Is this Rs. 89,990 cleaning robot worth the price?
By Ali Pardiwala | Updated: 8 October 2020 17:33 IST
The Milagrow iMap 10.0 can vacuum and mop simultaneously
The Milagrow iMap 10.0 uses Lidar for navigation
You can set cleaning zones and virtual walls using the app
The iMap 10.0 is very effective, but also very expensive
Gurgaon-based Milagrow has been around for a while now, and was initially popular for its affordable tablets and laptops. However, the company's current product range is focused on a rather unique product segment that has been of particular interest in the past few months – robotics. Milagrow now sells all kinds of robots for various purposes including education, healthcare, and domestic chores. Some of its robots are even humanoids. Today we're taking a look at something more conventional from Milagrow – a floor cleaning robot.
Launched recently, the Milagrow iMap 10.0 is a floor cleaning robot that vacuums and mops your home. Priced at Rs. 89,990, this robot vacuum cleaner is undoubtedly expensive, but promises a lot for the price. How does the iMap 10.0 compare to more affordable options such as the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P and iLife A9s? Find out in our review.
What is the Milagrow iMap 10.0, and what's in the box?
Like some of the recent robot floor cleaners I've reviewed, the Milagrow iMap 10.0 can sweep, vacuum, and mop the floor simultaneously. This disc-shaped robot has wheels at the bottom to drive itself around, a single brush on the right side to sweep dirt towards the vacuum zone, a rubber roller brush with bristles to pick up dirt, and a single dust compartment that doubles up as a water reservoir for mopping.
Other key components in the box include the mop fitting and two microfibre mop cloths, as well as a docking station for charging and a power adapter that plugs into it. Also included are various accessories and fittings such as a HEPA filter for the vacuum function, an extra side brush, and a small cleaning brush with a blade which stays attached to the dust compartment, to clean the device fittings.
With the mop fitting attached to the bottom of the Milagrow iMap 10.0, the device automatically mops in addition to vacuuming the floor, provided you've filled water in the reservoir. The vacuum cleaner has a rated suction power of 2,700pa. It uses a laser mapping system known as Lidar for navigation, allowing it to detect obstacles such as furniture and walls accurately, even in the dark.
There are two physical buttons on the top of the Milagrow iMap 10.0 for power and to order the device to return to the docking station, as well as a lid that can be opened to access and remove the dust compartment to clean it out or fill water in the reservoir. A small speaker provides voice alerts to indicate the status of the device, such as charging, cleaning, returning to the docking station, and more.
Very effective cleaning with the Milagrow iMap 10.0
When it comes to cleaning, the Milagrow is among the most efficient, effective, and thorough cleaning robots I have tested so far. Plenty of suction power means that the iMap 10.0 is able to pick up dirt very effectively, including heavier objects that other robot cleaners that I've reviewed struggled with. The greater suction power does make the iMap 10.0 considerably louder, but you can reduce this through the app for a quieter cleaning run. Light messes, including dry spillage such as crushed chips, were easily picked up by the Milagrow iMap 10.0.
The Milagrow iMap 10.0 has a single brush for sweeping, and 2,700pa of suction power
You can control the mop function by setting the level of water output through the app, but you can't switch off the mop functionality without removing the fitting altogether. While some people might appreciate this simple approach, it's a bit old-fashioned and inflexible. Mopping is even and effective, but the straight line pattern of movement of the robot wasn't as efficient as the Y-shaped mop strokes of the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P.
Unlike the Mi robot cleaner, the Milagrow iMap 10.0 has just one major fitting, which is both the dust compartment and water reservoir. The dust compartment isn't too small, but will still need to be cleaned out regularly – in my case, it needed to be cleaned out every three days or so. The water reservoir doesn't hold much at all, and nearly ran out even after a single cleaning of my 600-square-foot home, which means that you'll have to top it up practically every time you run the iMap 10.0.
Lidar navigation ensures accuracy, minimal bumps
The Milagrow iMap 10.0 uses laser mapping, also known as Lidar. This is a more advanced method of navigation and object detection than using a top-mounted camera, and this does show in the way the iMap 10.0 moves around. Although walls and large obstacles are easy to spot by any navigation system, the Lidar system on the iMap 10.0 also helped it spot smaller and narrower objects such as the legs of a sofa, and navigation was smoother as a result.
Although the device can mount and work on carpets, it's best to put away loose, light rugs or anything with tassels, as these can get stuck in the main roller and cause the robot to pause cleaning till you're able to free it. The iMap 10.0 can climb short heights of up to 20mm (which should cover the edges of most carpets), but will naturally need to be lifted and placed manually in areas it can't drive itself to, such as different floors in the same home, or rooms separated by barriers. Sensors will prevent the device from rolling off heights, such as steps, and this worked well in my testing.
