In Collaboration with ECOVACS

There are few places where space is as much of a commodity as it is in Hong Kong. The majority of people live in flats where every square inch is precious. Cleanliness is also a huge consideration in daily life, given the amount of life occupying just 2,755 square kilometres of land. In this daily struggle for a bit of room, are robot vacuums worth having?

Cons of robot vacuums

DEEBOT robotic floor cleaner mapping out the shape of a couch beside a mom and son reading a book
Smart vacs create 2D or 3D maps of their surroundings (© ECOVACS)

Let’s go through the downsides of robot vacuums for Hongkongers. First, smart vacuums can be pricey upfront and to maintain. Second, they can lead get stuck on or under obstacles if navigation doesn’t work perfectly. They are also ineffective on non-flat surfaces like curtains, upholstery, and stairs (the last of which isn’t actually a concern in many Hong Kong homes).

Pros of smart vacuum for small apartments

Domestic robot vacuums have come a long way since they were introduced in the 90s. Let’s examine some reasons a robotic vacuum could be good for a compact household.

Save storage space

Robot vacuums and their stations are usually small and/or flat, taking up minimal space. The devices are typically housed in docking stations which, at their most foundational function, charge the devices, and at their fanciest, auto-empty dust from the device and even wash and dry their own mopping pads.

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Easily manoeuvre tight spaces

With their round, low-profile shapes, smart vacuum cleaners can manoeuvre easily around tight corners. Furthermore, their finely tuned sensors (sometimes more than one for multidimensional ‘views’ of their environment) can identify obstacles quickly, stop, and decide on a new, more efficient path. This is especially important for performing in tiny homes with closely packed walls and furniture.

White DEEBOT OZMO t8 smart vacuum using truedetect technology to identify a wire
DEEBOT using TrueDetect 3D technology to recognise and avoid a cable (© ECOVACS)

Hands-free control

The next reason that robot vacuums are suitable for small apartments is remote control. Automatic vacuums usually have accompanying smartphone apps and single button control. But more and more are coming out with fully hands-free voice control. The latest ECOVACS vacuum robots are powered by YIKO, the home service robot industry’s first virtual assistant that understands natural language commands. You can also schedule robotic vacuums to vacuum or mop (some come with dual vacuum-mop functions) on desired days and times to save time.

Nicer aesthetics

Auto vacuums have a sleeker look compared to traditional stick vacuums. In a small-sized flat with limited storage space, appliance aesthetics comes more into play. On the contrary, in larger homes, gadgets that are a bit of an eyesore can be hidden away in cabinets and storage closets.

Yellow Labrador retriever lying next to a robot vacuum
Robot vacuums are usually quieter than stick vacuums (© Anna Belova via Canva)

Quieter than traditional vacuums

Another reason robot vacs are good for small apartments is that they are usually quieter than normal stick vacuums. This could be a make or break characteristic if you live in a flat with thin walls, especially if you have pups who are reactive and bark at loud noises. To give you an idea of the noise level of robotic vacuums, ECOVACS’ DEEBOT robotic floor cleaners range from 65 to 69 dB (a conversation between two people in a public place is about 60dB) when vacuuming on standard mode, compared to handheld vacuums which typically clock in at between 70 and 85 decibels.

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For Hongkongers living in flats with limited space who value saving time cleaning up daily debris, need a device that intelligently navigates around kids’ toys or pet poop, or want to clean under furniture without lifting a finger, a robot vacuum may just be the answer.


ECOVACS is an industry-leading service robot manufacturer, producing DEEBOT smart vacuums, the WINBOT window cleaning robots, the AIRBOT air purifying robot, and more. Learn more about ECOVACS below:

  • Website:
  • Address: Find ECOVACS products at Ahaa shops (Monterey Place, Tseung Kwan O and Sha Tin Plaza) and Gilman Gallery (Portion B of Shop 1-41, G/F, Admiralty Centre)

Header image credits: GoodLifeStudio via Canva

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Born in Canada, Danielle is deep diving into the things that make Hong Kong a city of intermingling identities, and bridging the information gap as someone trying to navigate the city herself as a cultural inbetweener. Sometimes this means examining culture and local people’s stories, and other times it means drinking all the milk tea and doing walking explorations of peripheral districts.

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