Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: The Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI features a camera, which allows it to identify and maneuver around obstacles during it's cleaning sessions. It's a powerful cleaner that you can trust to get the job done. The unit also allows you to monitor your home by accessing the camera and controlling the vacuum from the Ecovacs app.
Object recognition and avoidance
Learns and adapts to your home
Can control vacuum and see camera view from app
Up to 180 minutes of run time
Lets you set no-go and no-mop zones
Powerful suction and orderly cleaning
Casing doesn't get very dirty
Object detection isn't perfect
No sliding camera cover
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Robot vacuum companies are constantly trying to find ways to distinguish their products from others while also making them more effective cleaners. As such, new technologies and abilities are frequently getting developed for these devices. One of the newest features to hit the robot vacuum industry is an on-board camera, which theoretically allows the unit to better identify and avoid objects in its path. The Ecovacs Robotics Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI is one such vacuum that has been designed with a camera.
I've spent several weeks evaluating this unit to see just how well it maneuvers around objects and cleans my home. It's definitely a powerful device that I can trust to effectively pick up dirt and debris from my floors, but it does have a few downsides. Here's my review of the Ecovacs Robotics Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI.
If you're interested, you can also check out our comparison: Roborock S6 MaxV vs. Ecovacs Robotics Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI
Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI What I like
Having this vacuum in my home has been a huge relief for me seeing as how I have a messy cat and dog who are constantly tracking in dirt, shedding all over the place, or moving things around. Whenever the OZMO T8 AIVI makes the rounds, it always sucks in tons of pet fur, kitty litter, pet food, fine dust particles, and other debris from my house. It can also tell when my Corgi's chew toy is in the middle of the room and moves around it instead of running into it.
On top of that, whatever the material the casing is made of doesn't attract as much dust as many of the other vacuums I've tested, which means that the unit doesn't look dirty all the time. What's more, it has a long battery life of up to three hours and always vacuums by outlining a room and then maneuvering back and forth within that outlined area for perfect vacuum lines. Coming home to that is seriously one of the best things about owning a smart vacuum like the OZMO T8 AIVI. Here are some of the other things that I love about this vacuum.
Object detection Maneuvers around obstacles
The thing that sets this vacuum apart from other Ecovacs is the included camera and object detection capabilities. To test how well these features worked, I placed various objects in the vacuum's path to see how it would respond. The device doesn't always work perfectly, but it moves around items better than many other robot vacuums out there. The app allows you to view a map of your home and tells you where the vacuum ran into an obstacle. It even tries to identify the object. Although, most of the objects get mislabeled as shoes, especially more uniquely-shaped obstacles.
It's very interesting watching the machine attempt trial and error before figuring out a safe way around an obstacle. For instance, I placed a shoe in my hallway and watched as the vacuum approached, detected the shoe, maneuvered to a new position, attempted another approach, and then maneuvered again, until it was finally able to spot a safe way past it. It still bumps larger objects while getting around them, but it doesn't bulldoze into them or drag them around the house like some other vacuums do.
I still need to tidy up charging cables, toys, or other small objects before allowing the unit to run. Otherwise, it might get stuck or suck things up that I don't want it to. It also maps out your home, which allows you two setup no-go zones or no-mop zones directly from the app for customized cleaning sessions. Because of this, I can trust the Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI to clean without causing damage or sucking up anything it shouldn't as long as I tidy up ahead of time. And that's a huge relief.
Pet and security cam Monitor your home while you're away
I was surprised to find that the Ecovacs app not only allowed me to control the vacuum but also let me view the camera feed while doing so. To get this function to work, I had to give the unit permission by agreeing to the Video Privacy Agreement and allowing the app to access my phone's storage and microphone. Once that was done, all I had to do was access the Video Butler section of the app. And by the way, the app is super easy to navigate and use.
My cat, Misty, lives up to the curious stereotype and always has to follow robot vacuums around while they clean my house. So of course, the first thing I did was stalk my cat using the OZMO T8 AIVI to see how she'd react. I was able to follow her pretty well using the controls.
The app lets me rotate the vacuum left or right or go forward, but there is no backward button. They aren't the best controls, but they really aren't bad for getting around your home. The Video Butler also lets me take pictures, which get saved to my phone. There's even a microphone button which relays anything I say to the vacuum's on-board speakers at a decent volume. This allowed me to talk to my cat while I was away from the house, although I can't say for sure whether or not she found that pleasant or just startling. On that note, if you're using this feature and discover an intruder in your home, you could probably use the microphone to scare them out of your house.
