The notion of a robot doing your chores for you first came to life with the advent of the robot vacuum. These days there are a variety of home robots in the market ready to help you check off tasks from your neverending to-do list. Home robots, which are also referred to as consumer robots, are defined by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) as "robots you can buy and use just for fun or to help you with tasks and chores." In addition to helping out by vacuuming the floor or cleaning the grill, there are education robots who can teach your little ones valuable STEM skills, as well as pet, companion and assistant robots made to entertain and provide company as well as set reminders or monitor your home when you're out of town.
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, our Media & Tech lab tests the latest innovations, ranging from consumer electronics such as smart home devices to household appliances like smart air conditioners. While home robots aren't all mainstream technology, we've tested and reviewed several top models for performance capabilities, ease of use and tech specifications. These are the best home robots to help you out in 2022 according to our pros.
Our top picks:
- Rechargeable battery
- Easy to use
- Dishwasher safe nylon brushes included
- Grill must be closed when in use
If you find that your grill always seems to cling to residue after a barbeque no matter how hard you try to get it off, the Grillbot is a handy little tool that'll help do the scrubbing and scrapping on the grill grate for you! All you have to do is turn it on, close the grill and once it's done cleaning it'll sound an alarm. Though our Kitchen Appliances and Culinary Innovation lab pros haven't yet had the chance to test it in the Lab, our engineers like that this gadget is powered by three electric motors, is equipped with three nylon brushes and can be used on hot or cold surfaces up to 250 degrees.
- Waterproof shell
- Hands-free mowing
- Easy-to-use app
- Requires an outdoor outlet to power charging base
Sometimes mowing the lawn when it's scorching hot outside is an activity best avoided, and that's where this home robot comes in. Able to cover 0.4 acres and cut grass that's up to 3.6" tall, this robotic mower is perfect for small to mid-sized gardens and yards. But if you have a larger backyard, you can always opt for the feature-rich and smart home-friendly Husqvarna Automower 430X. In our tests, Chief Technologist and Head Engineer, Rachel Rothman, found that this robot lawnmower, which hails from a reliable brand, worked very well and is a worthy investment.
To get started with the automower, you'll need to install guide and boundary wires, but then you're free to sit back and relax. When it comes to battery life, this lawnmower is a lot like a robot vacuum and will head back to its recharging station when it needs more juice. Rothman says, "the app is surprisingly intuitive and easy once all set up, but it does mean that the mower is running for far longer than a traditional lawnmower would have to."
- Multiple sensors built-in
- Can perform tricks and commands
- Life-like expressions
- Extra fee for 12-month cloud plan
Want a dog but can't handle all that fur or a rigorous walking schedule? Enter aibo, the robotic pup that doesn't shed and certainly doesn't need to go out for walks (but you can still train it to do tricks, go potty and eat virtual food)! Though it's not a replacement for a real pet, aibo has a wide range of sensors built in to help respond and react accordingly to humans, though it does require a cloud plan to store data, grow and evolve. "Its expressions were impressively life-like. Though aibo doesn't look like a real pet by any means, we were impressed with the detail and natural movements," says Rothman.
- Real-time home monitoring
- Integrated with Alexa and Ring Protect Pro
- Invitation only
Though Astro isn't available to the general public quite yet, this robot is worth mentioning for its home monitoring and assistant capabilities, and you can request an invitation to purchase one now. Able to check on specific rooms while you're away and send activity alerts, Astro keeps an eye on everything. It can also play music, podcasts and shows, bring snacks and help you make calls or set reminders with Alexa. Don't want to hunt down your kids to tell them dinner is on the table? Leave it to Astro! It also can be integrated with a Ring Protect Pro plan for enhanced home security when you're out of town.
Concerned this Alexa on wheels will hear everything? Turning off the mics, cameras and motion is simple with a physical button, and you can program out-of-bound zones like a bedroom or bathroom.
- Suitable for all pool types
- Two-hour clean time according to manufacturer
- Filter requires cleaning after use
If you have a pool in your backyard but find it a hassle to clean the floors and walls (we can't blame you), this robot from Dolphin is suitable for pools with a length up to 50 feet. According to the manufacturer, this robot filters out dirt and debris and leaves your pool clean in two hours. Though the Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab hasn't tested it out yet, our pros think this is a useful tool for regular pool maintenance and upkeep.
