Here is a company that knows how to make the most of a robot vacuum that is designed for pet owners. It doesn’t just pick up pet hair and random mess on the floor (pet food, dust, dirt, scraps, etc), but it is designed to be something that entertains pets while in motion while also giving the owner a few toys to play with as well. The TRIFO Ollie AI Robot Vacuum (Pet Edition) does a great job at keeping your home clean while delivering on all of this.
So what makes this vacuum so special? For one, it has a built-in 1080p camera that allows the owner to log in via the app and watch the vacuum as it cleans. Not only that, but it also has a built-in speaker that allows you to talk through it like most security cameras.
(video credit: Trifo)
You can use this camera access to keep tabs on your home while you are away to make sure everything is ok, as well as speak to your animals and watch them as they slumber or play (or catch them in the act as they are getting into trouble).
The robot does all the driving, but you can log in at any time via your phone to check on the camera to see what it sees. You can, of course, control the robot in other ways. Like controlling when it cleans, which rooms to clean, and adjust the map accordingly (like any robot vacuum) with things like no-go zones. The app is very user-friendly, providing a long list of features and settings to play with.
So what else makes it special? It has a built-in air freshener with replaceable scents that you can install (it comes with a few to get you started). As well as a laser pointer that can detach and be used manually when you are home (obviously, best for cat owners). When it is attached to the robot, it can be used to spin around and keep pets entertained as it vacuums. Making for a fun feature that no other vacuum seems to have come up with.
So not only does it clean your floors, but it also plays with your pets (well, mostly cats unless you have dogs that respond to lasers), and keeps your house smelling fresh. All while provide you a remote connection to view it all on your phone (which also serves as a security feature).
Beyond that, it looks a lot like any other robot vacuum. It features the typical round body with a single brush at the bottom (fewer models come with two brushes anymore for some reason). The front has a touch-sensitive bumper that allows it to feel around, along with a section in the center that the camera sees out of.
The top has two buttons, one for powering the robot on and off (if you want to completely shut it down) and one for sending it home (back to the base station to charge). Of course, you won’t be using the button that often since you’ll be able to send it home using the app, or hands-free using your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant (if you have one of these devices).
Flipping the lid up reveals the dust bin inside as well as a small reset button for completely resetting the robot so that you could rejoin it to a new network (or start from scratch in case something were to go wrong for whatever reason). There is also a Wi-Fi status indicator.
You won’t find the small comb/blade tool that many of these models have. Companies usually include one of these under the lid as a solution for when strings or hair get caught up in the roller under the robot.
Instead, TRIFO includes an accessory that replaces the main roller and plastic door. It is called the “No Tangle Pet Hair Extractor”, which allows you to focus on pet hair ridden areas without having to worry about any tangling occurring inside the robot. Freeing yourself from having to even worry about cutting anything lose from the roller. Unless, of course, you forget to swap it out before using the robot.
Taking a look at the dust bin, you’ll find the filter that is commonly located there to help comb the air passing through the robot. This is one of the few replaceable parts in the robot and you can typically get it to last longer by periodically tapping it against a hard surface (preferably outside) to clear it of any collected debris. The brush is really the only other replaceable item, but thankfully they usually take a long time to wear down (can’t say I’ve known anyone who has replaced their just yet–on any model).
When it comes to how well the overall robot performs its functions, its easy to offer it a lot of praise. The pet version of the Ollie (which is the one we have been testing) has an increased suction rate of 4000Pa, Which is pretty decent for a robot vacuum. It’s enough to make a difference when it comes to working out all of those hairs from the carpet.
Many of the entry-level robot vacuums are stuck within the 2000-3000Pa range, which makes ok for basic tasks in environments that aren’t plagued by common mess or pet hair. When you get to the 4000-5000 range, you start to really understand why you’ve invested money into one of these.
Not only that, but for the price (currently $299), it makes for a good specification to have along with everything else the robot has to offer. This is absolutely a fair deal and worth taking advantage of.
The camera isn’t the greatest camera out there, but it is by no means the worst or even average. It has both color and monochrome night-vision (for low-light or no-light environments) and allows you to clearly see everything in its path. Enough to say it is a mid-level 1080p camera, for sure (which is just fine for a vacuum).
The aromatic scents for refreshing the air as it clean is also a nice touch, although a bit unique. For the best effect, you may want a plug-in unit that spritzes the air on a schedule if you really want a good effect. That and the refills for this are quite proprietary and not available in normal stores (where the plugin units could usually be found via many retail locations, including grocery stores).
As for the laser, this is a fantastic feature for a robot that is dedicated to pet lovers. Assuming you have a pet that responds to lasers, at least (chasing lasers). The ability to detach it is fun, but watching a cat chase the laser around while the vacuum is cleaning would also be hilarious (none of us our cat owners, so we didn’t quite get to experience it ourselves in such a way).
(video credit: Trifo)
It’s ability to really make a dent on dirty carpets is a plus. Again, with 4000Pa suction power, it is enough to make a huge difference when used on a set schedule (one-two times a week). Via the app, this is fully automated in the settings, so you don’t ever have to be there or babysit anything unless it gets caught in something.
As always you want to make sure your cleaning environment is free of strings, cables/cords, or anything else that commonly gets sucked up into vacuums. This is the same for any robot vacuum. They keep getting smarter, but they still seem to find themselves getting caught up in cables if you aren’t careful about hiding them.
That being said, it does make use of the camera to identify objects, which goes beyond just using the front bumper. So it will be able to avoid obstacles a bit better. Just like modern drones or electronic vehicles (only not quite as advanced as those). Hopefully, it will get better as the firmware gets upgraded over time. TRIFO has been one of those companies (like ECOVACS) that has put a lot of attention into object recognition via AI.
It fully supports Alexa and Google devices so that it can be controlled via your voice. Through these hubs, it can also be integrated into routines that allow it to interact with other events or devices as well. You just have to be comfortable enough with either digital assistant to make use of these features. Hopefully, TRIFO works on an API, allowing further integration with other ecosystems/hubs as well (like Home Assistant, SmartThings, Smart Life, and others).
This has been a fine robot vacuum to test out these past few days. It is very effective and does a great job with pet hair. The no-tangle accessory that replaces the brush for pet hair duty is a great feature that many other models do not consider. Instead, they just expect you to dig out the constant tangles within the roller. So this is quite nice to see as it is less effort on your part and that’s the whole point of owning a robot.
Due to the rugged tasks it is designed for, we do think it would benefit from a dust collection bin at the dock to make this the perfect product. It’s nice to not have to empty the bin inside so much. With a collection bin at the dock, it can empty itself so many times. Greatly reducing the number of times you have to empty it. However, this model doesn’t feature that unfortunately. It’s not a deal breaker though as it still has managed to walk away with an amazing score from us.
If you are a pet owner, this model should absolutely be high on your list of candidates.
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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