Aircraft Pilot Max review: This robot vacuum mixes tech with housework

Aircraft Pilot Max robovac is a dirt-busting dream machine [Review]

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AirCraft Pilot Max review
Mixing tech and housework should always be this easy.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Housework is by far my least favorite thing to do. So when I was recently asked to do a bit more around the house, I started thinking: Could I mix my love of tech with housework?

Thankfully there are tons of products, but the one that caught my eye was the Aircraft Pilot Max — a robot vacuum to take the effort out of my most hated chore. Its features, build quality and convenience make it a dirt-busting dream machine. Check out my video review, along with a full write-up below.

Aircraft Pilot Max review

The Aircraft Pilot Max robot vacuum retails for 399 pounds here in the U.K., which works out to around $510. (The only problem is, it’s not available in the United States at the moment — only Europe.)

The Pilot Max takes the familiar circular design of most robovacs. It comes in two colors: the glossy black I reviewed as well as white. It looks a lot sleeker and more futuristic than a lot of its competitors, with three touch buttons up top — Auto, Charge and Spot — in case you lose the handy round remote.

Two silver prongs on the front mean the Pilot Max can dock itself back to charge once its completed a cleaning session, which is super-cool to see. It also means you’ve got one less device to worry about charging.

It runs on a 22,000 Mah battery, which you install after unboxing the vac, which is just a case of unscrewing the panel using the included screwdriver.

A robot vacuum with all the extras

Also included is the remote, an additional filter, a little brush for cleaning out the vacuum, an extra side brush and a clip-on polisher for when you run it on hard floors. This easily clips on to polish the floor as it goes along.

You also get something that looks like a futuristic pepper grinder. It’s actually a virtual wall, so you can set a perimeter and stop the Pilot Max from entering a room you don’t want it to roll into.

Underneath, the handy bot features twin brush blades for vacuuming — a bristle brush at the front and a rubber one at the back that reaches deeper into carpets. These can both be easily removed to clean or replace.

A side brush spins around, gathering any dirt that’s hiding in your home’s corners, nooks and crannies and pushing it toward the center for the vacuum to pick up. The dirt-collection box is easy to empty and holds a surprising amount.

AirCraft Pilot Max robot vacuum
Touch buttons make the AirCraft Pilot Max a doddle to use even without the remote.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirCraft Pilot Max: Easy to set up and use

Getting the AirCraft Pilot Max going is really simple. You can either program set times and days for full automation, or you can simply press Auto on the remote, which is how I tend to use mine. It comes straight off the charging dock and gets to work.

The sensors ensure that the robovac avoids most obstacles. It occasionally hits chair legs, but it does a great job navigating the room for the most part. It’s also small enough to get under tables and sofas, reaching places I might forget or struggle to take care of with a traditional vacuum. It’s absolutely fine at getting over rugs or carpet-cover strips, thanks to wheels with a decent amount of travel.

Even cooler? Sensors on the bottom of the AirCraft Pilot Max detect ledges, meaning if you’re cleaning upstairs, the vac won’t go over the edge. You won’t find it in a million pieces at the bottom of the stairs when you get home.

It’s great for hoovering around my office, picking up any little bits in between deep cleans, and generally making its way around the whole house.

I wasn’t expecting the Pilot Max robovac to be great at picking up every crumb and bit of dirt around the house but it really surprised me with its effectiveness. Picking up large, hard debris, it did a brilliant job. The only thing it really struggled with were bits of fluff pushed deeply into the carpet.

Robot Vacuum
Thanks to the remote, setting schedules is a breeze.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A robot vac that’s a great buy

Considering this isn’t at the top end of the market in terms of price, I’m really impressed by the value for money and build quality of the AirCraft Pilot Max.

Overall, this is an amazing robot vacuum that is as good as, if not better than, a lot of higher-end offerings.

If I could change one thing about the Pilot Max, I’d add a mobile app. All of the features seem perfectly primed to be controlled by an iPhone. And it would be great to see a virtual map of the autonomous cleaner’s travels around my house. Aside from that, it’s a pretty flawless product that my fiancee and I totally fell in love with.

Price: $518.70

Buy from: AirCraft Vacuums

AirCraft Vacuums provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See Cult of Mac’s reviews policy and check out more stuff we recommend in our Best List reviews.