From regular vacuuming to a robot - your thoughts?


Jul 2, 2020
Mid Oregon
Hey all -
We're considering getting something a bit more automated than us standing there manually vacuuming our pool. I've JUST begun researching other options, but the numbers and data are OVERWHELMING! Here's what I know, and considerations that will work (and make it "worth it") for us...
-We'd like to throw something in the pool, and not have to fish it out / replace / toy with it for days on end...does such a thing exist? EG, I don't want to have to be lugging equipment in and out of the pool everyday. We'd be fine letting "it" do it's job when it's just the family enjoying the pool, but happy to fish something out of the water and off the deck for bigger gatherings / events / parties.
-That being said, we have ONE skimmer.... so from my quick reading, I'm seeing that suction based things could be a problem if we want to leave it working most of the time / taking up our skimmer function (correct me if wrong).
-We have successfully eliminated MOST trees from around our pool, so we're primarily seeing small/fine dust, debris, very small gravel-rock-y stuff that's tracked in on feet, and BUGS that a cleaner would need to handle.
-We have about 3 spots where stuff really likes to gather (despite my constant finagling with jet directions), so my usual vacuuming routine involves JUST going over those spots.
-LOTS of rounded edges and pretty uneven surfaces (smooth epoxied now, but just 50+ year old pool with larger divots, swells, etc).
-We're willing to spend the $$$ for a robot, if that would really do the job for us.... just unsure if it's worth it.

What other considerations am I missing?

I'm especially interested in hearing if you have gone from manual vacuum hose / manpower to something more automated that you LOVED and found insanely worth it.

And here's our newly epoxied (DIY JOB) pool that we've been enjoying every economical, TFP-clear moment in lately :)



Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
The $700 S200 robot made in many clones by several manufacturers is the best bang for the buck. The other cleaners either need their own pump or the existing pump running. The robot gets plugged in to electric and tossed in the pool, left to do its thing.


Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
Houston, TX
I am planning to most likely go with the Dolphin Nautilus because everyone seems to love them and it isn't too expensive. One thing that I would suggest you keep in mind for your desired use is the fact that even if you plan to leave it in the pool 100% of the time you will still have to take it out and empty the basket or filters because robots are fully self contained. I have seen some advertise large or extra large baskets and filters but haven't really investigated it much for my needs, but it may be an important factor for you.