After playing with my cat, I drove the unit to various rooms. Theoretically, consumers can do this to look for messes that they want the vacuum to clean, or they can use it to check up on their house while they're on vacation or at work. This effectively means that the Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI is not just a vacuum but is a security camera and a pet camera as well. That's a pretty sweet combo.
Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI What I don't like
This is a very impressive robot vacuum, but it isn't perfect. Here are the things I didn't like about the Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI.
Object detection isn't perfect Still sucks things up that it shouldn't
At one point while I was testing the Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI, I got a notification on my phone telling me that I needed to clean the unit since dust was obstructing the sensors. I located the vacuum only to find that my feather duster was stuck in the main brush. As ironic as this situation was, I was disappointed that the camera hadn't helped the vacuum avoid such a large object. But then again, maybe this was intentional and the Deebot was just trying to take out the competition.
This was the biggest problem the vacuum faced in the weeks that I tested it. Although, it also took longer to get around some smaller items in my house, especially in dark locations like with the shoes under my bed. However, for the most part, this unit was able to detect and then carefully drive around larger objects in my home, which is more than I can say for several other robot vacuums I've tested.
Camera and control delay Sluggish response
I have a very good internet connection in my home, so I was upset when I saw just how slow the OZMO T8 AIVI responded to my commands when I was in Video Butler mode. Granted, it wasn't always slow, but it happened a notable number of times. Even when I was standing right beside the unit, it sometimes took several seconds to a minute for the vacuum to move after I had tapped on the controls. In addition to that, the camera often cut out while the robot vacuum was moving, so I'd have to stop and wait for the video feed to show back up before tapping any more controls. After all, I wouldn't want to accidentally run into anything or drive this expensive device off the stairs.
You can still use the vacuum to interact with your pets or monitor your home while you're away. You just might need to be patient when doing so, especially if you have a bad internet connection. I want to note that the vacuum never experienced a delay when operating without the camera. It was always quick to jump into action during the normal cleaning mode.
Permanent camera cover Should have been slideable
Since I can remotely control this unit and it has an on-board camera, I'm a little worried that someone might be able to hack into my account, access my OZMO T8 AIVI and then use it to peer around my home. This could be really bad if it wandered around while I was changing in my bedroom, for example.
When I reviewed the Roborock S6 MaxV, a robot vacuum that also uses cameras to identify and navigate around objects in your home, my biggest complaint was that there was no included camera cover. Ecovacs did provide a camera cover in the Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI's box. However, it's a permanent adhesive instead of a slideable or removable one.
This seems like an afterthought. Obviously, if you're purchasing this more expensive unit, you're doing so because you want to take advantage of these advanced camera features. Otherwise you'd go with a less expensive unit. So, having a permanent camera cover is not a good solution.
Honestly, a manual camera cover should have been one of the first things that Ecovacs included in the initial design of this vacuum. But since that didn't happen, the company should have included a slideable or a removable camera cover, which I could put in place whenever I was done using the vacuum. As it is, I'm sure people are wary about bringing this particular robot vacuum into their homes.
Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI Should you buy it?
I personally grew to love this device during the few weeks I've been able to test it. I trust it more than many of the other robot vacuums that I'm currently testing as it does a better job of avoiding objects and doesn't crash into my walls. It has powerful suction, a decent-sized dustbin, and long battery life, which allows it to clean large stretches of my home in one go. It really is a reliable and powerful unit.
I wish I could just gush endlessly about it, but the device does have a few issues. For one thing, the object detection isn't perfect. You'll still need to pick up charger cables or other small items out of the vacuum's path. Additionally, allowing a roaming camera into your home is kind of scary, especially when you cannot manually block the lens. I would feel more comfortable giving this vacuum a higher rating if it had a slideable camera cover of some kind to protect the owner's privacy.
4.5 out of 5
That being said, being able to check in on your home or your pets while you're away is a fun perk of owning this unit. The Video Butler mode lets you navigate the unit wherever you'd like and gives you a live feed while doing so. If you aren't concerned about the potential privacy issue, this is really a great robot vacuum for your home.
Rebecca Spear is a staff writer for Android Central who loves following the latest tech, drawing with her Wacom, and playing video games. You can find her posting about her pets, art, and video game preferences on Twitter @rrspear.