Samsung's most expensive robot vacuum has more features than any other robot vacuum we've ever tested. Mapping, cleaning hard floors and the Jet Bot AI+ self-emptying Clean Station were excellent. But, some issues with navigation and object recognition left us hoping for a firmware update.
Samsung pairs the tried-and-true Clean Station self-emptying base with a unique robot vacuum design that includes object recognition, home monitoring and more sensors than any other Samsung robot vacuum in the Jet Bot AI+.
Samsung asked us if we had an interest in reviewing one of its robot vacuum models. We accepted, noting that the one we wanted to put through its paces was the Jet Bot+. To our surprise, the top of the line Jet Bot AI+ is the one that we received.
In the end, we purchased the Jet Bot+ and reviewed both models. Here's what we found with the more advanced AI+ model.
Samsung's Jet Bot AI+ shares a curious form factor with earlier PowerBot models. As opposed to the low-profile circular shape most other robot vacuums take, the Jet Bot AI+ opts for a taller, D-shaped design. This design also disposes with the side brush or brushes that most other robots use to flick debris in front of the robot vacuum's brush roll.
Compared with the non-AI+ model it is also significantly heavier and narrower, shedding over an inch in both width and length.
Where the robot's height is concerned the Jet Bot AI+ is 13/16ths of an inch taller. That might not sound like much, but it prevents the taller robot from vacuuming under just about all the furniture it experienced after use in three homes. We'll get to that a bit later in the review.
After recently reviewing the Samsung Jet Bot robot vacuum with the Clean Station most of what was in the box for the Jet Bot AI+ was familiar, not just in form but in quality. The Clean Station is the same as the one that comes with the non-AI bot. Differences in this unboxing were limited to the robot itself.
Setting up the robot in the SmartThings App was straightforward same as setting up other Samsung smart devices. Within a few minutes the Jet Bot AI+ was connected to our WiFi network and ready to go.
Before cleaning the SmartThings app coached us to send the robot out to learn the layout of the home. After seeing how well the standard Jet Bot employs lasers to accurately map a home, expectations were high.
And, we weren't disappointed with the Jet Bot+'s performance. We were again impressed by how crisp, precise and accurate the floor plan maps Samsung's LiDAR algorithm creates. Mapping is one area where Samsung excels, creating maps at the same level as other advanced, high end robot vacuums we've tested.
We used Samsung's SmartThings app for everything we did with the AI+ and found it to be responsive and easy to use. All the features of the robot are accessible from within the App.
Working with and maps is easy whether customizing them or instructing the the AI+ to clean specific rooms or areas.
RELATED: Looking for a less expensive robot vacuum that can empty its own bin? Read our Jet Bot review!
After an initial map is created the floor plan is automatically divided up into what the robot determines to be rooms. While this was hit-and-miss, all robots struggle with this. Thankfully, merging and re-splitting rooms is simple to do as is adding a No-Go zone.
The Jet Bot AI+ has the same high-performing LiDAR system used in the non-AI Jet Bot robot vacuum. So, we knew it had that going for it. It also has a wide array of drop and distance sensors it uses to navigate while cleaning. So, we had the highest of hopes for the AI+.
In real-world cleaning we got mixed results, however. While the Jet Bot AI+ didn't get stuck, it was challenged in a few ways.
First, it cannot get beneath a lot of furniture as it is taller than most robot vacuums. This was a disappointment as being able to sneak under couches, chairs and tables to clean dust, dirt and debris that builds up beneath them is one of the best things about robot vacuums.
The Jet Bot AI+ also couldn't get beneath the overhang create by bathroom and kitchen cabinets. This is again due to its height. And, since the AI+ model doesn't have a side brush, any dirt, kitty litter, cereal or anything else in those areas isn't cleaned.
Second, the robot vacuum was consistently challenged by area rugs. Of all the robot vacuums we have tested, the AI+ is one of the very few with this challenge. It's low-riding design is the culprit in this scenario.
Samsung's Clean Station is one of the better, if not the best, self-emptying docks on the market today. We experienced no issues with the Jet Bot AI+ locating the base or the duo's ability to empty the robot's dustbin.
Often, it would approach an area rug or transition to carpet and bump up against the carpet only to back off and attempt a different approach angle. To be fair, it did eventually succeed, but only after 3, 4, 5 or ore more attempts.
Finally, for a high-end, expensive robot vacuum, the Jet Bot AI+ sometimes behaved as if it was confused when dealing with those situations we just mentioned. A few times when it found, or thought it found, an obstacle movement would stop altogether. A minute or two would pass, and then it would continue.
This didn't happen on every cleaning run, but it was puzzling when it did.
Navigation woes aside, let's turn to actual vacuuming performance. On hardwood floors and tile, the Jet Bot AI+ did an excellent job. We tested it in multiple homes including ones with pet hair, high traffic, and a variety of surfaces–hardwood floors, tile and laminate flooring.
Between the vacuum's 30 watts of suction power and soft-bristled main brush the results were impressive. The Jet Bot AI+ picked up fine dust, sand, dirt and other larger debris without issue.
On carpet and rugs, cleaning results were good to very good. The robot vacuum was very good at getting dirt and debris on the carpet surface. Debris that was deeper embedded in carpet fibers was tougher for the AI+ to clean.
One somewhat unique aspect of the Jet Bot and Jet Bot AI+ is the choices for cleaning modes offered in the App. There are three to choose from:
Most robot vacuums do the second option, which makes sense, especially for robots with a side brush. We tried both approaches and both worked well.