Included in the box are a number of spares, including an extra brush and HEPA filter
The device moves quickly in straight lines, relying on its suction power to pick up dirt and mop the floor. While it definitely moved quicker than other devices I've reviewed, the time taken to complete the cleaning was roughly the same, at around 30-32 minutes. This was largely because of an odd selection of routes, which I found to be needlessly complicated and somewhat wasteful. Zoned cleaning of small areas, or shutting the iMap 10.0 in a room to clean it was very quick, though.
Like any good robot cleaner, the Milagrow iMap 10.0 has an app that lets you monitor and control it from anywhere in the world, provided that the robot is itself connected to the Wi-Fi in your home. Interestingly, Milagrow doesn't have its own app for the iMap 10.0; instead, the Tuya Smart app (available for iOS and Android) can be configured to operate this device.
The setup process was easy enough, and the app allows for effective use of the device. Apart from core functionality, the app can also be linked with Google Assistant or Alexa to let you control the iMap 10.0 through voice commands; these worked quite well for the basics, including having the robot start, stop, or dock.
Basic monitoring features on the app include the area covered, time taken, battery level, where exactly in your home the device is (displayed on a map), and how long the consumable parts such as the brushes and filters have been in use. You can also look at a detailed cleaning history – the app showed me a log of every time I had run the robot during my time with it, as well as the area cleaned and time taken. This also told me that the Milagrow iMap 10.0 is able to clean approximately 1 square metre per minute – an interesting statistic.
There is just one fitting included with the iMap 10.0, which doubles up as a dirt compartment and water reservoir for mopping
Although you can use the basic functions of the device by pressing the buttons on the robot, the app gives you a lot more control, apart from the ability to do so from anywhere.
You can set cleaning zones, start and pause cleaning, order the iMap 10.0 back to its dock, control the suction power and mop water output level, and also set schedules or adjust the speaker volume. There's also a remote control mode, which lets you manually drive the robot around to clean a particular area to do a bit of spot cleaning.
A problem I initially had with the Tuya Smart app was its inability to save a map; the app would reset the map for every cleaning, preventing me from telling the robot which zones to clean and setting up restrictions. However, Milagrow informed me that this is a known issue, and could be fixed by creating at least one restricted zone on the map immediately after a cleaning (before the map was reset), which forced the map to remain saved.
If you intend to set up restricted zones anyway, even one of those will achieve the purpose of forcing the map to stay saved. If not, you'll have to set a small zone in a spot that the device may not be able to reach anyway. Either way, this is a glaring flaw for a device priced at Rs. 90,000, and although the workaround is fairly simple, it's not something that should be needed on a robot that costs this much.
Battery life and charging
The Milagrow iMap 10.0 has a 5,200mAh battery, which is considerably larger than what competing cleaning robots offer. The biggest advantage of this is being able to cover a much larger area on a full charge. Although none of the products I've reviewed ran out of power while cleaning my 600-square-foot home, this will make a bigger difference in a larger home.
One full cleaning of my home saw the battery level drop to around 75 percent from a full charge with the vacuum mode set to Max. This suggests that the Milagrow iMap 10.0 could easily cover an area of around 1800 square feet before having to go back to charge. It's capable of resuming cleaning where it left off, just in case it can't complete the task before the battery runs too low.
Lidar navigation helps the Milagrow iMap 10.0 avoid most obstacles efficiently
Charging is a fair bit slower than on the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P and ILife A9s, largely because of the considerable difference in the capacity of the battery. Milagrow states that it will take around four hours to charge fully; I was able to get from 75 percent to a full charge in a little over an hour, somewhat confirming the accuracy of that claim.
The docking station needs to be placed on the floor in a spot that is easily accessible to the device and with some space to the sides. When properly set up and plugged in, the iMap 10.0 was able to find the docking station automatically after a full clean most times, but would often have trouble making its way back when I used the remote control mode. When the docking station was within direct line-of-sight of the iMap 10.0, returning was never an issue.
The Milagrow iMap 10.0 is a very good cleaning robot for a number of reasons, led from the front by its proficiency at its core function of cleaning. The device does an effective job of keeping your house clean through both vacuuming and mopping, has a big battery that helps it cover large spaces, and has a useful app that lets you monitor and control the device properly. While there are small issues across functions, none of the negatives really stand out; this is among the best cleaning robots you can buy today.
However, the price is a major consideration here, and it might be hard to stomach for many. While the Milagrow iMap 10 is objectively better than the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P and iLife A9s in most ways, spending around thrice as much is not justifiable, in my opinion. This is among the best options you can buy today, but only if you're able to come to terms with the Rs. 89,990 price tag. If not, there are plenty of options that cost much less and are good enough.