Miele Joins the Robot Vacuum Race With the RX1 Scout

Miele's first robot vacuum doesn't come cheap.

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At Dwell on Design in L.A., Miele introduced us to the latest soldier in the growing army of robotic vacuum cleaners.

The Miele RX1 Scout is the first robotic vacuum from a company that's famous for its high-end canister and upright cleaners.

It's also a luxury product, retailing for $999. For those keeping score, that's about $300 more than a top-of-the-line iRobot Roomba 880. We'll be interested to see if the RX1 offers enough of a performance boost to justify its high price tag, though Miele is careful to say that no robot vacuum—even the Scout—is a replacement for a human-guided vacuum cleaner.

Still, the Scout has a pretty impressive set of features. For one thing, it's appropriately named: Unlike other vacuums, which rely on what Miele terms "chaotic" cleaning, the Scout features a camera that maps a room's ceiling to ensure the robot doesn't miss any spots—a navigation setup that's similar to LG's Hom-Bot.

The camera combines with a gyro sensor, which measures rotation and changes in direction to keep the robot on track. The Scout also features seven anti-collision sensors and stair detection.

The Scout can run for two hours on a single charge, and comes equipped with a number of modes to take some of the guess work out of cleaning. Along with the Auto mode, which cleans all floors in a home (up to 1,600 sq ft), the Scout also has a dedicated Corner mode, a Spot mode that constrains cleaning to a 6 sq. ft. area, and a Turbo mode that shortens cleaning time by 50 percent.

Miele RX1 Scout Vacuum
The Miele RX1 Scout vacuum. View Larger

According to Miele, the Scout was developed in partnership with "a young Korean robotics specialist," and will be built in Korea. That's unusual for Miele, which usually builds products in vertically integrated factories. However, it can still be repaired at authorized Miele retailers—which the company says is an advantage over competing robotic vacuums.

The Scout is already on sale at authorized Miele retailers, and will be coming to Amazon soon.

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iRobot Roomba 880 Vacuum Cleaning Robot

Buy now for $699.99 at Amazon

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