PoolBot B150 Robot Pool Cleaner Gen 2 – works well for me (cleaning review)
The PoolBot B150 Robot Pool Cleaner will quickly, efficiently, and conveniently clean small to medium size pool floors and walls. It is cordless and has inbuilt navigation smarts.
What is a robot pool cleaner?
There are dozens of types and brands. Robotic pool cleaners are simply cordless underwater vacuum cleaners. They use suction and brushing to clean the pool floor, walls, and some may clean stairs (depending on the stair and robot vacuum size).
What is important to look for?
This is our first robot pool cleaner review, so we don’t have established benchmarks to compare. Our consumer panel has determined that a good pool cleaner should address the following:
- Charge time – not a huge issue and expected to be similar to robot vacuum cleaners.
- Battery runtime – at least enough to vacuum the specified pool size.
- Pool cleaning time (speed m2/min) – not a huge issue as long as it cleans the specified pool size.
- Intelligence levels for pool mapping – ensuring all walls and the floor are cleaned efficiently.
- Does it have/need an App? Not a huge issue as indicator lights can serve the same purpose, and you can’t remotely start the device.
- Ability to remove typical pool detritus and filter basket size – important that leaves and small sticks up to 20cm long (large gumtree leaves) are removed. There was a discussion on removing human and pet hair efficiency.
- Edge cleaning right to the edge or around feature edges.
- Wall cleaning – considered a huge benefit, especially if able to clean slightly above the tile water line.
- Stair cleaning – given the issues of robot size and stair size, it is a ‘nice to have’ but not a hugely important issue – brush the stairs first.
- Scrubbing – most pool vacuums just vacuum detritus. The ability to scrub the walls/floors is essential.
- Maintenance and cleaning – it needs to be simple to empty the filter basket and clean it when not in use.
- Expected useful life and spare parts availability. On a cost/benefit analysis, it needs to last at least five years (if properly cared for). Australian service and spare parts availability are a must.
Australian Review: PoolBot B150 Robot Pool Cleaner (Gen 2)
|Website||Robot My Life product page|
|Price||RRP $1450 including Australia-wide shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Excludes promotional sale pricing.|
|From||Robot My Life online shop|
|Company||Robot My Life is an Australian company based in Victoria. It designs and sources robot vacuum cleaners, robot mops, robot mowers, robot window cleaners, stick vacuum cleaners, cleaning fluids and accessories.|
Pool handle hook
We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.
Note: PoolBot B150 is a collaboration between Robot My lIfe and Wybot, specifically for Australian conditions. Some images show the Wybot branding.
First impression – Pass+
Over the past 30 years, I have owned several pools, and I genuinely hate cleaning them. I resent the time it takes and tripping down to the pool shop for water testing and chemicals. Invariably I pay for a pool cleaner to come weekly in summer and monthly in winter. Pools cost a lot to maintain, and pool cleaners make too much money!
Being an inveterate techy (and loathing housework), my early attempts at automatic pool cleaners were the Barracuda and Kreepy Krauley (diaphragm) style that use the pool filter for suction via a long hose. Not to disparage this style of cleaner, but they were messy, needed storage out of the pool, and did not last the distance.
Next were various turbine cleaners, using the pool suction to drive wheels and clean. Equally disappointed with the results, no wall cleaning, frequent rotor breakage and poor life.
This is our first robot pool cleaner review, and I am cognisant that we cannot predict things like longevity, but we can track the efficiency of wall and floor cleaning (we don’t have steps to test that).
We will update this over time if we encounter any issues.
Pool Preparation – Minimal to none – Pass+
Typical vacuums (regular clean with normal-size detritus) are just a matter of turning the pool filter off. If the pool has larger leaves and sticks, scoop these out in the pool first. If you brush the pool, allow time for the water to settle.
Size – Pass+
It is 360 (W) x 372 (L) x 240 (H) mm x 8kg. It is easy to use and move. You retrieve it with the supplied pool hook (which fits a standard pool pole).
Pool size/type – small to medium, maximum IPX8 2-metre depth – Pass+ for the right-sized pool
it is rated for 990 lineal meter coverage (90 minutes x 11m/min). It has up to a 150m2 capacity, including the floor and walls – essentially up to a 10 (L) x 5 (W) x 1-2m (D) medium-sized pool. In addition, it cleans the walls.
It is recommended for concrete, fibreglass, pebblecrete, mosaic tiles, and vinyl-lined pools (most robot cleaners won’t handle vinyl liners).
