AI obstacle recognition
Carpet boost and mop avoidance
2-in-1 mop module
Comprehensive Cleaning Robot with All the Bells and Whistles
If you’ve read my other robot reviews, you know I’ve been waiting very impatiently for a robot vac that has it all. One that can vacuum well, mop effectively, multi-floor map, recognize carpet, and avoid obstacles. Well, I’m happy to say I’ve finally found that robot, and its name is Shellbot SL60.
Not only does this robot clean well and comes with all the standard features you’d expect from a robot vacuum these days, but it also has those less common yet functional features that I love.
It can store multiple maps at once, it has a carpet sensor that automatically avoids rugs and carpets during mop mode, and it has some pretty impressive obstacle avoidance features.
If you’re like me and want a robot that can do it all so you have to do less, then let me introduce you to the Shellbot SL60.
Review Criteria Ratings
- LIDAR navigation with AI obstacle recognition
- Y-pattern mopping capabilities
- Carpet sensor for carpet boost and mop avoidance
- Quick mapping with multi-floor map storage
- 2-in-1 mop module and large capacity dustbin module
- Map customization is limited
- Small mop reservoir capacity
Should You Buy It?
If you have a busy, multi-story house in need of cleaning, Shellbot is a great option. With scheduled cleans, multimap capability, and a ton of great features that make cleaning even a disorganized floor possible, this robot is a busy family’s best friend.
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Shellbot SL60 Overview
Shellbot is one of the newest companies owned by WoMei Tech of Shenzhen, China. Their motto is, “Let everyone enjoy a relaxed life.” With a blossoming line of cordless stick vacuums and robot vacs, they’re certainly working to build on that philosophy.
Shellbot SL60 is the company’s first robotic vacuum, but its feature, efficiency, and performance are up to par and comparable to vacuums from big name brands.
This robot uses advanced laser LIDAR navigation technology, an RGB monocular camera, and 3dTOF to map your home and avoid obstacles. It features a high 4,000 PA suction vacuum and multi-pattern mopper to get your entire house clean no matter how messy the floors are.
Carpet sensors, obstacle recognition AI, scheduled cleaning abilities, spot and zone cleaning, and many more features make this robot a standout even among the more recognizable names on the market.
The difference? The Shellbot SL60’s price tag is significantly easier on the pockets, making it more attractive for the average family.
The Shellbot SL60 certainly has all the makings of a fantastic product, but how does this newcomer stack up?
I had a chance to try the Shellbot in my own home and put all these great features to the test. Keep reading to see my full Shellbot SL60 review and find out if my prayers for an effective robo vac with all the best features have finally been answered.
How the SL60 Performs
Shellbot has a lot of great features to explore and I wasted no time putting each one of them to the test in my home. Here’s how this robot vac stood up to the pressure.
The Shellbot has four vacuum settings which range from 800 PA to 4,000 PA. Its maximum suction rating is as high as any other robot I’ve tried. And as expected, it cleaned deeper into carpets and handled higher pile carpets without breaking a sweat.
The set comes with both a standard dustbin module and a 2-in-1 mop and dustbin module. You can vacuum without mopping with the 2-in-1 in place but the bin is much smaller than with the other module, which is already a bit smaller than what you’ll find on most vacuums.
Despite the smaller bin, this robot truly did impress both on hard flooring and carpets. The carpet sensor activated the carpet boost even when going over small area rugs. And even on the medium setting, the robot had no problem picking up heavier debris, sand, and pet hair.
I found myself using this vacuum on the lower suction settings most often because it gets quite noisy on the higher levels. It’s even noisier on the mop setting as the mop deck makes an occasional whirling noise as it operates.
One of the greatest features of this robot is the option to mop in a Y-shape pattern. This back and forth mopping pattern is much more effective at cleaning floors than the standard straight-path motion of a mopping robot.
As usual, I did have to set the water output to the highest setting to get adequate flow. Good thing that the flow stayed consistent throughout the entire mopping process, which is not something I’ve found to be true with many models.
Both the water reservoir and the dustbin are undersized on the 2-in-1 module. Luckily, I was able to get almost my entire 1,200 square foot level mopped before the water ran out.
This robot does have one feature I love and have so far only seen on one other model: the carpet sensor allows it to automatically avoid carpets while on mop mode. I love this because manually inputting the position of area rugs into tiny maps is not easy and never accurate.
This robot uses a combination of LIDAR, RGB cameras, and AI obstacle recognition to get around.
