O-Duster Robotic Floor Cleaner Reviews (2017 Edition)

Initially, I was excited about the idea of writing a few O-Duster robotic floor cleaner reviews for Robot Fanatics.

I love it when new cheap home robotics appliances come out.  Most of them are way overpriced.

As a DIY robot geek, I can tell you that robot parts are actually super cheap.  Yet, most home robot makers are still trying to get consumers to pay high prices for automated products.

The little robotic duster I’m about to introduce to you is definitely inexpensive.  But even though it is good for some very specific types of cleaning situations, O-Duster is not quite as smart as I hoped it would be when I first decided to review it.

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O-Duster robotic floor cleaner reviews: What is O-Duster?

rosie-osweeper
O-Duster is just a cheap little floor mop that moves.  It isn’t Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons.

The O-Duster robotic floor cleaner is a simple hardwood and tile floor duster from O-Cedar.

O-Cedar has been around for about 100 years.  The company is best known for making mops, brooms and sponges.   The O-Duster robot represents the company’s first stab at entering the home robotics market.

On Amazon, O-Duster costs about the same amount of money as a classic Swiffer Sweeper Floor Mop Starter Kit.

If you’re expecting O-Duster to blow your mind, you’ll probably be disappointed.  But if you’re a Swiffer fan, you’ll probably like this little bot.

Here’s the official O-Duster commercial:

Check the price of O-Duster on Amazon

At first glance, the O-Duster looks kind of like a robot vacuum.  Its red color and round shape makes it look kind of like a bObsweep PetHair from far away.

swiffer-o-duster
The O-Duster is essentially an automated Swiffer sweeper

The O-Duster is definitely not a vacuum, though.  It’s more like an automated Swiffer style floor mop.

The O-Duster’s electrostatic cleaning surface is designed to absorb dust– not suck up particles and crumbs.

Like robotic vacuum cleaners, O-Duster moves around by itself.  However, it isn’t smart enough to know where it’s been or where it’s going.

The two buttons on top of the robot allow you to select one of two different cleaning modes: 30 or 120 minutes.

As a result of its tiny brain, the O-Duster’s movements are somewhat random.  However, there is a method to its madness.

As the O-Duster moves forward, it also turns.  The twisting motion allows the O-Duster to utilize all of its cleaning surface as it dusts instead of just one portion of it.

O-Duster robotic floor cleaner reviews: Pros and Cons

The O-Duster’s main problem boils down to bad marketing.  The marketing team at O-Cedar has done a very poor job of explaining what the O-Duster does (and doesn’t) do.

The O-Duster does a pretty good job of keeping clean hard floors from getting dusty.  However, O-Duster is not a vacuum.  Don’t expect this humble house robot to suck up sand or dirt.

Don’t expect miracles

If you have any kind of carpet in your home, you’re going to hate O-Duster because it always gets stuck on rugs and carpets.  But if you have a 100% hard floor home, it’s worth checking out.

Good

  • Doesn’t scratch.  Robot vacs are far more powerful than this little lightweight duster, but they can also be rough on wood floors.
  • Super affordable.  Very few other home robots are this cheap.
  • Keeps hard floors clean.  The O-Duster does a good job of keeping clean wood and tile floors from getting dusty.
  • Compact design.  It’s short enough to go where tall full featured robot vacuums can’t reach.
  • Cleans corners.  O-Duster’s flexible rim may get caught on rugs, but it’s good for reaching hard to access spots.
  • Built-in rechargeable batteries.  The O-Duster’s built-in power pack allows it to wander around for about 120 minutes before it needs a break.
  • Picks up floating blobs of pet hair.  This robot doesn’t have a vacuum, but it still manages to sweep up big wads of pet hair when it cleans.

Bad

  • Don’t expect this inexpensive autonomous mop to perform miracles just because it’s a robot.  The O-Duster is nothing more and nothing less a Swiffer mop that moves around by itself.
  • O-Duster is not smart enough to avoid getting tangled up in rugs and carpets.
  • When it runs out of batteries, the O-Duster will simply go to sleep in the middle of your floor.  It doesn’t return back to its home base for a recharge.

I really hope O-Cedar sticks with this bot.  The addition of a few cheap sensor modules could help the O-Duster avoid running into fabric.

O-Duster vs iRobot Braava

Don’t be fooled by the Braava’s outrageous price tag and fancy features.  The Braava not as awesome as it looks.

