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Shark AI Ultra Review

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Auto-empty bagless robot vacuum

Shark Ai Ultra Wp

Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum

The Shark AI Ultra robot vacuum was an excellent performer, with some minor flaws. It removed 97.8% of all debris in our tests, struggled with pet hair and long hair, and failed to avoid some objects. However, it expertly navigated our office space and has some great usability features, including a bagless auto-empty base station.


  • Bagless base station
  • Excellent cleaning performance, especially on hardwood with a 99.8% debris removal
  • Navigated well and cleaned the full space


  • Failed to avoid 3 / 4 objects in our test
  • Struggled with long hair and pet fur


Hardwood Master; Bagless Station
  • Design - 96%
  • Performance - 94%
  • Quality - 98%
  • Usability - 95%
  • Value - 97%


While it has a few cons, the Shark AI Ultra does a lot of things right. It had fantastic cleaning results, especially with a 99.8% debris removal rate on hardwood floors. During our navigation test, it navigated our cluttered office space without getting stuck. Furthermore, it has features that enhance usability like the bagless auto-empty station. It did struggle with hair, but it is still a solid robot vacuum, all around.

In This Review

Cleaning Test | Long Hair Test | Pet Hair Test | Obstacle Avoidance | Navigation Test | Cleaning Speed | Usability | Noise Test | Specs | Summary

Performance Tests

To test the cleaning performance, navigational efficiency, and overall usability of the Shark AI robot vacuum, we put it through a series of 8 different tests including:

Our testing series includes:

  • Cleaning test
  • Hair test
  • Pet hair test
  • Obstacle Avoidance test
  • Navigation test
  • Cleaning Speed test
  • Usability test
  • Noise test

Cleaning Test

For our cleaning performance tests, we utilize 4 different debris types (sugar, kitty litter, rice, and cereal) on 3 different floor types (hardwood, low pile carpet, high pile carpet).

Shark Ai Ultra 3
Shark AI Ultra

We lay the debris in the cleaning path of the robot, let it clean on the maximum suction setting, and measure the amount of remaining debris by weight.

Here are the results:





Low Carpet


High Carpet


Across the board cleaning performance was solid for the Shark AI, removing 97.1% of all debris on all floor types.

The Shark AI excelled on the hardwood floor, nearly removing all of the debris and only leaving a very small amount of debris.

Shark Ai Ultra Hardwood Before Test
Shark AI Ultra Hardwood Before Test
Shark Ai Ultra Hardwood Post Test2
Shark AI Ultra Hardwood Post Test

Performance took a small dip on low and high pile carpets, though not by much. On both carpet types, the Shark AI left a small amount of sugar and kitty litter after the cleaning passes.

Shark Ai Ultra Low Pile Carpet Before Test
Shark AI Ultra Low Pile Carpet Before Test
Shark Ai Ultra Low Pile Carpet Post Test
Shark AI Ultra Low Pile Carpet Post Test

That said, its performance on both was still better than average. On average, across all robot vacuums we’ve tested to date, robots remove 94.6% of debris on low pile carpet and 95.9% of debris on high pile carpet.

Shark Ai Ultra High Pile Carpet Before Test
Shark AI Ultra High Pile Carpet Before Test
Shark Ai Ultra High Pile Carpet Post Test
Shark AI Ultra High Pile Carpet Post Test

While cleaning performance wasn’t perfect, it is more than good enough for most homes.

Long Hair Test

To test how well the Shark AI robot manages long strands of hair, we place 0.3 grams of hair in the direct cleaning path of the robot vacuum. We then run the Shark AI over it on the maximum suctions setting, and check the floor and brushroll for any tangled / remaining hair. 

After the test, we check the brushroll of the robot vacuum and see how much is tangled.

Amount on Floor

0.0 g

Amount Tangled

0.26 g

Overall Performance


Long hair performance was a mixed bag for the Shark AI. It cleaned all of the hair off of the floor, but the majority of that hair tangled around the brushroll. Particularly it would tangle around the ends of the brushroll, which is a common issue for robot vacuums. 

Shark Ai Ultra Long Hair Test
Shark Ai Ultra Long Hair Test

It was reasonably easy to remove, however, if you have a pet with long hair, be prepared to often check the brushroll for tangles or choose a more dedicated vacuum. 

Pet Hair Test

To check how well the Shark AI robot vacuum manages pet hair on high pile carpet, we place 1.0 grams of pet hair and rub it into the carpet fibers. We run the robot on the maximum suction setting over the pet hair twice and measure how much hair remains.

Amount in Carpet

0.70 g

Overall Performance


Pet hair cleaning on the Shark AI was poor. More than half of the pet hair rubbed into the carpet remained in the carpet after two cleaning passes of the robot vacuum. 

While I am sure with more passes the robot would be able to remove more, that will take more time. If you have a dog who sheds a lot, I would recommend a more powerful vacuum to deal with the fur. 

Obstacle Avoidance Test

To measure the Shark AI robot’s capabilities to avoid objects, we place 4 different objects in a cleaning area and have the robot clean in that zone. We then observe the cleaning cycle and take note of when/if the robot fails to avoid objects. 







Pet Waste


In most cases the Shark AI robot failed to completely avoid objects. That said, the robot never touched the mug. I am not entirely sure that wasn’t partially thanks to luck. 

