Hi guys, welcome to Robotobzor! Today, we’ll review a unique robot air purifier – ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1. This device, unlike stationary cleaners, can move by itself around the room and clean the air in different areas. So in everyday conditions with the help of one purifier you can AUTOMATICALLY maintain air purity in different rooms or zones within one large room. But that’s not all the ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 has to offer. Not only can it clean the air, but also aromatize, moisturize and even disinfect it. Plus, the robot supports room security mode and can even be used as a music speaker on wheels. Overall, there’s a lot of functions, and this is definitely something that deserves the spotlight. But there is one BUT: such technology carries a hefty price of 1150-2300$. In this review, I’ll dive into the ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1, exploring its features and functionality. Then, I’ll share my opinion on whether it’s worth your money. Now, let’s get rolling!
Let’s begin by discussing ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1’s regional availability. This model is designed for both the Chinese and European markets. I had difficulty finding the European version in local stores and on Aliexpress. Consequently, I ended up ordering the Chinese version from China. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:
- First: To set up the robot air purifier with your phone, you’ll need a Chinese SIM card for account registration. Usually, stores may provide specific access details, but it’s best to confirm before buying. In the video description, I’ve included a link to a trusted seller I used, who provided the necessary access for operating the robot.
- Secondly: Since the robot is primarily made for the Chinese market, it uses Chinese for its notifications. YIKO’s voice assistant also responds only to Chinese phrases. Fortunately, the application interface is in English, which is easy to understand and intuitive.
Regarding concerns about Ecovacs blocking Chinese Ecovacs robots from operating outside of China, there’s no need to worry. The official Ecovacs website states that the company doesn’t restrict the use of its Chinese products outside of China. The key is to register an account with a Chinese phone number. So, there’s no need to fear any issues with your robot. This policy applies to other Chinese Ecovacs robot products as well, such as the X1 Omni or T20 Pro, for instance.
The robot air purifier ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 came in this branded box:
In my case the box includes:
- A charging base.
- Power supply and power cord with Chinese plug. The Euro adapter must be purchased in advance.
- Air quality monitoring device.
- USB cable with Type-C output for powering the air quality monitor.
- Air fragrance cartridge (to be purchased separately).
- There’s also a manual in Chinese. The official website has an online manual translated into several languages.
In addition to the optionally available module for aromatization of the room, you can add this module for humidifying the air. I immediately ordered a complete set to test ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1’s functionality.
ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 robot air cleaner shares the common round shape seen in many robot vacuums, which enhances its maneuverability. It has substantial dimensions at 369 x 350 x 523 mm (14.5×13.7×20.5 In.) and relies on Lidar for accurate navigation, mapping rooms, and saving them in memory. On the top cover, there’s a display and a touch control panel.
ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1’s display offers a lot of information, including the crucial PM 2.5 level, representing fine particulate matter in the air. The instructions categorize air quality from excellent to poor based on this data. There’s also a VOC sensor for assessing harmful impurities, categorized from excellent to poor. The display features a color-coded air quality scale, with blue for excellent, green for normal, orange for fair, and red for poor air quality. Below this scale are indicators for humidity and room temp, and above are indicators for ultraviolet air disinfection, refreshment, and humidification. In summary, the display provides comprehensive air quality and environmental information.
The robot has two cameras: one at the top and one at the bottom. The bottom camera with two side 3D sensors detects and avoids obstacles. The top camera enables remote phone connection for home monitoring, including checking on pets or appliances like your oven.
This feature is common in premium robot vacuum cleaners. The upper camera’s active shutter automatically opens before movement and closes upon returning to the base, ensuring privacy and security.
Also, there’s bottom speakers for music and voice alerts, and at the back, air quality sensors. Microphones surround the robot’s perimeter at sensor level to accurately capture voice commands when using YIKO’s voice assistant.
Inside the filtration system module, there’s a separate module housing the humidifier. The primary filter is a HEPA H13 class filter, capable of capturing 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Additionally, there’s an external fabric filter integrated with the HEPA filter.
This module includes a handle for convenient carrying. Under it, you’ll find a power switch, a Wi-Fi reset button with an indicator light, and a QR code for quick app connection.
The key detail is the filtration system, housed in a removable side compartment featuring filters, a humidifier, fragrance dispenser, and UV lamp.
In the center of the compartment is a UV lamp and a seating area for installing an air fragrance cartridge.
The next thing I’d like to emphasize is the mobility system. The wheels are quite large. The clearance between the bottom and the flooring is about 27 mm (1 In.).
There’s a reinforced swivel roller and as many as 7 anti-fall sensors. So the robot has almost no chance of falling!