As far as suction power settings, there are three settings: Max, Smart and Normal. Max and normal use high or low suction throughout the cleaning run. The Smart suction setting uses the normal setting, but will automatically adjust to the Max setting when it encounters carpet or a large amount of dust.
With the Jet Bot AI+ being so quiet and having the ability to empty its own bin, we used it for weeks in the Max setting without even realizing it!
The scheduled cleaning functionality is about what we see on other robot companion apps. As we've mentioned before, LiDAR robots can clean in complete darkness. We sent the Jet Bot AI+ out at night and it did complete its vacuuming runs and make it back to its dock each time.
While vacuuming, the robot can be monitored in real-time in the SmartThings app. After completing any vacuuming session it also sends a notification on the with a link to view a cleaning report.
On these two topics, we'll cover obstacle avoidance as it relates directly to the ability of the Jet Bot AI+ to clean. And, it is one of the reasons many people, especially pet owners, will have interest in this vacuum.
While we did test out the home monitoring, we found it to be well enough beyond house cleaning to comment much on beyond saying that it does work. It seems like more of a novelty, but for pet owners who work out of the home or those who need to check in on their home remotely, the patrol mode and ability to remotely control the Jet Bot AI+ while viewing what it sees through its camera might be of value.
Samsung touts the Jet Bot AI+' ability to recognize object using artificial intelligence. When it encounters an object in its path, it is designed to clean around it as opposed to plowing over it.
If this doesn't sound important as a feature, consider what would happen if a robot vacuum ran over pet waste and then proceeded to 'clean' the rest of the house. There's plenty of documented cases of this online, and it sounds awful.
Even in homes without pets there are benefits, too. Cords, socks, shoes and other items are often left where a robot vacuum might run over them. Of the obstacles mentioned, shoes (shoelaces especially) and cords (phone charging cords as well as power cords) present the biggest challenges. And, they can stop the robot dead in its tracks if they become wrapped around the brush roll.
We tested the Jet Bot AI+ in multiple situations where we left a power cord, shoe, socks, bowls and fake pet waste as obstacles. While socks went unnoticed on occasion, the Jet Bot AI+ camera an obstacle avoidance technology did a very good job.
The success rate on identification was 90% or better. After identifying an object of concern, the vacuum made its way around it. It also leaves a note on the map with what it believes the object is. The object was correctly identified around 75% of the time.
One area of improvement we saw was how close it was occasionally willing to get to those objects. The AI+ attempts to get very close to the object, sometimes inadvertently touching or running over part of it.
For shoes or a cord, it didn't cause an issue. But, more than once it grazed or ran over a corner of our fake pet waste. In the real world, that wouldn't be good.
One curious behavior we saw was random false positives. What we mean by that is that the Jet Bot AI+ would 'find' and avoid obstacles that weren't there. We saw this behavior on about 25% of cleaning runs and never came up with a solid theory on why it was happening.
In the bigger scheme of things, we'd rather see a higher instance of false positives than the vacuum plowing over objects that were there.
A firmware update would be able to change how close the Jet Bot AI+ nuzzles up to objects. And, as the AI's experiences more and more objects, identification could improve, too.
We were highly skeptical of self-emptying bases. But, after using a few good ones, it's hard to think of buying a robot vacuum without one. The experience with most robots is having to empty the dustbin daily or every few days. With the Clean Station Samsung suggests not having to change the bag for up to two to three months!
Samsung's Clean Station is one of the better, if not the best, self-emptying docks on the market today. We experienced no issues with the Jet Bot AI+ locating the base or the duo's ability to empty the robot's dustbin. And, after testing a few competing brands' solutions, most left a bigger mess behind than the tidy Samsung Clean Station.
Maintaining the Jet Bot AI+ is about the same as any other robot vacuums. As we noted, we did experience some hair wrap, especially with long hair. As with other robot vacuums, long hair often makes it way to the ends of the brush roll. Removing it isn't difficult, but does require releasing the brush from the robot.
The estimated remaining life of filters and the Clean Station bag are available in the SmartThings app as well as directions for any maintenance procedures.
Beyond that, the only real maintenance is replacing the Clean Station dust bag with a new one. When first released finding replacement bags was challenging due to supply chain issues. At the time of writing this review replacements were available on Samsung's website.
This is a really tough call as there is a lot to like here. Mapping and cleaning hard flooring is excellent, as is the Clean Station self emptying base. Those are the standout highlights of Samsung's premium robot vacuum offering.
We did tinker with the home monitoring, but frankly found that to be something that was a bit of a novelty. We would have preferred that the investment put into that feature was instead used to fine tune obstacle avoidance or identification.
As far as low points, we didn't like when the Jet Bot AI+ would find phantom obstacles, then go to the trouble of documenting them in the app. While we are currently testing a few other advanced robot vacuums which may or may not exhibit similar behavior, it felt disappointing for a vacuum costing over a thousand dollars.
Back to the initial question. Should you buy the Jet Bot AI+? For homes where the majority of flooring is carpet or higher climbing duties (such as tall area rugs or transitions between rooms), we don't think it is a good fit.
For homes that have mostly hard flooring it might be worth considering if the other shortcomings we cite aren't an issue.
Taking prices and performance into consideration, we would recommend the standard Jet Bot+ model (read the Jet Bot+ review) with Clean Station over the Jet Bot AI+. While firmware updates could improve some aspects of the AI+, it's overall physical design prevents it from doing what other robots routinely do.
The non-AI+ model doesn't pack in some of the high-tech in this model. It doesn't have the camera and AI system to identify and avoid objects, and it has less suction power than the AI+ model, too. But, it did a comparable job cleaning, and it did so without the quirks that the AI+ model has–including those with the advanced features that drive its price hundreds of dollars higher.