How do the robots know?


Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
Space Coast, FL
I've had my Dolphin Acitve 20 in the pool since Tuesday. Early in the morning, I watch it go with childlike wonder.

I have a question that I can't find the answer to -- Does it "map" out the pool and "know" when it's covered everything or does it just go willy nilly (scientific term) for a set amount of time, assuming it covered the whole pool?

This morning, mine starting up a stair, then said "nah" and backed up and went the other way.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

It is halfway between willy nilly and real mapping...

It has to re-map every time it turns on, so it can't do much in two hours..

I think it knows enough not to make all right hand or left hand turns and the basic shape of the pool.

That said, If I have a small leaf, the size of a dime, it will find it and pick it up every time.


Jim R.


Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
It's good to have some mysteries in life. How Mattie (Pentair Warrior SE) gets all the stuff off the bottom every time is amazing. I don't worry about how she does it. Sort of enjoy the mystery.


Jan 22, 2020
Southern Utah
My new Polaris VRX iQ+ box claims "intelligent cleaning optimized for your pool" which I think means it randomly changes the cleaning time to make me think it's doing something "smart", but despite the fact it's a great robot and does a good job, it misses a sliver of dust on the bottom of my pool every time.


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
Ocala, FL
I dont know about you guys, but I know my robot has eyes and checks out where all the big pieces are, cause Ive seen it aim directly at a errant piece of something and gobble it up. Not that I sit outside and watch my robot clean the pool or anything....