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What is LiDAR Mapping Technology? Robot Vacuum Feature Explained

Ever since robot vacuums first hit the market back in the early 2000s, their technology has improved by quite a lot, to say the least.

But if you want a robot vacuum that has the best potential of navigating and cleaning your floors, make sure it comes with LiDAR Mapping Technology.

Roborock S6 Pure
Roborock S6 Pure

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What Is Robot Mapping?

Modern robot vacuum cleaners with mapping technology traverse the floors of your home by creating a digital map during its first-ever vacuuming session. With mapping technology, your robot vacuum has a greater understanding of your home’s layout, which allows it to navigate its way into multiple rooms.

Some of the best robot mapping technology has the ability to differentiate between bare and carpeted floors.

A robot vacuum maps out your home by using one or a combination of the following:

What is LiDAR Mapping Technology


A digital camera pops out from the hood of your robot vacuum to record and snap photos of your home. As accurate as it is, camera-based mapping technology suffers in the dark, so users will have to run their robots during the day or turn on all the lights in their homes.


Gyroscopes or accelerometers carefully calculate the distances of objects relative to the robot’s current location, allowing it to plan avoidance routes before colliding with obstacles. Robots that rely solely on such systems are affordable but don’t have the most reliable navigation.

Laser Sensors

Some robots have laser sensors that rotate at high speeds to capture the location and size of surrounding objects. With the help of a laser sensor, your robot vacuum can produce a highly accurate digital floorplan, which it uses to create the most efficient cleaning path. This is what LiDAR Mapping Technology relies on.

LiDAR Tech

What Is LiDAR Mapping Technology?

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) was first introduced in the 2010s. It mainly consists of a tiny turret that shoots an invisible laser in all directions, covering every square inch of your home. The LiDAR turret then measures how long it takes for the laser to bounce off objects and return, which it then uses to calculate the distances of obstacles and floor types.

After creating a digital floorplan, the robot vacuum can access the map and use it to create the most efficient cleaning route. It also plots the location of its charging dock based on the map, so it has a greater chance of returning to recharge compared to non-laser-based robots.

LiDAR also gives users access to the map to add customizable cleaning functions, including selective room cleaning and creating no-go zones.

LiDAR Robot vacuum

Is LiDAR Perfect?

As of today, LiDAR mapping is considered to be the gold standard for robot vacuum mapping tech. That said, it stills falls shorts in some categories regarding navigation efficiency.

For instance, LiDAR sensors have difficulty detecting small objects. Things like pet bowls and cables can prove impossible for even the most sensitive LiDAR sensors to pick up. However, users can overcome this problem by creating no-go zones by opening the robot vacuum’s smartphone app and drawing a virtual barrier.

Shark AV2001WD Robot Vacuum
Shark AV2001WD

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.

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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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