Both the O-Duster and Braava are basically the same product, only the Braava costs several hundred dollars more and has expensive features that don’t work as well as they seem to do in the commercials.

O-Duster

Pros


Super inexpensive

Decent performance


Cons


No vacuum

No "wet mode"



Recommended

iRobot Braava

Pros


"Wet mode" cleaning

GPS navigation


Cons


No vacuum

Way too expensive



 

Why iRobot Braava isn’t worth it

The Braava has a lot more hardware.  Its most expensive component is its internal GPS navigation system.  The Braava also sports a liquid dispenser system that keeps its cloth damp.

But surprisingly, these two high tech features don’t help the Braava clean any better than O-Duster in most situations.  When CNET put the Braava to the test, it did a decent job of cleaning vinyl surfaces.  However, it struggled hard on tile and big messes.

Smart navigation is overrated

From a robotics standpoint, the fact that appliances can now navigate homes using GPS is exciting.  But why pay hundreds of dollars for GPS when it really isn’t necessary?  Instead of pushing features that consumers don’t want or need, iRobot should work on designing practical house robots that everyone can afford.

Watch how poorly the iRobot Braava performs when CNET puts it to the test.

Here’s why I would never buy an iRobot Braava

  • No vacuum.  The Braava is essentially an overpriced O-Duster on steroids.  It does wipe up dust, but it can’t handle spills or large messes.
  • Doesn’t handle ceramic tile very well.  Because it lacks a vac, Braava has no way to stop debris from falling between the cracks.
  • No “return to base” mode.  The Braava can’t even return back home when its battery gets low.  It just dies in the middle of a cleaning cycle– just like O-Duster.
  • Awkward handle design.  The Braava does come with a flimsy little carrying handle, but it’s located in a very weird and awkward spot.
  • Super expensive.   Why pay hundreds of bucks for a robot that’s really not all that better than an O-Duster?
iRobot Braava 380t Robot Mop
List Price: $299.00
Price: $239.99
You Save: $59.01
Price Disclaimer

O-Duster robotic floor cleaner reviews: Walmart or Amazon?

Wal-Mart sells O-Duster and O-Duster refills, but you can get a better price on this robot sweeper if you order it through Amazon.

O-Cedar O-Duster Robotic Floor Cleaner
List Price: $47.99
Price Disclaimer

O-Duster features and accessories

  • DC charger (included).  You have to plug the O-Duster in manually
  • LED battery light.  When the battery is fully charged, it turns green.
  • Cleaning mode switch.  The mode switch allows you to flip between 20 minute “short” mode and 120 minute “long” mode.
  • Cleaning pads (included).  You get a few cleaning pads with the starter kit, but once you run out you have to to keep buying them.

O-Duster robotic floor cleaner reviews: YouTubers react to O-Duster

Before you try out an O-Duster, it’s a good idea to see how it looks, moves and performs in real life so that you know exactly what to expect if you’re thinking about buying one.  If you check out the YouTube videos I’ve embedded below, you’ll get a very good idea of how O-Duster works in reality.

This video demonstrates O-Duster’s cleaning pattern

This video focuses on the way O-Duster moves across a hardwood floor.  About halfway through this 2 minute video, reviewer Sean Symons picks up the O-Duster and gives you an “under the hood” look at this bot.

Check the price of O-Duster on Amazon

This 2 minute video review of O-Duster sums up its pros and cons

Colleen Padilla’s video review of O-Duster is probably the best objective summary of this product that I’ve seen on YouTube.  Check it out to watch the O-Duster sweep up a hardwood kitchen floor.

Check the price of O-Duster on Amazon

Smart Shopper’s review of O-Duster totally missed the point

Daphne Monroe’s review of this product was totally uninformed.  O-Duster is a robotic Swiffer style floor mop.  It’s not a robotic vacuum.

For some reason, Daphne Monroe expected O-Duster to pick up the dirt, salt and hair she threw on the floor in advance of her O-Duster test.  Maybe O-Duster’s misleading commercial gave her the wrong idea.

The O-Duster is just a humble little robot Swiffer.  It’s designed to keep clean floors clean, not turn dirty floors into sparkling clean surfaces.

The one good thing about this goofy video review is that it does highlight O-Duster’s major weaknesses: it always gets stuck on carpets.  

Check the price of O-Duster on Amazon

About Alex Munkachy

Hello and thanks for visiting Robot Fanatics! The aim of this site is to introduce people to the fun and interesting world of robotics. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RobotFanatics.