Apr 23rd, 2021

Electrolux created the first robotic vacuum cleaner called the “Trilobite” in 1996. Although it worked fairly well, it was far from perfect and was prone to leaving small areas that were not fully cleaned. It never appealed to the mass market and was eventually discontinued. 6 years later, iRobot debuted the Roomba which is the brand most people think of nowadays.

I’ve always wanted a robotic vacuum and as luck would have it, I recently had the opportunity to use the Proscenic M6 Pro. Proscenic was founded in 1998 and is a comprehensive home appliance manufacturer that integrates R&D, manufacturing, and sales. Initially, they mainly served Japanese home appliance brands, such as Panasonic, Hitachi, Zojirushi, and Philips. Since then, they have invested to develop more than 20 products which include a widening selection of robot vacuums. 

There was great excitement in the house when the Proscenic M6 Pro was unboxed. My in-laws own a Shark robot vacuum which my kids have named “Charlie.” The M6 was quickly christened as “Bob” by my children, who I believe would have appreciated a quarantine pet. Pets are too much work, though. We tidied the floor and sent Bob on his maiden voyage around our 800 square foot first floor. I imagined getting the kids in bed, tidying the house, and setting Bob loose to do his thing while I relaxed reading a book. I had hope that Bob would cause me to tidy up every evening like I used to.

Proscenic M6 Pro Specifications

  • Power: 33W
  • Size: 35 x 35 x 9.4 cm
  • Suction power: Maximum 2600 Pa
  • Battery: Li-ion 3200mAh
  • Cleaning Time: 70-120mins

Design

Most robotic vacuum cleaners have the same round design and the Proscenic M6 is no exception. Unlike other models which tend to be mostly black, I like that this model has a silver top with a black base. In my opinion, the color contrast makes it look sleek and more appealing. The start/stop and home button is located on the top along with the laser ranging sensor which is the protruding black circle.

The M6 comes with several accessories, including a 2-in-1 dust and water tank, charging base, two-sided brushes, adapter, remote control, mop, cleaning brush, and a mopping cloth pad. The charging base is mostly black except for the silver charging pole. The size of the charging base is small which should appeal to most people since it helps it to be more discrete. When setting it up, the base needs to be next to a wall to prevent the robot vacuum from knocking it over.

Getting Set Up

The Proscenic M6 comes with a remote control but has very limited functionality. If you want the vacuum to just be on and wander aimlessly, then the control might work for you. However, if you really want to take advantage of all the different customizations, you will need to download the Proscenic Home app. Unfortunately, I was never able to connect the app with the vacuum on my iPhone X Max. I tried to troubleshoot it several different ways including deleting and reinstalling the app but I could never get it to work. After several frustrating attempts, I was ready to give up entirely until I decided to try and use my wife’s Galaxy S9. It only took one attempt and I was able to successfully connect the device.

At a glance, the app gives you several stats including the cleaned area, battery life, and cleaning time. With the app, you can divide your house map into several regions. The advantage of this is that you can schedule a time to clean specific rooms of the house or limit the cleaning to a specific area. If you have several levels in your home, you can also store multi-floor maps which makes cleaning more convenient and efficient.

Finally, you can also create no-go zones to define forbidden areas that you don’t want the robot to clean. This can be helpful if you want to keep the Proscenic M6 from wandering into tight spaces or keep it out of areas where the vacuum might get caught on cables. 

Clean up time

When we first fired up Bob, my wife, two kids, and I all followed it around the house. We watched as it gently found the walls and corners, ran along the perimeter of the rooms, and did a full sweep of the first floor. One thing I should mention is that we have a mix of hard floors and carpeting. Bob did a fine job navigating between the large rugs and vinyl plank but would get hung up on smaller, lighter rugs. 

While my children were delighted with their new robot pet. I was feeling pretty “meh” about the performance of the vacuum.

At best the vacuum’s performance can be described as inconsistent. It has a sweeper on one side of it that will just as often push the debris away from the vacuum as it will move it into its suction area. And even if debris is in the path of the vacuum it won’t always pick it up. After Bob was done I saw a tidy house, but a dirty floor; I reached for my cordless Dyson to finish cleaning. One thing you should never have to do is clean up after your vacuum. 

Final Thoughts

The only reason Bob is run anymore is that my children want to play with their pet. When this happens, the room is not usually tidy. This means Bob has to maneuver around toys and all the other detritus of the day. The vacuum does a good job of avoiding large items in its path, but I have had to pull a face mask out of its roller and stop it from trying to suck up a magazine. I guess Bob is still a puppy.

If you own an iPhone, you might encounter the same issue that I did. I was never able to get it to work but luckily my wife has an Android phone. Hopefully, they can get this resolved since this is an issue that shouldn’t exist.

Bottom-line, if you have space where you need to keep the dust from settling too far into the flooring, Bob may be the vacuum for you. If you have a family with children, it is very difficult for me to recommend…unless they need a robot pet. 

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