Xiaomis first pure wiping robot SWDK ZDG300 for $269
For 10 months we thought the model would never be available for order in this country, after we discovered it at Xiaomiyoupin, Xiaomi’s sales and crowdfunding platform. But the Chinese tech giant with its subsidiary SWDK should not disappoint us. We tested Xiaomi’s first pure wiping robot – which is also square.
- Xiaomi SWDK Wiping Robot
Technical data: Comparison with Mi Robot 1S
As a pure wiping robot, the comparison to a vacuum robot is of course somewhat difficult. However, so that you can put some data in relation, we compare the ZDG300 with the Mi Robot 1S.
|SWDK ZDG300||Mi Robot 1S|
|Navigation||Camera navigation with gyro sensor (VSLAM)||Laser space measurement|
|App||Xiaomi Home (Android, iOS)||Xiaomi Home (Android, iOS)|
|Noise level||71 dB||50-65 dB (depending on suction level)|
|Battery||2500 mAh||5200 mAh|
|Water tank||0.24 l||no wiping function|
|Working time||2 h||2.5 h|
|Weight||4,8 kg||3,8 kg|
|Dimensions||32.0 x 32.0 x 8.0 cm||34.5 x 34.5 x 9.6 cm|
|Inclines||15°, up to 1,5 cm||15°, up to 2 cm|
From the Chinese manufacturer SWDK we only know of manual vacuum cleaners, from Xiaomi in general only the vacuum robots. SWDK belongs to Xiaomi’s ecosystem and is a vocal-free abbreviation for “Sawadika”.
Scope of delivery
So the packaging is nothing special, a simple, square brown box. But then you find inside:
- the wiping robot
- Charging station with CN charging cable (adapter included)
- Water catching mat
- small measuring jug
- Disposable and microfibre cloths, two each for the underside
- Operating instructions in Chinese
I would not even unpack the included adapter but rather order a proper adapter. The manual is also in Chinese, but you don’t need it after reading this review. Otherwise there is nothing to prevent the use of the robot in this country.
Yes, the robot is only available as a China version (current?). But since we thought that we would not be able to order it in this country in the future, this is a tolerable obstacle.
Design and finish: The first of its kind
The design has the typical Xiaomi look and the usual good workmanship, but the shape is completely different than usual. The ZDG300 is square and therefore also gets into corners very well.
A bumper is installed around the entire wiping robot. This protects the robot 360° around itself from collisions. The bumper also cushions collisions with pieces of furniture. Normally, the bumper of a vacuum robot is only installed at the front.
Which, despite good navigation, unfortunately has to be said: The robot will dock obstacles such as pieces of furniture. Sometimes also a bit rougher. It doesn’t mind that at all, but vases or other sensitive items of furniture do. So it’s good that he has the 360° bumper.
To give a wiping robot such a shape is absolutely sensible. Vacuum robots have brush heads attached to the side, which is why the round shape makes it possible to reach all corners. But for a wiping robot with two wiper attachments, the square shape is just right to be able to wipe in more angled corners.
The robot does not drive over the ground with tyres, but has a rubber roller system installed. This means that the robot does not leave tire tracks, as sometimes happens with hybrid models. And it also slips away less often.
Oh, one more praising sentence: The height of 8.0 cm of course also allows the robot to wipe under pieces of furniture.
Operation and navigation
Connoisseurs of the Xiaomi vacuum robots will have noticed it right away: There is no LDS (laser distance sensor) on the top of the 8.0 cm flat wiping robot. Accordingly, the premises are not scanned via laser. The ZDG300 navigates via camera (without optical recording, so don’t take pictures) and gyro sensor.
When using a gyro sensor, the vacuum robot measures the rotary movements from the charging station. The SWDK ZDG300 scans the floor plan with the camera, because it assumes that it has the same floor plan as the ground. The problem here, of course, is roof pitches.
Navigation via gyro sensor currently occupies second place in the ranking of the best navigation methods after laser space measurement. The mapping is therefore less precise, but the robot still knows where it is and navigates reliably through the rooms.
This is due to the fact that it works in straight paths:
Inside the robot, a VSLAM graphics algorithm (VSLAM = Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) is used, which enables the ZDG300 to store the obstacles detected during the journey in a map. The position is determined simultaneously and the map is created. The map can then be called up in the app. Additional obstacle and fall sensors protect the wiping robot from collisions with pieces of furniture or falls from stairs.
On the underside of the robot, two wiping mops with coated microfibre cloths work, which move up and down and also vibrate. In this way, the manufacturer wants to be able to compensate for the muscle power that is used for manual wiping via mop and to apply sufficient pressure to the floor. So that even harder stains can be wiped. The mobile vibration water tanks operate at 800 rotations per minute.
Charging station and working time
Of course, the wiping robot also finds its charging station autonomously when the battery power decreases. This is the case after a working time of 2 hours. For 3 hours it then has to charge its battery – both values which are good to live with. Important: The robot must have started from the charging station, otherwise it will have difficulties finding its “home” again.
Xiaomi and the associated subsidiaries are all not upside down and think along with us, as we can see here again. Therefore a water catching mat or water protection mat is included in the scope of delivery. On it, there are two insertion possibilities for the charging station that again has two inlets at the bottom. By this way, the charging station can be placed on the mat without slipping.