One unique feature of the Shellbot is that it has a quick map function. It builds new maps in a matter of minutes. It does this by moving quickly through each room until all doorways have been explored. Once it returns to the dock, you can edit the map as needed, then start your first clean.
I found this method preferable to how most robots operate, which is to build the map while cleaning. This takes a long time and never offers the most effective cleaning since the robot does a lot of crisscrossing back and forth to build the map.
Like most LIDAR bots, it had no problem picking up on the location of the walls and sniffing out all the nooks and crannies in each room. It did categorize large furniture like beds as walls, which made the maps a little hard to read, but this is not an uncommon problem.
In terms of navigation and cleaning patterns, once the map was built, it moved efficiently around each room starting with the edges and then moving in a back and forth pattern to finish the room before moving on.
Compared to other robots I’ve tried, I’d put the Shellbot fairly high up on the list when it comes to obstacle avoidance.
As you can see from the video below, it had no problem stopping ahead of even small objects like toys. But, once it navigated around the objects it seemed to “forget” where they were and run them over anyway. This seemed to only be a problem with short objects, however.
With larger objects, like pet bowls, it had no problem avoiding them and never even bumped into them.
UPDATE: After about a month of using the Shellbot SL60 for biweekly cleanings, one of the LIDAR lasers came unscrewed from the navigation canopy and fell out. I can only assume the robot then sucked it up and it got thrown away because I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. Without two functional lasers, the unit can no longer navigate and is basically useless.
More disheartening than this piece breaking off is the fact that I have not been able to get a hold of anyone at customer service to enquire about replacement. Finding contact information for the company was difficult and even after getting an email address and sending multiple messages, I have not heard anything back.
I can’t say how common this breakage is likely to be, but anything that costs this much and comes with such unreliable customer service is not a good investment.
The Shellbot SL60 comes with a 5,200mAh battery with a long 200-hour runtime. When I got this out of the box it had a 60% charge. I was able to set it up and clean my entire 1,200-square-foot first floor without getting close to zeroing the battery out.
This phone app isn’t my favorite, but it’s not overly difficult to navigate either. I think the biggest problem is just that this robot has so much functionality that it’s hard to find a simple way to organize all the options.
One place where the app definitely did fall short is in customizing the maps. It has all the standard options (splitting/merging rooms, naming rooms, setting no-go and no-mop zones) but it is very finicky. I could not get mine to split off small rooms like bathrooms or to draw lines across narrow halls.
Because of this, none of my maps were overly accurate. I had to settle for my kitchen, dining area, hall, and hall bathroom being one room. But I don’t see this being a major problem unless you are very specific about what gets cleaned and when.
Other features and functions available through the smartphone app include:
- Scheduled cleaning
- Multi-floor mapping
- Zone/room/spot cleaning
- Do-not disturb periods
- Cleaning records
- Object recognition icons for map
- Consumables statistics
This robot, uniquely, also comes with a handheld remote control just in case you don’t have a smartphone handy.
The Shellbot SL60 really impressed, not just with how well it cleaned but with its many, many features. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. If you’re in need of something a little different, there are other options out there.
If you’re a pet owner who is highly reliant on fine-tuned obstacle avoidance to keep your vacuum clear of pet messes and toys, then the Trifo Ollie is a great option. This pet-specific robot not only avoids touch obstacles like dog poop and wires, but it has an HD camera you can access from the app to check on your pet no matter where you or they happen to be.
If hands-off cleaning is your number one priority, then the Yeedi Vac 2 Pro is the way to go. This robot vacuums as well as the Shellbot but one-ups it in mopping thanks to the unique scrubbing mopper. It also features a self-emptying dock so you don’t have to remember to empty the dustbin.
|Features||Shellbot SL60||Trifo Ollie||Yeedi Vac 2 Pro|
|Cleaning functionality||Vacuum and Y-shape mop||Vacuum only||Vacuum and scrub mop|
|Suction rating||4,000 psi||4,000 psi||4,000 psi|
|Map number||Up to 5||1||1|
A robot vacuum is a great way to keep your floors clean without having to commit time to the task. One that’s loaded with all the latest bells and whistles makes it even easier to accomplish that goal.
The Shellbot SL60 has all the things I love in a robot together in one neat little package. It can sweep and mop like a champ, can save multiple maps at once, has a carpet sensor for automatic mop avoidance, and has a capable obstacle avoidance system necessary for a home with small children and pets.
To learn more about the long list of features available in the Shellbot or to purchase one for yourself, click here.
Also available direct from Shellbot here.