The Spanish robot website, Robots al Detalle, evaluates the navigation system of the Ecovacs Deepoo D76 robot vacuum cleaner.
Although the captions are in Spanish, it's pretty easy to understand the meaning from the video footage. And, yes, we were just waiting for the robot to pull the lamp off the table...:D
That being said, it's difficult to see any clear or compelling difference from the Roomba vacuum cleaner we already own and use regularly. There must be some difference in the cleaning algorithms or design, otherwise they would have problems selling it without patent challenges and litigation, but they aren't obvious.
Is the home robot vacuum destined to be the solitary domestic robot assistant? Of course we hope not. But, there don't seem to be any strong challengers to its leading position at the moment.
And, how much improvement, other than cost reduction, can be accomplished by iRobot or its growing number of competitors? There are some design tweaks that would help.
For example, here in Japan acceptance of the Roomba, and most of it's clones, has been severely hampered by the fact that owners have to come in contact with the floor dust and debris when emptying and cleaning the robots dust bin and brushes. That may seem to be too anal or picky for Westerners, but it is a major negative for the Japanese housewife. All of the domestic vacuum manufacturers go to great lengths to isolate the dust and dirt by using disposable bags that can be easily changed without any exposure. Of course modifying the robot design to incorporate that type of feature could possibly increase the manufacturing costs.
The Robots al Detalle website lists a wealth of domestic robot vacuum cleaners and their YouTube channel includes videos of many of the robots in action. It's a good resource for an overview of what's available, including some that you may never of heard of before.