For a few years I watched the robotic vacuum cleaner market develop, looking for the right moment to get myself one. After a recent move to a new house I decided that this would be a nice moment to finally get of those robots and add them to my home automation system. After a little review I came up with a list of features I wanted the vacuum cleaner to have. I made the conclusion that the Ecovacs Deebot M88 would be a nice one to get started with.
Searching for a nice deal, I finally ordered myself one and a day later it was on my floor waiting to be unpacked.
The reasons why I choose this robotic vacuum cleaner are:
- wifi (let’s reverse engineer it)
- direct suction option (no hair stuck in the brush)
- wet/dry mop
- cleaning path pattern (no random running)
Now let’s unbox it and see what is inside the package.
It is fully packed with goods. There are even more accessories than needed for the robot to work. The following parts are included in the box:
- deebot M88
- two cleaning towels
- water tank
- cleaning fluid for the water tank
- direct suction frame (to replace the mounted brush)
- remote control (battery included)
- instruction manual
- two fine dust filters
- four side brushes (two needed)
- charging station
Now that everything has been unpacked, I turned it on to see how it works. I was surprised by how quite it is, compared to my old manual vacuum cleaner. Also, the pattern it uses for its cleaning path is clearly visible in this video.
After this quick first run in my living room, it was clear that it would be able to do his job in the house. The container was already filled with dirt and all that in just the few meter that it cleaned.
So it was time for the robot to return to his charging station. I plugged this into the wall socket, and pressed the charging button on the remote control. The robot returned to the charging station automatically and started charging itself for the next run.
When I had the time to test this machine for a little longer, I will write a full review with my experiences.
Also I will try to reverse engineer the protocol it uses to connect to the app over the internet. I’m not really interested in a device inside my house that talks to a server over the internet without me having control of it. So I will try to have it connect to my own server and control it over LAN instead. If it works all well, I might include it in my OpenHAB setup as well. A first quick research I did revealed that the device is using the xmpp protocol to talk to a server and is able to send and receive commands over this xmpp connection. The robot does not seem to care if the connection is spoofed to my local server, so that sounds promising. I will follow up on this in a later post.
This robot can be found on Amazon for around $400: ECOVACS DEEBOT M88 Vacuum Floor Cleaning Robot with APP function, white