Tag Archives: Evolution Robotics

Evolution Robots Announces New Mint Plus Model

Mint Plus Model 5200 with cloth

Today Evolution Robotics announced the newest model of the Mint Cleaner, the Mint Plus. The Mint Plus (which will be going by the model number 5200) has several improvements over the previous model. It charges faster, has a 25% longer battery life and thus can sweep larger areas. Also new is the “Pro-Clean System”, which is an improved mopping system with a reservoir pad.

Later note: We’ve got our hands on a Mint Plus and published a comprehensive review, here.

They’ve also improved the NorthStar module, which is what the robot uses to navigate as it seeps and mops your floor. According to the manufacturer, the NorthStar2 module is more efficient, and helps the Mint sweeper cover more ground faster.

The new Mint Plus charges in two hours, and can go for four hours. It has a Pause/Resume feature for pausing the Mint mid-clean. The Mint Plus also features a “Quick Clean Mode” where it does the back-and-forth floor cleaning but then skips the perimeter.

Mint Plus Pro Clean reservoir illustration

Details about the New Cleaning Pad Reservoir

The Mint sweeper comes with a cleaning pad that you attach a Swiffer or washable microfiber cloth to. Evolution has modified the pad so that it has a reservoir that you fill with water (and a “mild cleaner” if you prefer). To use this feature, you remove the cleaning pad from the robot, fill the reservoir at the sink, add any cleaning solution you desire, close the reservoir, and you’re ready to go (after attaching the cleaning cloth, of course). We’re really looking forward to trying this out. In our experiments with using the regular Mint robot for mopping, the cleaning cloth would dry out before the robot was done mopping. This is a great idea. More info here on Mint’s site.

Improved NorthStar

Looks like the NorthStar2 module helps the new Mint Plus navigate larger areas, and also they have changed the way that the robots clean multiple rooms. With the older Mint cleaner (Model 4200), the second NorthStar module would simply keep the Mint from going into the next room by itself. You would have to move the Mint robot there yourself. With the new NorthStar2, they’ve changed the way the cleaner interacts with the NorthStar cubes such that it will stay in one room until it finishes, and then will go into the next room (with a second NorthStar module). Unfortunately, the 4200 Mint will not be able to use this new navigation scheme.

With the new NorthStar2, you can also pause and resume cleaning. So if you want to change the cleaning pad, or replenish the Mint’s reservoir, you can pause the Mint by pressing any button on the robot, and then when you’re done, the Mint will resume cleaning without needing to cover floor area that it’s already done.

More information on Mint’s site, here.

Mint Plus with Cradle - model 5200C

Mint Plus with Cradle

Mint’s site also mentions that there will be a Mint Plus with Cradle (model 5200C) coming. That sounds like a great idea. Watch our site for more information about this, and a review as soon as we can get our hands on one of these babies.

The Mint Plus is currently available at Amazon dot com – charging cradle here.

Further Reading about the Mint 4200 Model

See our in-depth review on the Mint Cleaner here. Check here for a comparison of Mint and Roomba. And, 12 reasons why the Mint is better than the Scooba 230.

Robot Hot Rod: Souping up my Mint

I was in the store the other day and happened to be looking around in the cleaning section when one of these mop heads caught my eye. Seeing that it was “microfiber” like the other regular cleaning cloths for the Mint robot, I wondered if it would make for an interesting experiment. Besides this, I thought it would be kind of funny. Seeing as how this was obviously a Swiffer competitor, I figured it would probably be about the same size. At worst, it would be really wild looking. At best, it would be a great new cleaning sensation.

Microfiber cloth mop head on a Mint robot

As you can see, it was basically the exact right size. There were two modifications that needed to be made. First off, since the mop cover was built to put on a mop head that folded, it wouldn’t go on the Mint robot without having slits cut in the top parts. Second, the green part was simply too thick. The robot couldn’t get enough traction to push it around, because it was at a funny angle. So I ended up cutting out half of the green fingers. This reduced the volume enough that the Mint could run around the room.

Here it is trying to mate with our area rug.

Just for the sake of the experiment, I ran the Mint in two different rooms, just like I would any other day with a Swiffer cloth or one of the microfiber cloths that come with the robot. On the plus side, the robot sweeper was still able to see things, and also was able to tell that it had run into something when it bumped a piece of furniture. On the minus side, its cliff detection stopped working altogether, and it threw itself off a (luckily short) landing. So try this at your own risk!

Mont Robot with Microfiber Mop Head Cover

I think this answers the question: “What would you get if you crossed a Mint with Animal from the Muppets?” Unfortunately, the mop head didn’t really seem to clean the floor very well. It mostly seemed like it pushed things around, whereas the Swiffer cloths and the microfiber cloths that come with the Mint definitely do pick up a lot of dirt.

Long Exposure Robotic Vacuum Art

iRobot Roomba Long Exposure

(Updated January 30, 2012: Added the Dirt Devil.) I finally got the time, equipment, and software together to make long exposure photos of the different floor cleaning robots to look at the differences between the three. So, above is a long exposure of an iRobot Roomba cleaning up the “hall” in my house. It’s about eight feet long and maybe 5 feet wide. There is a furnace return in the upper left corner that the Roomba avoids, thinking it’s a cliff.

Neato Robotics XV-11 long exposure

Here you can see the orderly progression of how a Neato Robotics XV-11 cleans an area this small. It does the perimeter, and then precisely vacuums the area inside. You can’t tell from the photo, but the line in the middle is actually from two paths. One going from left to right, and the other from right to left.

Mint Cleaner Long Exposure

This is my favorite of the bunch. The Evolution Mint Cleaner goes back and forth, and then does the perimeter, but much more meticulously than the Neato robot. So it leaves quite a bumpy trail around the room.

Dirt Devil RoomMate Light Trails
Dirt Devil RoomMate

The Dirt Devil RoomMate runs around a room pretty much like a Roomba does, with alternating behaviors. It does random bouncing around, spirals, and wall following. In a small area like this, it spends a lot more time doing wall following than anything else. Like all the rest of the robots, it’s not a big fan of the furnace return.

Neato Robotics XV-11 long exposure

Here’s a photo with the lights on, following a Neato XV-11 through the room again. It took a different way to do it this time, going up and down instead of back and forth.

Did I mention that I made these photos with an Olloclip fisheye lens? I don’t usually talk about things other than robots on this blog, but this thing is really cool. It’s a three-in-one add-on lens for the iPhone 4. It has a fish-eye lens, a wide angle lens, and a crazy macro lens. Here are some other photos I’ve taken recently.

Ludisia discolor Jewel Orchid Macro Shot
Ludisia discolor 'ambrosia' Jewel Orchid Macro Shot

Daylily Olloclip Macro Shot

Water Lily Flower Olloclip Macro Shot