Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: It works beautifully and sucks everything out of a compatible Roborock vacuum dustbin. The Auto-Empty Dock makes life easier since the bag can hold up to eight weeks of debris.
Has 3 Liter capacity
Holds up to 8 weeks of debris
Works with Roborock S7
Tidy cable storage
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Owning some of the best robot vacuums has made my life so much better. Roborock vacuums, in particular, are some of my absolute favorites as they work well on hard floors and carpets. I love being able to come into my living room at the end of a long day to find perfect vacuum lines and a tidy home. But daily dustbin emptying is not my favorite thing. In addition to being a tedious task, it makes my allergies flare really badly whenever I empty all that debris. That's what makes auto-empty stations so appealing. They keep all that dust contained in a sealable bag and only have to be emptied every few weeks rather than every day.
Roborock just launched its Auto-Empty Dock, which works with select Roborock robot vacuums, including the recently launched Roborock S7. I've been able to test it out for a few days and have absolutely fallen in love with it. It really does suck up everything the robot vacuum collects, including dust, pet food, pet fur, and kitty litter. It's an ideal device for any home.
Roborock Auto-Empty Dock review: Price and availability
Roborock Auto-Empty Dock can be purchased at Amazon for $299.99 and will likely find itself in other major retailers soon. It only just launched on July 15, 2021, so it's not likely that the price will dip for a while yet. As far as robot vacuum auto-empty stations go, $200 to $300 is the common price. It comes in either black or white to match the color of your Roborock vacuum.
Roborock Auto-Empty Dock review: What's good
|Bag replacement||Up to 8 weeks|
|Air filter||Yes, HEPA-rated|
|App control||Android, iOS|
Upon opening the box, there were four things I had to do before I could start using the Auto-Empty Station: I had to set it up, replace the dustbin on my compatible robot vacuum, remove the air intake cap inside the robot vacuum, and then, of course, I had to plug the dock in. The included instruction manual and Allen Wrench-style screwdriver helped me attach the bin's base to the upright portion within minutes. The special dustbin features a hinged door on the side that opens to the Air Inlet, making it possible for the dock to work with the vacuum.
Upon finishing a cleaning session, the vacuum returns to the base to dump its load and recharge. Unlike other robot vacuum empty stations I've tested, this one sucks everything out through the main brush opening of the robot vacuum rather than through holes in the bottom of the dustbin. After passing through the dustbin and into the main brush area, debris flows through a tube in the bottom of the dock's base and into the bag. It never left any messes around the foot of the dock. You can get a better idea of how it works by looking at the base's underside.
This Auto-Empty Dock worked beautifully every single time I ran it. There was never any debris left in the dustbin, which is a big feat considering my house is home to some very messy pets. I'm talking kitty litter, kibble, and piles of fur all getting swept up neatly into the Auto-Empty Dock's bags.
If you live with pets or have a busy household, this is an ideal device for you. I have a very sloppy cat who drops food on the ground and throws kitty litter around like confetti. My dog is no better, tracking dirt in through the doggy door and shedding clones of herself in the summer heat. As such, my robot vacuum has its work cut out for it, and the dustbin gets full every day. I'm crazy, so I love having them in my home, even though I'm allergic to pets. That means that emptying a robot vacuum dustbin launches me into a sneezing frenzy every morning. But with the Auto-Empty Dock, I no longer have to deal with tiny particles poofing into a dust cloud around me and making my allergies attack.
When the time comes that the Auto-Empty Dock's bag does get full, all I have to do is open the hatch, pull up on the bag's cardboard handle (which seals the bag closed), and then toss it in the trash. It's both a major convenience and a huge relief.
I already had the Roborock S7 set up and working in my home before getting the Auto-Empty Dock. In case you're wondering, the Roborock app is incredibly intuitive and gives you plenty of options. Upon placing the robot vacuum on the base, the Roborock app immediately responded and knew it was on the Auto-Empty Dock. A button in the app even appeared that allows me to tell the unit to return to the base and empty its load whenever I want it to.
Another awesome thing about the Roborock Auto-Empty Dock is that it features a six-foot cable to help you reach outlets easier. And if you don't need that full cord length, you can wrap up the excess in the included cable storage on the back of the dock to keep it looking tidy.
Roborock Auto-Empty Dock review: What's not good
The biggest downside is the expense. The Roborock Auto-Empty Dock offers a ton of convenience and has worked reliably every day I've used it. However, it does cost the same as a mid-level robot vacuum. Still, if you really don't like emptying your robot vacuum's dustbin or have allergies, it will really make the robot vacuum part of your life a lot nicer.
This other thing I'll mention isn't a negative, but rather something to be aware of. You'll have noticed there are two upright cylinders on the base. The transparent one on the right holds the bags, while the opaque one on the left holds the HEPA-rated filter. Roborock states it captures 99.99% of particles, but that's only if the filter is clean enough to work. You'll need to occasionally remove and clean the filter to maintain this filtration system's efficiency.
Roborock Auto-Empty Dock: Competition
If you're looking for another Auto-Empty Dock that works with robot vacuums, you should consider the ECOVACS Auto-Empty Station, which works with the ECOVACS T8 AIVI robot vacuum. It costs less than the Roborock Auto-Empty Dock. However, I found that debris sometimes got caught in the dustbin, which isn't something I experienced with Roborock's unit.
Roborock Auto-Empty Dock review: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You hate emptying dustbins
- You want something that works with a reliable Roborock vacuum
- You have a messy household that needs a lot of cleaning after
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You're looking for a more budget option
- Your house doesn't get that messy
- You don't have/want to buy a compatible Roborock vacuum
I've been very impressed by the Roborock Auto-Empty Dock over the last couple of weeks. It has consistently and reliably worked to suck up all of the kitty litter, fur, kibble, and other debris collected by my Roborock S7 vacuum. Since setting it up, I've never had to empty the vacuum's dustbin by hand, which means I don't have to fight my allergies every morning just to make my vacuum run smoothly.
4.5 out of 5
It is rather expensive, but for the convenience it provides, I think it's a worthwhile purchase for busy households and pet owners who have a lot of messes or debris in their homes. I love the cleaning capabilities of Roborock vacuums and would recommend them to anyone, and the same goes with this Auto-Empty Dock.
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.