- Washable microfiber pads
- Mobile app control
- Doesn't have a sprayer
We all know cleaning the windows can be a daunting task, but this home robot helps you reach all the hard-to-reach corners of your windows. Though our engineers haven't tested this tool out yet in the Lab, suction technology is used to stick the robot to your windows and you can then manually control it through an app to get even the hardest to reach corners. The microfiber pads, which scrub the windows gently, are washable for future use.
- 2-in-1 vacuum and mop
- Mops with sonic waves
- Syncs with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Not ideal for pet hair
Ranked as one of the Good Housekeeping Institute's best robot vacuums and winner of the 2021 Good Housekeeping Cleaning Awards, this 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop can handle all sorts of floors, from bare hardwood to carpets. Our Cleaning Lab experts found the setup easy and the app a breeze, and they praised the robot's high-end features such as using sound waves to scrub and the ability to create custom cleaning schedules for individual rooms.
- Great value
- Five free apps
- Introduces coding concepts
- Some set up and compatibility issues
Home robots aren't just for helping out with household chores — they can also be a great source of education for young ones! Voted one of the Good Housekeeping Institute's best STEM toys for kids, Dash is a robotic toy that not only responds to voice commands but comes with five free apps that introduce coding and critical thinking skills through fun projects and puzzles. Able to also sing, draw and move around, there's no doubt that Dash will keep kids engaged. Rothman loves that it introduces robotics and coding to kids in an engaging, kid-friendly way and can level up with them as they acclimate to the basic functions.
- Kids can learn basic coding, engineering and robotics
- 60+ activities in the app
- Five different robot models
- Requires batteries
This 840-piece mega set is made for LEGO lovers and children between the ages of 7 to 12 who want a taste of coding and robotics. All you have to do is download the free LEGO Boost app and you can bring to life five different robots, ranging from a rover to a guitar or cat! In addition to building robots, kids can participate in more than 60 activities found in the app and complete challenges that improve coding skills. Rothman loves that it makes coding approachable with a simple drag-and-drop interface, teaching kids all about loops and variables while simultaneously strengthening problem-solving, creativity and imaginative play skills.
Once your child grows out of this toolbox, you can upgrade to the more complex LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor for more unique, stimulating designs to build.
- Ultrawide field of view camera
- Includes charging space
- Can react to touch
- USB power adapter not included
Vector 2.0 is the robot sidekick whose company you won't mind. Able to take photos, answer questions, set reminders and avoid obstacles as it navigates your home, this little robot is both delightful and entertaining and can assist you with day-to-day tasks. Vector can even react to touch and give you a fist bump if you ask and it recognizes faces and may even greet you by name, though it does require a membership subscription.
- Ideal for 65+
- Provides companionship, entertainment and daily assistance
- Requires subscription
ElliQ is a home robot companion best suited for elderly folks or loved ones who are looking for a little extra support than you'd get with Alexa or Google Assistant. This voice-activated robot provides companionship, health and wellness support, entertainment and more. For instance, ElliQ is able to initiate conversations and remember context to inform future follow-up conversations, like asking how your day was. Able to build relationships, this home robot offers more than basic functions and features, though it does require a subscription.
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, our Cleaning, Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation, Parenting Lab and Media & Tech Lab experts have tested thousands of products and innovations across industries. To choose the best home robots, analysts and engineering pros evaluated each home robot for ease of use and performance capabilities, also considering brand experience, industry expertise and tech specifications. As home robot technology advances and evolves, our pros will continue to attend demos and test the latest models and editions as they hit the market.
Media & Tech Reviews Analyst Olivia Lipski oversees product testing and covers everything from connected devices to appliances, health, home and fitness. With a B.A. from George Washington University and a master’s in communications from Sciences Po Paris, Olivia has several years of experience writing about tech and trends. She continues to stay on top of the industry’s latest innovations and helps readers make better buying decisions by testing and reviewing the best gadgets to hit the market.
Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist and head engineer, has a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics with a mathematics minor from the University of Pennsylvania and has been at GH for 14 years. She leads efforts for the constant evolution of GH’s technical and testing protocols, responding both to market drivers and growth opportunities. Rachel is the lead expert and key brand ambassador for GH across a number of categories — including electronics, smart home, automotive, toys, parenting, fitness, tech, startups and more — and a sought-after speaker at large-scale events like CES.