit a signal, informing the robot where it needs to go.

As for newer models—i.e., those with high-tech navigation like LiDAR or camera-based systems—they pinpoint the location of the charging station in a digital map. When they need to refuel, they pull up the charging station’s location and create the most efficient path from their current location to the charging station.

What is Auto-Recharge and How Does it Work?

Is Auto-Recharge Failproof?

While advancing technology in robot kind has made robot vacuums more capable of locating their charging docks automatically, it’s not 100% failproof.

There may be times when your robot runs out of battery before it enters the same room as its charging station. During these instances, your robot may emit an audible alert to inform the user that it’s lost and requires human intervention. Ultimately, it depends on how advanced its navigation system is.

Auto-Recharge in Conjunction with Auto-Resume

The Auto-Recharge function is supposed to make robot vacuums more convenient to users, which, admittedly, it does. However, if you want to take that convenience to the next level, you should look for a robot that has both Auto-Recharge and Auto-Resume functions.

Self-Empty Robot Vacuum

The Auto-Resume function comes into play when your robot has fully recharged and when it hasn’t completed its previous cleaning session. In this case, your robot will automatically dismount from its charger and return to the spot where it stopped cleaning prior to recharging.

If your robot vacuum doesn’t come with Auto-Resume, then you’ll have to manually instruct it to begin a new cleaning session from the start.

Recommended Robot Vacuums

Affordable Option The iRobot Roomba 694 is a basic robot vacuum. It feels well-built, offers fantastic battery performance, and can adjust its suction power and brushroll height automatically depending on the surface that it's on.

Best of the Best The Roborock S7+ 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.

Popular Option The Shark AV911S EZ is one of the least expensive robot vacuum with self-empty base. The bagless, self-emptying base holds up to 30 days of dirt and debris.

Check Latest Price >

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About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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