Floor-cleaning robots are truly wonders of modern technology, akin to the invention of washing machines and dishwashers in the 20th century. They have the potential to eliminate the need for a lot of manual labor, keeping our homes and businesses cleaner in the process.
But if you’ve ever tried one for yourself, you’re probably aware that they’re still in relatively early stages of development and could use a lot of refinement. One new option levels up the standard robot vacuum by adding a mopping function, and the best part is, it cleans and maintains that mop all by itself.
The Narwal bills itself as “the world’s first self-cleaning robot mop and vacuum.” Fresh off a highly successful crowdfunding campaign that netted nearly $1.5 million on Kickstarter, it looks similar to familiar room-roaming robots like the Eufy and the Roomba, but its extra functionality definitely sets it apart from those other models, along with the more efficient way in which it cleans floors.
Most robot vacuums can’t mop floors, and robot mops like the iRobot Braava Jet can’t vacuum. On top of that, the best robot mops currently available typically use a precision-spray jet to wet the floors, wiping up after the stream with a damp reusable cloth. The makers of Narwal say their product can do better, tackling dirt and stains using dual dynamic mops that capture fine dust instead of just dragging particulate around, spreading messes, and potentially scratching floors.
Here’s how it works:
“As a vacuuming and mopping two-in-one robot cleaner, Narwal serves all your cleaning needs. With the strong suction, it effortlessly grabs pet hair, debris, dust, and other small particles on your floor. While other robot mops have a small water reservoir plus a cloth that requires frequent removal for cleaning, our unique mop system features self-cleaning technology so you never have a dirty mop. The robot will wash, rinse, and dry the mops automatically.”
“The base station has a two-bucket system [that] separates waste water from clean water and includes a built-in pump to spray the water to the mops and a washboard to clean the mop. The full tank of five liters can cover a sizable space up to 2,150 square feet in three hours. The robot returns to the base station automatically when needed, where its mops get sprayed, scraped, and squeezed on the washboard. And then it goes back to where it left off and continues mopping. The rinse water will be pumped into the waste water tank.”
Noting that a wet mop will breed bacteria, Narwal’s creators put a ventilation system in its base to help dry the mop when it’s finished. Its two rounded triangle-spin mops are able to pick up significantly more dirt than a pad alone, with extra-strong suction making sure debris is taken care of, too. And with a low noise output of 45 decibels, it’s noticeably quieter than the latest Roomba, which has a noise output of 60 decibels.
The robot also features smart mapping and navigation, allowing it to familiarize itself with any environment and come up with optimized cleaning routes. Cliff sensors keep it from tumbling down stairs, and wall sensors let it follow closely along large objects without bumping into them.
The accompanying Narwal Robotics app gives you enhanced control over the vacuum, so you can adjust cleaning settings, customize the cleaning strategy, and monitor cleaning status even when you’re not at home. You can also designate zones in the house where you don’t want the robot to run.
While backing the product in return for first dibs on your own Narwal is no longer an option, you can still keep an eye on the Narwal website for updates.