Lastly, there’s a remote air quality sensor that can be placed anywhere, not necessarily at the charging base. This allows the robot to monitor air quality at the base and another significant room where this sensor is placed.
The display presents the same air quality stats as the robot itself. By pressing the top button twice, the robot is directed to purify the air in the room where the sensor is positioned. It’s advisable to configure the robot to go to that area when air quality worsens, a task the sensor is specifically designed to monitor.
All in all, ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 was a pleasant surprise for me. While it doesn’t have vacuuming and mopping capabilities simultaneously, it offers numerous extra features that make it stand out.
ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1’s main features:
- Air exchange (capacity): up to 600 m3/hour (CADR).
- PM 2.5, detection range: 0-1000 mcg/m3.
- VOC, detection range: 0-10 ppm.
- Battery life: min 55 minutes.
- Water tank capacity: 2 liters (.5 G).
- Volume: 41-64 дБ.
- Dynamics: 2 to 7 Wt.
- Weight: 14 kg (30.8 lbs.).
I personally measured the volume, which reached 64 dB in turbo mode. In Eco mode, the purifier is nearly silent.
In terms of battery life, I tested the robot air purifier in local cleaning mode without the charging base. In turbo mode, it worked for 55 minutes before automatically returning to the base for charging. In AUTO mode, it can independently clean the air for approximately two hours or even longer.
Let’s move on to an overview of ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1’s functions. As already mentioned, it’s controlled through not only it’s buttons, but also via an app. Connection is simple and convenient, just follow the directions provided.
In the app on the main page, the robot creates a map with four main modes: Area for choosing specific zones to clean, Mobile for automatic cleaning in all rooms as it moves, Basic for on-the-spot cleaning, and Turbo for long-lasting cleaning from the charging base. There’s also Spot mode for cleaning a specific spot on the map.
To open settings, swipe up. In settings, you can change air purification strength, turn on aromatization and adjust it, control humidification, activate the UV lamp, and create a schedule for air purification by picking the time, days, and mode.
You can further customize the robot by adjusting its volume, control panel brightness, turning on the voice assistant, checking purification cycle stats, monitoring wipe and filter status, and applying various restrictions like a child unit or “Do Not Disturb” mode to match your preferences and needs.
ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 offers some other cool features. It creates a 3D room map that you can modify, and it has built-in speakers, so it can double as a speaker or alarm clock. It comes with a library of provided music, but you can also add your own tunes. Here’s how it looks:
The sound is very high quality and loud. For everyday use it’s pretty good. As for the sensor, it’s really easy to connect to the network and sync with the robot. Here’s how it works: if the remote detects higher dirt levels, it sends a signal to the robot, getting it to start cleaning the air in that room. Pretty easy and convenient.
ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1’s last feature is the remote home monitoring function that you can use through your phone. We connect to the active camera and see what’s going on at home. A cool addition that really broadens its horizons.
Finally, let’s get to the tests. I’ll demonstrate ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 in action, focusing on what I consider most important. If you’d like to see any other additional tests, please leave your requests in the comments. If we gather at least 10 different test requests, I’ll make a sequel, as I’ve decided to keep this robot for my own use.
Navigation and moving algorithm
First I’ll show the navigation and moving algorithm from room to room. When building the map for the first time, you can see that the robot scans the space quickly enough and automatically zoned it into rooms. The only thing is that the robot has built another non-existent room because of the mirror, and there is no possibility to set a virtual wall or a no-go zone near the mirror, as you can with robot vacuum cleaners. You can’t delete a new non-existent zone either. This arises a problem, and I’ll show you how now.
When we set the robot to move around the house and clean the air on its own, it spends about 30 minutes in the biggest room, then 20 minutes in the next one. Surprisingly, it spends 35 minutes in the bathroom, which is the smallest room, and then goes back to the mirror, even though it doesn’t need to be cleaned there. After 30 minutes, the robot’s battery runs out, and it goes back to charge. Personally, this is handy because I can start cleaning in the last room where the charger is. The robot lasts almost 2 hours this way. The mirror can mess things up, so I’d suggest picking rooms manually or setting a schedule, which makes more sense. But overall, the idea of the robot moving around on its own is pretty neat.
Yeah, and as for AI and crash avoidance, the sensors don’t work perfectly, as in the top robot vacuum cleaners Ecovacs, but nevertheless do the job enough to avoid things on the floor. Like for example, slippers or toys.
I’ll now show the robot’s performance based on the saved reports. In one cycle, it worked for 281 minutes, cleaning about 1331 cubic meters (4366 ft.) of air, which is roughly 283 cubic meters (928 ft.) of air per hour. I usually keep it in smart or automatic mode, where it turns on and off based on the room’s air quality. Over its entire operation time, the ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 cleaned about 41,310 cubic meters (135531 ft.) of air in 162 hours, averaging about 255 cubic meters per hour. Most of the time, it operates in auto mode, which I find sufficient. To put it in context, premium stationary air purifiers claim to clean 700 to 1000 cubic meters (2296-3280 ft.) of air per hour on paper, but these are theoretical values. For a robot, this is pretty high.
