Remember the RoboSnail–that roomba-like automated aquarium cleaner? Yeah, we spoke with the inventor and AquaGenesis President Milan Rafailovich to see get more information on the product and see (1) if the product is really applicable and (2) what it can actually do. The first question that came to mind when first seeing the RoboSnail was […]
Remember the RoboSnail–that roomba-like automated aquarium cleaner? Yeah, we spoke with the inventor and AquaGenesis President Milan Rafailovich to see get more information on the product and see (1) if the product is really applicable and (2) what it can actually do.
The first question that came to mind when first seeing the RoboSnail was scratches. It’s bad enough when humans do it–but what if a cleaning pad gets a sand grain in it and that cleaner is automated? A zig-zag scratch pattern in your precious starphire? According to Milan users set the depth of the device to stop 3″ above the bottom surface to prevent any Robosnail induced scratchiti. This is done during the initial set-up process.
Additionally the cleaning pad has been angled in a manner to push any mobile inverts out of the way. AquaGenesis has said they are finalzing testing on which animals will be recommended for RoboSnail fitted aquariums. What about battery life?
Robosnail mated with docking station.
The RoboSnail Ni-MH battery lasts just about 20 minutes before it is sent back to its docking station to recharge. The docking station, shown above, rests on the top right corner of the tank on the outside glass. Milan estimates that it takes 9 minutes for the RoboSnail to clean the front pane of a 250g tank.
As was discussed in the comments of the first post, the RoboSnail cannot turn corners . This means you’ll either need one unit for each pane of glass, or, you may just have go clean the sides yourself. Inwall display tanks this may not be much of an issue. AGI does say they are still looking into this feature.
The device uses the side glass panes to calculate its movements, and as such it requires a top pane of glass or brace – a la eurobracing. This does not jive with rimless displays, although there will be a rimless adaptor arm that serves this function. How unsightly it will be on an aquarium is still up for debate–lets face it, you’re not going to make the top of a rimless aquarium more attractive by adding something to it.
So it’s not ideal for rimless set ups and it cant turn corners. Yes, limiting, but on the flip side the device works on glass from 0.25″ to 0.5″ thick. Not bad for an automated cleaner that is expected to retail for under $150.
The RoboSnail certainly has a novelty effect to it, and with that, my curiousity. Ironically many of my non-reefing friends find that I can clean the glass of my aquarium with a magnet more impressive then the animals inside. Go figure.