Robot vacuum cleaner: Camera navigation comparison, pros and cons

Updated 27. February 2024 by

Robotstøvsuger med kamera

Robot vacuum cleaners with camera navigation have a built-in camera that helps them navigate and map your home. The camera provides a visual image of the robot’s surroundings, allowing it to detect obstacles and navigate its surroundings. Some models may offer additional features such as live video streaming to a mobile app, object recognition, etc.

Advantages of camera navigation

The map created by a robot vacuum cleaner with a camera
The map created by a robot vacuum cleaner with a camera (Image: Reoverview)
  • More accurate and efficient cleaning: The camera enables the robot vacuum to generate a precise map of your home and navigate obstacles with greater accuracy, leading to more efficient and thorough cleaning compared to, for example, gyroscopic- or sensor navigation.
  • Better coverage: The camera helps the robot vacuum cover a larger area and access hard-to-reach spots more effectively, enabling thorough cleaning.
  • Additional features: Some models may offer additional features, such as live video streaming and object recognition, which can make it easier to monitor and control the robot vacuum. These features are only possible for robot vacuum cleaners equipped with built-in cameras.

Disadvantages of camera navigation

  • Higher cost: Robot vacuum cleaners with camera navigation are typically more expensive than models without this feature.
  • Slower mapping than LiDAR: The best alternative to camera navigation is laser navigation (also called LiDAR), which is faster to map the room in comparison to camera navigation.
  • Privacy concerns: The use of cameras in the home can raise privacy concerns, as they may capture images or video of your home and its occupants. Some people may feel uncomfortable with this level of surveillance in their homes.
  • Limited functionality in low-light environments: Camera may struggle to detect objects and navigate in low-light environments, which can affect the efficiency of the robot vacuum.

Some robot vacuum cleaners use laser- and camera navigation to cover the weaknesses of the two technologies and exploit their strengths.

A robot vacuum cleaner with a camera (Video: Reoverview)

Price comparison

Are robot vacuum cleaners with camera navigation more expensive than other models? The following chart compares the price of robot vacuum cleaners with camera navigation for all robot vacuum cleaners:

Updated April 19, 2024

The average price across the robot vacuum cleaners with camera navigation is £730, compared to £467 across all robot vacuum cleaners.

Which robot vacuum cleaner with camera navigation is the best?

According to our comparison of robot vacuum cleaners, the best robot vacuum cleaner with camera navigation is the iRobot Roomba i7+.

These are the five best robot vacuum cleaners with camera navigation:

Rank Image Robotstofzuiger Score Verdict Price

Which robot vacuum cleaner with camera navigation is the cheapest?

The cheapest robot vacuum cleaner with camera navigation is the Ecovacs Ozmo T8 AIVI, priced at £239.

These are the five cheapest robot vacuum cleaners with camera navigation:

Robot vacuum cleaner Price
£239
£449
£449
£499
£519
Updated April 19, 2024 | See the full list

How many robot vacuum cleaners use camera navigation?

The following chart shows the distribution in the type of navigation system the robot vacuum cleaners use:

LiDAR (44%)
None (18%)
Camera (18%)
Gyroscope (5%)
LiDAR+Camera (5%)
LDS (5%)
LDS+Camera (4%)
Updated April 19, 2024

The chart shows that some robot vacuum cleaners combine laser- and camera navigation.

Alternatives

These are the most common alternatives to camera navigation:

  • Laser navigation: This system uses a laser scanner to create a map of the environment and identify obstacles. The robot vacuum uses this map to navigate and clean efficiently. This is the best alternative to camera navigation, and both systems can provide accurate mapping. You can find the best robot vacuum cleaners with laser navigation here.
  • Gyroscopic navigation: This navigation method uses gyroscopes to detect the robot vacuum’s orientation and movement, allowing it to create a map of the environment and navigate around obstacles. This cheaper navigation method doesn’t offer the same possibilities as laser- and camera navigation. You can find the best robot vacuum cleaners with gyroscopic navigation here.
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