Here’s a clear example of how the ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 works in Turbo mode. You can see how the blown air inflates the bag. This is a pretty powerful robot!
Now for a visual test, we tested the sensors by creating smoke, and they reacted quickly, showing a maximum reading of 999. In my apartment, the normal PM 2.5 level is around 12-15 µg/m3, but after the robot’s done, it drops to 5 µg/m3 or even as low as 1-2 µg/m3, indicating improved air quality.
Unlike most everyday robot vacuums that can be hesitant around black carpets, seeing them as cliffs, ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 also avoids black carpets but doesn’t have issues with black hard surfaces. This is good. However, it’s worth noting that this issue isn’t life or death.
The important thing is that the black carpet doesn’t stop the robot from moving to other rooms, and it can navigate around it. Unlike robot vacuum cleaners, robot air purifiers don’t need to cover every square meter of the area for them to do their job.
It’s much more important however, to check how well it does with obstacles, as many people have thresholds between rooms on the floor. So despite the large clearance between the bottom and the floor, as well as large wheels, ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 can’t cross 2 cm (.78 In.) thresholds. However, it is able to cross 1.5 cm (.59 In.) thresholds. ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 can drive over short and medium carpets.
And the cherry on the cake, I’ll show you how ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 can be used as a speaker. Connect to the robot via Bluetooth and play your favorite music so that the robot not only cleans the air, but also creates a chill vibe in your room. Very nice!
Afterthroughly reviewing ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1, Ill give you my personal opinion on it. I liked the following:
- The robot’s main feature being automatic movement through the rooms and the ability to clean the air in the whole house or apartment with the help of one device. There’s no need to buy several purifiers, one for each room. Just push a button and enjoy clean air. Cool!
- Precise navigation based on Lidar.
- The system accurately bypasses obstacles.
- Humidifying function. This is not only a robot cleaner, but also a robot humidifier at the same time. Again, this allows you to automatically maintain the right humidity level in your entire home with a single device.
- Air disinfection. It’s important to note the advantage of having a UV lamp, which will disinfect the air. I cannot check the efficiency of the solution, but I think that the reputable engineers of ECOVACS wouldn’t scam us over.
- Air fragrance. Yes, during your cycle, the blown air is additionally scented. Pretty cool!
- Convenient use through the app. All stats are saved, you can track the status of your consumables and make a cleaning schedule. Very convenient!
- Remote home monitoring through the active camera.
- Supports sensors to monitor air quality individually in each room away.
- Play loud and clear music through the robot’s speakers.
- Very productive. Taking into account the average values for all the work time in auto mode, 300 cubic meters (984 ft.) per hour – in my opinion a good result, if we rely on the fact that the competition shows about 2 times higher. Though I’m sure that the data is taken at max power.
- Quality air filtration system based on HEPA H13. Given the experience of several months of use, I can say that, judging by the sensors, the air is much cleaner when used about once every 2 days.
- Good assembly and a reputable manufacturer.
In fact, there’s so much more, but I’ve only highlighted the best.
As for what could be improved:
- The model is made for the Chinese market.
- Very expensive. The robot isn’t cheap, is at the level of premium robot vacuum cleaners, or even higher. Not everyone can afford it. But, on the other hand, stationery cleaners other cleaner’s aren’t budget either. On average, models from well-known brands cost from $400 to $800. And here you get a multifunctional and at the same time autonomous air purifier, which can move around the house and replace several purifiers placed in different rooms.
- It’s scared of dark spaces, which is more of a remark than a real problem.
- Can’t go higher than 15 mm (.59 In.). Again, more of an observation. Taking into account the bulky and high construction, it’s contraindicated in principle from moving, so that it does not accidentally topple over.
Overall, I’m very happy with it and the very opportunity to test the robot air cleaner, given my experience with robot vacuum cleaners. I definitely liked the ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1 a lot and it clearly deserves attention. Especially for those with allergies or those who just want to improve the air quality in their apartment or house. For example, for me the decision to buy a robot air purifier was caused by three reasons: the dustiness of the air around the house with all of the construction going on around me, the presence of a combined living room and kitchen, and therefore the extra odors from cooking, and my dog, which also smells. Thanks to ECOVACS AIRBOT Z1, the apartment is more comfortable, fresher and therefore more pleasant to be in.
On this note, I’d like to end the review. Leave any questions you may still have in the comments down below. Have fun shopping, bye!