Trifo Lucy AI Robot Vacuum + Mop + Security Camera Setup and Review

Enjoy my Trifo Lucy Robot Vacuum + Mop + Security Camera Setup and Review.

You can buy this robot vacuum for $399.99 from Amazon US → https://amzn.to/3JfxzIt or for £349.99 from Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/3uDtrOy using discount code MUQ8OMOT (until 2022-2-28 23:59 GMT).

Overview

The particular vacuum model from Trifo is called Lucy. They have four robot vacuums in total, with the Lucy being their more flagship robot vacuum cleaner. It packs a wealth of technical features for its price range, so I was keen to get hands-on with the Lucy robot vacuum.

Packed inside its rather sleek looking packaging you’ll find a paper folder with an instruction manual and guide. There’s the Lucy robot vacuum itself, with its gold and black colour scheme, and there is a separate mopping attachment and 10 replaceable fabric mopping pads. The vacuum also comes with its own fairly small docking pad and wall adapter, which also comes in the same colour scheme as the vacuum.

Setting Up

I found setting up the Lucy vacuum was pretty simple. You first have to turn on the vacuum by pressing down on the power button and then hold down on the home button to start the setup process.

You then have to download the Trifo application onto your iPhone or Android device, and after signing up, you can begin to add the vacuum to your Wi-Fi network. To do this, you first enter your Wi-Fi name and password into the app, and the app will then generate a QR code from it. You then show this QR code to the front camera of the vacuum and on doing that you’ll soon have the vacuum connected to your Wi-Fi network.

From here you can instruct the Lucy vacuum to start cleaning with a simple tap of the ‘Clean’ button. The app itself is pretty standard when it comes to operating the vacuum. You can start a clean, command it to return back to the docking station, view its internal camera, clean a designated room or area, manage the saved map of your home. You can also manually control the vacuum from your phone, and slide through the many suction power modes available.

It Sucks, Hard

The Lucy packs 3,000Pa of suction power, which is good for a robot vacuum in this price range. The bin is also a very generous 600ml, it can be accessed from the top of the vacuum, and it easily opens up to dispose of its contents in the bin. Sadly there is no full bin indicator, so you have to keep checking when it’s empty yourself, which can be around 1-3 full cleans, depending on how often you clean, how dirty it is and how much of the home you clean. 

You can control its suction power easily by sliding through its many power levels in the app. Personally, I would have preferred a selection of preset buttons because after swiping through the slider, it feels there are around four or five main power levels that this vacuum operates under, and it isn’t as granular as the slider makes you believe.

This 3000Pa suction power makes this robot vacuum the most powerful robot vacuum I have tested and it does a great job at picking up dirt and dust from my floors. Most of my home is hard flooring, so I couldn’t test how it performs with deep pile carpets. But it manages to get up on thick doormats and thin rugs without any problem. 

Sweeps & Brushes

The Lucy comes with just one attached side sweeping brush that consists of three long brushes and three, quite redundant, smaller brushes. I was a little disappointed that there weren’t any spare replacement brushes in the box, and with just three large brushes doing all the work I am sure they will wear out much faster overall. The sweeping brush is also screwed into the vacuum, so it will require a phillips screwdriver to replace the brush head or to even remove it to free up any tangled hair that may get caught up in it. 

Underneath, the central brush roller head is a length commonly seen on most circular robot vacuums that I have tested. It is a common bristle brush design that does well in sweeping up loose dust and dirt. However, like other vacuums, this type is very prone to being tangled up with long loose strands of hair and requires regular cleaning. Luckily the brush compartment can be easily opened and removed to clean and untangle any hair from it, however without a supplied cleaning tool in the box either, you will have to find your own tool (or your fingers) to clean both the sweeping and main brush.

Underneath the vacuum, there are a few fall sensors to prevent the vacuum from leaping down flights of stairs, or off ledges around the home, and the two wheels have sufficient traction and movement on them to make the vacuum climb on top of any thick pile rugs or mats without too much trouble. There are also two velcro pads underneath, which are used to attach the mop accessory to the underside of the vacuum to add mopping functionality when you need it.

3D Mapping Your Home

Around the sidewalls of the Lucy vacuum, there are a few sensors and object detection bumpers to help with navigating close objects and walls around the home that are out of view from its optical camera sensors. Whilst at the very front, there is a 1080P HDR camera and depth sensor for 3D mapping your home and to help the Lucy detect and navigate new obstacles that lay in its cleaning path. The camera also has night vision to help operate the vacuum in low light areas of the home as well as at night, and it’s this night vision that also helps with its intruder detection and recording feature too.

With a high-quality camera built-in to this vacuum, you can have the Lucy alert you to any movement that it can detect with its front-firing optical sensors, both during the day and at night. Schedules can be set to allow for some periods of privacy in the home, and I found motion detection to be pretty decent and fairly quick to capture any movement. 

Security + Remote Viewing Cameras

This is a great feature if you are away from home. You can log into the app, view and manually control the vacuum remotely around your home to make sure everything is ok. It’s worth pointing out, though, that the area being captured is wherever you position the charging dock for the vacuum. So if you have it charging under a sofa or table, the view from it might be very limited to act as a proper home security camera.