And finding his “home” again autonomously does not present him with any great challenges either. In practice it looks like this:
App control via Xiaomi Home
Yeah, I know, you want to know how the robot mops. But before that, we have to integrate the little helper into the Xiaomi Home App (Android, iOS), which we already know very well. Although the device is a Chinese version (it’s not clear if there will be an international version), the WLAN and app integration is also possible for us here.
To do this, we have to change the region in the Xiaomi Home App if we (like me) have been on other servers so far. Now – correctly guessed for a China version – it must be the country setting “China”.
The step has two disadvantages: If you have other smart Xiaomi devices on other servers, this will cut the connection and you may have to move them to the China server. Plus: The China servers are not as fast as the local servers – logical.
But this step also has an advantage that is not to be disregarded: You will receive firmware updates via the China servers first of all. For other regions the implementation of updates always takes several weeks longer. Firmware updates can be bugfixes or new functions, during the test phase I was also allowed to download one for the ZDG300 directly.
The interface of the app is in English (after all, Chinese would be more complicated), sometimes there are even German words underneath. Provided, of course, that you have set the app as such to German.
App functions and settings
Before we send the robot off with an app connection, we should make one or two settings. All functions and settings are listed here:
- Schedule working hours (days and water level selectable)
- Set water flow rate (Dry, Standard, Strong -> little water, medium, much water)
- Download and install firmware updates (only possible on the charging station)
- Display cleaning progress (history)
- virtual remote control
- here also spot mode (rotates in increasing circles around itself) can be found
- Adjust the volume of the “voice of the robot” (0-100%)
- Reset card
- Find Robot (reports in Chinese voice)
- Go-To-Zone (targeted cleaning at a specific location on the virtual map)
Unfortunately, there are no no-go zones that can be drawn in the virtual map. Therefore you have to put away carpets or cables before cleaning. This is a good example of a firmware update that we would like to see. Oh and drawing go-to zones could be a little less fiddly.
The wipe function
The moment of decision *drum roll*. Did Xiaomi’s subsidiary SWDK create the long-awaited wiping robot that does the annoying work for us? First of all, we attach the two wiping cloths to the underside. Then we take the small measuring cup and fill it with water and one or two drops of floor cleaner – I like to use this one from Ecovacs. Any warranty claims would normally be void now, but the robot is not for sale in this country anyway, so it’s negligible anyway. 😉
Then we briefly check the LED display on the robot to see if it registers the water. Put away any furniture, cables or carpets that may be at risk and set the water flow rate in the app (Low, Medium, High). And then? Then we start it – either via app or via the start button on the top.
The ZDG300 starts from its charging station, the rotating plates on the underside start working, the tank starts dripping water onto the microfibre cloths. The little helper is not necessarily quiet, but with an operating volume of 65 dB it is not any louder than its vacuum robot colleagues. You just hear a vibrating water tank when it is working.
On the average flow rate, a closer look reveals how the robot wipes the floor:
The result is good, although no comparison to the conventional use with biceps force and mop. No puddle formation and good water distribution. And if we take it to the next level?
Strong, if you want to wipe “harder”. This setting does not change the vibration, but the robot achieves decent results. Fine!
The vibration makes the difference
On my black and grey carpet he doesn’t want to, which bothers me with vacuum robots, but with him here he is very welcome. However, he also does not want to go over my cable cover on the floor, accordingly 2 cm high obstacles are too big a challenge for him. So if you have installed door thresholds or such at home, you have to lift the robot manually into another room.
The muscle power exerted on the mop during manual wiping is well simulated and balanced by the robot. The ZDG300 manages to exert sufficient pressure on the floor to achieve absolutely solid results. It can’t get very deep-seated spots, but the 800 rotations per minute that the rotating mops operate with are absolutely noticeable.
Even if the cloths absorb a lot of dirt, I would still briefly vacuum through them beforehand. The microfibre cloths can also be thrown into the washing machine. Would you be interested in a video in which the robot is presented with different types of stains? If you like to write it in the comments, then I will add it to the video.
Conclusion: Buy Xiaomi wiping robot?
Practical design, nice and flat, good wiping technique and solid navigation: The SWDK ZDG300 wiping robot from the Xiaomi universe could fill a product gap that was missing not only in its own product range so far. In fact, no technology manufacturer has really managed to bring a robot with heavy wiping to the market so far (maybe the Narwal).
Even Xiaomi does not succeed one hundred percent, but in large parts. The wiping result can definitely be called “solid”, so that you have to wipe much less yourself. In case of heavy stains you’ll have to give it a try and get out the mop or wipe yourself. But hey, that’s manageable, and the robot at a little over $250 isn’t so expensive that you could make a big mistake here. On the contrary, I really like the wiping robot!
Since you don’t necessarily have to use the app, I don’t think it’s too bad that there is (currently?) only a Chinese version of the robot. Without no-go zones (maybe Xiaomi will provide some via update) the app is not a decisive criterion. But they would be really handy so that you don’t have to put away carpets after the first cleaning.
If you can overlook the mentioned negative points like me, you’ll get a really good wiping robot here. If any of you have difficulties with the integration into WLAN and App, please write it in the comments, I will help you as soon as possible.
What do you think of Xiaomi’s first robotic wiper?
- Shape optimal for wiping robots
- thoughtful water protection mat
- good wipe results
- Design and processing
- China version, app integration only possible if region “China” is selected
- no no-go zones
- Obstacle overcoming and detection could be better