The robot uses LiDAR and what Shark calls “Advanced Laser Navigation” to avoid objects. That alone doesn’t quite seem to be up to the task. That said, this functionality could be improved with software updates and we will update our review in that case. 

For our navigation test, we check to see how well the Shark AI robot can avoid getting stuck, fully navigate the space, and return to the charger. 

Returned to Base?


Fully Cleaned?




Across the board the Shark AI robot did an excellent job at navigation. There was one occurrence where the robot didn’t clean our full floor space.

Shark Ai Ultra App Incomplete Run
Shark AI Ultra App Incomplete Run
Shark Ai Ultra App Complete Run
Shark AI Ultra App Complete Run

That said, our office is often cluttered with furniture, film equipment, and other devices we are testing. Additionally, on the very next day and all days since, the robot has fully cleaned the space without issue. 

Cleaning Speed Test

Our cleaning speed test showed the Shark AI robot was able to clean out 1,000 sq. ft. office space within 70-80 minutes. 

Cleaning Area

~1,000 sq. ft.

Cleaning Time

70 – 80 min.

This cleaning speed is a little longer than the average we see across all robot vacuums we’ve tested to date, which is 50-60 minutes. But this isn’t a major issue thanks to recharge and resume features.

Usability Test

Overall usability is quite good for the Shark AI robot vacuum. It is incredibly easy to set up, controls and quite simple, the app is intuitive, and maintenance is enhanced thanks to auto empty features. 


Setup for the Shark AI is simple. You will need to plug in the base station and attach the spinning side brushes onto the robot. 

Shark Ai Ultra Side Brushes
Shark AI Ultra Side Brushes

The robot comes partially charged out of the box, but Shark recommends fully charging the device before first use. 

There is additional setup in the Shark Clean app and by following the in-app instructions, that process can be completed in a few minutes. 

Shark Ai Ultra Unboxed
Shark AI Ultra Unboxed

Here is what’s in the box:

  • Shark AI Ultra robot
  • Base station
  • Side brush 2x
  • Manuals


Controls are quite basic for the Shark AI, leaving most of the control to the app. There are 2 buttons on the robot itself that start/stop a cleaning cycle and return the robot to the base.

Shark Ai Ultra Lidar And Buttons
Shark AI Ultra Lidar And Buttons


The app itself has the majority of the functionality for the Shark AI robot. With the app you can:

  • Adjust cleaning settings
  • Set a custom schedule
  • Set rooms, no-go zones, and high traffic areas
  • Check cleaning history
  • Manage Do Not Disturb
  • Change robot settings

The app is intuitive and easy to use, however there were some minor issues that caused me some frustration. The scheduling feature only allows for 1 scheduled cleaning task a day. While most people only need one, for those who need more, they will have to manually start the cycle.

Shark Ai Ultra App Settings
Shark AI Ultra App Settings
Shark Ai Ultra App Scheduling
Shark AI Ultra App Scheduling

Additionally, some settings and windows in the app would mysteriously not be available without telling me why. 

These issues are fairly minor and could easily be resolved with updates to the app. 


Maintenance on the Shark AI is excellent. The auto empty base is an excellent feature, especially with the addition of a bagless dustbin. Without bags, annual costs are reduced. 

Shark Ai Ultra Base Dustbin Open
Shark AI Ultra Base Dustbin Open

Other maintenance requires cleaning the robot itself, including the filters, as well as the base station and its filters. 

Noise Test

To test the noise levels of the Shark AI robot, we measure the level of noise it generates on each suction mode with a sound meter. In addition, we measure the ambient levels of the room to use a baseline for comparison. Here are the results:

Power ModeNoise Level
Baseline42.2 dB
Low64.4 dB
Medium66.2 dB
High67.3 dB
Self-Empty79.8 dB

Noise levels for the Shark AI robot were average. It is going to be loud enough to disrupt a conversation when close by.

However, this can be reduced thanks to a do-not-disturb mode and custom scheduling.

Common noise levels

  • 20 dB – rustling leaves
  • 30 dB – whisper
  • 40 dB – quiet library, babbling brook
  • 50 dB – refrigerator, moderate rainfall
  • 60 dB – normal conversation, dishwashers
  • 70 dB – traffic, showers
  • 80 dB – alarm clock, telephone dial tone


ManufacturerShark Ninja
ModelShark AI Ultra
Weight14.5 lbs.
Floor typeAll (indoor)
SensorLiDAR, AI Laser
Runtime30 min.
Noise Level67.3 dB (High)
Obstacle AvoidanceYes
Zone CleaningYes
Room CleaningYes
Digital MappingYes
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty1 year
PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the Shark AI Ultra robot vacuum?

I would recommend the Shark AI Ultra robot vacuum if you’re looking for the following features:

  • Bagless Maintenance: The Shark AI Ultra’s auto-empty base comes with a bagless dustbin. This eliminates annual purchases related to dust bags, which is a great addition to the robot vacuum.
  • Solid Cleaning Performance: In our cleaning performance test, the Shark Ultra was able to remove 97.8% of all debris across all floor types. On hardwood floors especially, the Ultra showed fantastic results, nearly removing all of the debris. 
  • Excellent Navigation: While object recognition was questionable, overall navigational ability is not. In multiple cleaning tests, the robot was able to successfully navigate the space, not get stuck, and return to the base.

For more information or to buy the Shark AI Ultra robot vacuum, click here.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.