Charging/Battery life – Pass+
It has an 8600mAh Lithium-ion battery for a claimed 90-minute run time. Our tests confirm that. We cannot find the battery life cycle, but we expect it should be at least 500 full charge cycles or about 10 years of weekly use.
Battery charging claim is 3.5 hours but is more like 5 hours. We will update this if it substantially changes. The wall charger has an indicator light when it fills the battery.
Remember that a pool pump can use 1000W or more, so this is an energy miser.
Navigation/Intelligence – Basic but sufficient – Pass
It uses an integrated accelerometer/gyroscope for autonomous route planning to develop the most efficient route. Add to this automatic reverse (when it touches walls or obstacles), and it cleans the pool well – there were no missed spots.
It does not use LiDAR, IR, camera, or intelligent mapping and store a map, but it does not need to. It uses a star pattern from the pool’s centre, not a U-shape like a robot vacuum.
Filter and efficiency – Pass
An internal filter basket collects detritus down to 180um (microns) and will capture sand, leaves, small sticks, and small pebbles. The suction flow rate is 10m3/hr – which is quite strong and reflects the ability to climb and stick to walls.
Human hair is about 80um, and pet hair can be down to 20um. While it will vacuum it up, it may not all be caught in the basket.
We understand that some more expensive robot pool cleaners can trap down to 20um, so you may need to look at other brands if this is an issue.
In our tests, it worked rather well. As Robot My Life has asked us to keep the unit as a reference device, we will update this review over time.
Pool cleaning time (m2/min) – Pass+
It has two caterpillar tread motors (left and right) and a suction motor. It can cover about 11 metres per minute. It appears to clean the pool 2-3 times or until the battery runs out (about 90 minutes).
Wall cleaning – Pass+
The front rotating brushes (PVC rubber) do an excellent job of scrubbing to just above the waterline. The walls were visibly cleaner.
Edge Cleaning – Pass+
It cleans the edges reasonably well when cleaning the walls and follows a curved wall line.
Stair cleaning (not tested)
As it climbs walls, it can climb larger stairs and submerged seating ledges around the pool.
Does it have/need an App? Not required
No, it does not need an App. Initially, we thought of all the cool things an App could do, like show a pool floor plan, location, battery life etc., but remember that the App needs Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to work. Most pools are too far from the router to have coverage, let alone the fact that signals won’t penetrate water!
Maintenance and cleaning – Pass+
The cleaning bin hatch opens to reveal the cleaning basket. Lift out and hose it clean. Capacity is unknown (at least 1 litre) and is adequate for standard cleaning. You may have to empty more frequently if the pool has lots of detritus.
It does not need any other maintenance, but we recommend a freshwater hose to remove pool chemicals.
Expected useful life and spare parts availability- Pass+
Robot My Life carries spares for several years; it should last five years or more with care.
- Simple – no app
- Convenient – charge and drop in the pool
- No manual labour. After vacuuming, it goes to the edge, where you can lift it out.
- Minimal cleaning: Hose it and the filter basket.
- It does not use the pool filter or pump, saving heaps in power costs.
- The rotating brushes scrub to just above the water line.
CyberShack’s view – PoolBot B150 Robot Pool Cleaner works for me
Having no prior experience with robot pool cleaners, I have to say it was straightforward to use. Charge, drop in the water, that is it.
Ninety minutes later, pull it out, hose it off to store, and charge it out of the sun/weather.
It did a superb job, and we will continue to test it and update the review as necessary.
The only caveats:
- Small to medium pools
- Human and pet hair may not be fully captured
We cannot give it a numerical rating as we don’t have other brands/models to compare it with. But we can comment on Features, Value, Performance, Ease of Use and Design.
- Features: There may be smarter pool robots with Apps etc., but you don’t need them. Sometimes the simple approach is the best.
- Value: What price do you put on your time? What do you pay a pool cleaner? The RRP of $1450 is a little steep, but you may find promotional bargains.
- Performance: It cleaned a regular rectangle pool perfectly, including the walls, water line tiles, and the floor.
- Ease of Use: Charge and go.
- Design: I have nothing to compare it to, but it is well-designed and built.
- Easy to use – wall cleaning is excellent
- Works efficiently and quietly
- It should be a keeper
- Reasonable charge and run-time
- Robot My Life is a home robotics specialist
- None, really.
PoolBot B150 Robot Pool Cleaner, PoolBot B150 Robot Pool Cleaner