At Home Server Land we like to stay current with the latest gadgets and helpful robotics for the home. We have done a number of reviews on automated vacuums i.e. iRobot Roomba and Neato XV-11, but now it was time to bring home something for the hardwood floors, in comes: Mint 4200 Hard floor cleaner by Evolution Robotics.
Our first impression of it was love at first sight, but as love based on looks alone tends to fizzle so did our affections for the Mint. Don’t get us wrong, it does what the manufacturer says it will but it isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
In the box the white compact square little robot measuring 9.6” by 8.5” and only 3.1” deep comes with the following:
- NorthStar Navigation Cube with 2 C batteries
- 2 dry sweeping microfiber cloths
- 1 wet mopping microfiber cloth
- Power adapter
- Quick start guide
- User manual
The Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner is strictly for dusting off and mopping hard surface floors. It is small and thin enough to get under coffee tables and most couches, and you can choose to attach either the dry cloth to dust off an area or pre-moistened cleaning cloths to wipe the floors in the kitchen or bathrooms.
Cleaning and Dusting Cloths
The attaching of the cloths is simple enough where you just flip the front mouth piece and shove the edges of the cloth between two slits, not much different from the Swiffer Sweeper that pinches the corners of a cloth. The Mint includes two white microfiber cloths intended for dusting and one grey microfiber cloth intended for wet mopping.
Something else that is simple are the options allowed for the Mint to perform. There are only three buttons on the front of the square top of the robot: power, sweep, or mop. The Mint can clean up to 1,000 square feet when the robot is set to “sweep” mode. In “mop” mode however, when the cleaning cloth is wet the Mint can cover only 250 square feet. You can switch modes anytime with the push of a button on the front of the robot.
NorthStar Navigation just like GPS
Mint is guided by the NorthStar Navigation System (that’s that little cube in the picture), and moves back and forth in straight lines.
Mopping and Dusting
Following the instructions manual we charged the Mint robot for 16 hours strait prior to its first use. Once charged the device is rated for 3 hours of dry dusting and 2 hours of wet mopping. To get going, simply place the NorthStar navigation cube on a ledge or counter, turn it on and then turn on the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner. We used the Mint robot around the house for a number of days on hardwood floors and on tiles.
The robot uses slightly different cleaning algorithms for mopping and sweeping; mopping utilizes a back-and-forth “Y” pattern, while sweeping gets mostly forward motion.
Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner 4200 Video
Unfortunately it’s not smart enough to just stay on hardwood floors because we caught it sneaking into our carpeted rooms on more than one occasion, maybe it wanted to keep our Neato company? My solution was to always close these doors, effective but annoying!
Ultimately, it’s a cute idea and the hardware feels solid but the overall functionality and software algorithm is not there yet. My final thought on the Mint is this, the $200 price tag, the basic front to back motion that merely pushes dirt around (remember there is no suction, this is not a vacuum, there’s no base station or automatic docking and the Mint has no water reservoir for mopping), the limited cruising area, and the need to constantly wet the cloths (if you’re mopping) all add up to the fact that Mint is something most of us can all do without. You might as well wrap a wet cloths around a remote control car and do the mopping or simpler put a mop on a Swiffer and you can do all your hardwood floors in a fraction of a time that the Mint would and get exponentially better results.