Through the remote camera, you have full two-way audio and microphone support, should you need to communicate with anyone remotely through the vacuum, and controlling the vacuum remotely through the app is great fun too. Detected video captures are stored on the vacuum’s internal memory, in four-second clips, and these can be viewed within the app along with their recorded date and time. Sadly this area is quite basic. There are no additional features, such as increasing recording clip time and there is no way to export the video to do anything else with it, other than view and delete it.

Home Mapping & Object Avoidance

Thanks to its onboard camera and AI software, the Lucy vacuum can be more aware of its surroundings than most other vacuums in its price range. Its high-quality camera and depth sensors can detect and avoid key objects, such as people, pets and furniture, even shoes and loose power cables, and their location is also displayed quite accurately on the map, however, my curious cat could only be recognised as a pair of socks. 

After using the Lucy vacuum for a number of weeks I have been able to update its firmware twice in this time, and with every update I hoped it would improve its navigation and cleaning methods, but sadly, I am still left disappointed with each new promising update. I do see improvements with each new update, but unfortunately, overall, the Lucy hasn’t quite met my full expectations for a vacuum at this price range of just under $400.

Can $400 Get You More Brains?

When you enter the $300-$500 range, robot vacuums start to offer more reliable navigation features and functionality. One very important one is LiDAR mapping and navigation. The Trifo Lucy is my second 3D Mapping only robot vacuum I have used, but just like the Mijia 1T I had a few months ago, without LiDAR, I feel the vacuum is a little dumber in its overall efficiency and performance when compared to some of its competition. It’s certainly miles better than the giro and bounce navigation vacuums found on most low-entry robot vacuums, but it is sad to see none of the Trifo vacuums includes this superior LiDAR mapping technology.

Cost is a likely factor, but I feel that the Lucy vacuum could have done with LiDAR to help improve its efficiency with cleaning and navigating my home and still come in at a competitive $400 price tag. Don’t get me wrong, its 3D mapping optical sensors did a decent job at navigating my home, avoiding objects and cleaning my home, but I was left disappointed when I looked at the map to see how the robot had cleaned and how it mapped my home compared to other vacuums. Some widely accessible areas were often missed, and after a few full clean runs, some areas in certain rooms were still incorrectly mapped as accurately as it could have done if it had LiDAR. 

Technological Limits

Sometimes I found the vacuum had given up on a number of very accessible areas in my home before returning back to its charging dock, and with plenty of charge remaining. You can choose certain detected rooms to revisit and clean, but if the vacuum hasn’t mapped these rooms accurately, I would end up with a detected area that’s too big or too small. And without a way to manually edit the map, this would add unnecessary extra noise with the extra cleaning time, and it would use up more of the battery and unnecessary battery charging time on the vacuum.

Another issue is its cleaning method. I found it was very random and irregular. It was harder to assess without an actual path shown on the map, but just monitoring the vacuum in person was enough to question its AI and cleaning path mapping. Sometimes it would clean half a room, then leave it to clean another for a short while, before returning back to the first room again. I also had entire rooms undetected during the initial first exploration of my house before the vacuum announced that it had decided it was finished cleaning. The vacuum would often stop for a short moment to process its surroundings before carrying on, so overall, I think the brains behind this vacuum need some extra work.

Battery Life

As for battery life, the 120 mins of advertised run time was more like 100 to 111 minutes in reality, and that was using 50% of its suction power and around 63 minutes at full power. At under 15% of battery remaining, the vacuum would stop and take some time, and 5% of the remaining battery, to find its way back to the dock to recharge. I feel if it had an improved cleaning pattern, it wouldn’t have had to recharge after vacuuming just 50sqm2 of floor space at 50% power (or 28sqm at full power). The vacuum randomly returns to previously cleaned rooms too often, and until its latest update, it didn’t do any edge and fill sweeping, and even with the update, I found it wasn’t as good as my 3-year old Mijia 1 vacuum, which has a more reliable and efficient cleaning method.

Mopping Lows

The Lucy vacuum also has a mopping ability. Filling up and attaching the water-filled mopping accessory to the bottom of the vacuum, I then sent it to clean a small area of my home. There isn’t a specific mopping mode in the app, so the vacuum is basically doing a clean with a damp cloth attached to the bottom of it. Because of this, there is no option to detect and avoid rugs or carpets around the home. Apparently, this feature is coming in a future update. So right now, I don’t think the mopping function is fit for purpose because it will just drag its wet behind across rugs, carpets and doormats without any hesitation. If mopping is an important feature for you, you can find much better alternative vacuums elsewhere.

Summary

With its powerful suction power, 600ML large dirt storage container, and ability to scale over mats and rugs easily, the Lucy robot vacuum is decent at its primary task of cleaning. However, I find it is let down by its rather lack of software features and its general ability in how it goes about it. Luckily, all these issues can be improved through software updates. So I hope over time Trifo improves its brains to match its brawn.

TIMESTAMPS:

0:00 – Brief overview
0:24 – Unboxing
0:47 – Set up process
2:41 – Cleaning
3:00 – Brushes
4:47 – Camera sensors
5:11 – Security features
5:58 – Manual control
6:29 – Room mapping & avoidance
6:54 – My Impressions
10:44 – Mopping

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