At just $49 the Vileda Virobi Robot Mop sounds like a real bargain, but don't throw out your mop bucket and vacuum cleaner just yet!

The unit can pick up a fair amount of very small dirt particles and fluff such as pet hair on hard floor surfaces such as laminate, tiles, marble and linoleum, but its inability to pick up anything larger than the finest dirt particles makes the Virobi Robotic Mop little more than a mildly entertaining toy for your pet or toddler.

Here's what it can and can't do:

  • Can't deal with wet surfaces.
  • Can run for two hours before a recharge.
  • Can tumble down the stairs.
  • Can pick up pet hair and fine dirt.
  • Can't pick up anything coarser than fine dirt, such as toast crumbs.
  • Can comfortably handle sharp corners and turns, working in a random pattern.
  • At only 7cm high, the robot can clean under most furniture, along walls and close to corner edges.
  • The robot is fairly quiet.

Ongoing cost

Disposable electrostatic pads are easy to apply, and hold fast to the device throughout the cleaning session. The pads can't be reused and a pack of 60 costs $26 - less than 50c per cleaning session.

To see how other robot vacuums compare, see our test and reviews.

But will my cat ride it?

The Vileda Virobi's spinning motion makes it an unlikely choice of ride for cats, compared with the classic smooth-riding Roomba. Your pet may still want to "hunt" it though.