This self-emptying robot vacuum also mops and acts as home surveillance — but the extras are unnecessary

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  • The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum automatically empties itself after cleaning with little oversight.
  • It’s easy to use, doubles as home security, and can be paired with the best mopping system I’ve tested.
  • It cleaned carpeting and hardwood well but got stuck easily, couldn’t clean corners well, and is very expensive.
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Set-up process

The set-up process was easy, painless, and took about 15 minutes — most of which was dedicated to downloading and setting up the Ecovacs Home app as the vac charged.

There are three types of cleaning:

  • Auto Clean: cleans all of the areas the robot can reach
  • Area Clean: cleans specific areas or rooms
  • Home Patrol: Takes video surveillance of your space

The scheduling process is simple and intuitive – just choose the time, day, and whether you want the cleaning to repeat regularly.

Review of the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI

The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI was among the top performers in our guide to the best robot vacuums. I placed a tablespoon each of flour, kitty litter, and coffee grounds along with pet hairs on carpeting and hardwood, and ran the vacuum twice.

On carpeting, the T8 AIVI picked up virtually everything. On the hardwood, the performance was nearly as good, except there was about 5% of the flour left behind.

Before (left) and after (right) photos of the T8 AIVI cleaning flour, kitty litter, and coffee ground.James Brains/Insider

The performance was impressive considering how quietly the Ozmo T8 AIVI runs. I placed a sound meter 12 inches from the vacuum and on Max+, it was about as loud as a busy highway from 60 feet away – 67 decibels. On Quiet, the robot was quieter than a normal conversation at 58 decibels.

Even though the T8 AIVI earned the title of “the best robot vacuum and mop” in our guide, you have to purchase the extra Pro Mopping System. It costs about $100 and comes with 25 disposable mop cloths, but it works better than any robot vac mop we’ve tested. The mop system vibrates up to 480 times per minute for deeper cleaning than the other models that just kind of push a wet cloth around — this was nice when my sons tracked in mud. 

I “spilled” an ounce of Tang juice and let it dry overnight on my linoleum kitchen floors. After two cleaning cycles with the Pro Mopping System, 80% of the mess was gone — for context, most mopping robot vacs get 5% or less.

If dumping out the dustbin after every cleaning doesn’t sound appealing, you’ll appreciate the auto-empty station. With this, you only need to replace the disposable bag every month or two. This worked seamlessly until the vac sucked up one of my first grader’s toys and I’d have to empty the dustbin the old-fashioned way — by hand.

After the T8 AIVI maps your house, you can set virtual no-go zones and avoid areas toys or wires. For the most part, the virtual boundaries worked as advertised until it got stuck on loose wires from my adjustable bed, which has exposed cords to help it move up and down. Since the vac was always getting caught up around the bed, it wasn’t able to create a floorplan and set the no-go zones in the app. Instead, I set up temporary physical barriers until the map was completed.

The T8 AIVI also has cameras that take videos and photos of your space as it’s cleaning, and a microphone in case you need to talk to your housemates. You can set the robot vac to Home Patrol in the app or use the app’s joystick-like controller to direct it to specific areas. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the microphone to work. 

Cons to consider

The home surveillance is a fun novelty, but there’s no way to review the footage it captures while cleaning in Home Patrol mode so you either have to watch the footage the entire time or assume that everything is fine. It’s not as useful as I’d like — especially since I’m home more often due to the pandemic.  

Despite the T8’s ability to recognize and avoid objects, it gets stuck a lot. In my testing area, there’s a one-inch threshold between the living room and the kitchen that it just couldn’t move past. 

The T8 AIVI didn’t clean well in corners. It came within two inches of corners, leaving around 65% of flour on carpeting and 20% on hardwood flooring. 

Should you buy it?

Most people don’t have $800 to spend on a robot vacuum. It’s not financially smart when you consider that robot vacs are limited and aren’t as powerful as your average upright vacuum, which can cost less than $200. We only recommend the T8 AIVI if you have a large budget and are looking for a hassle-free cleaning option that can mop and double-duty as a home security system. This model is also an excellent alternative if you like to own the most tech-y home products.

If the T8 AIVI is out of your price range, keep an eye out for sales. Historically, robot vacuums tend to be among the most heavily discounted items around the holidays and Amazon Prime Day.

What are your alternatives?

Check out our guide to the best robot vacuums for our top recommendations. The T8 AIVI is the best option if you’re looking for all of the high-end features. But, there are several more affordable alternatives if you don’t need the fancier innovations.

The bottom line

Despite these cons, the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI is one of the best robot vacuums you can buy. The auto-empty charging dock is helpful and I don’t have to worry about emptying the dustbin between cleanings, and the mopping feature is one of the best I’ve ever tested. 

Pros: Excellent cleaning on hardwood and carpeting, the best mopping system we’ve tested (sold separately), HD camera for remote viewing, auto-empty station, quiet operation, an intuitive app that lets you set no-go zones and clean specific rooms

Cons: Gets stuck easily, doesn’t clean corners well

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

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