Neato Electronics is living up to its name, and has taken the lead in robotic vacuum cleaner technology with the introduction of the XV-11 precision vacuum that boast an excellent combination of state-of-the-art gadgets . With an exceptional mapping ability and a powerful little vacuum motor inspired by jet engine designs, Neato has left the competitors ‘in the dust.’
This compact little robot will clean your floors daily, cheerfully avoiding obstacles while getting into all the hard to reach places that human directed vacuums either require moving furniture or simply can’t reached by traditional vacuums.
The robotic vacuum comes in an ‘all-business’ heavy duty case that is only 4 inches tall. The coolest componant is an onboard Room Positioning System (RPS) which has a laser that sweeps the room to give the robot a real-time 360-degree view of each room they tackle. These calibrations are then relayed to the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping system (appropriately called SLAM), that uses advance algorithms to detect all obstacles in a four meter radius and calculate the maneuvers necessary to avoid a collision while getting as close as possible to thoroughly clean the area it is assigned.
These guys don’t randomly bounce around the room like the popular Roomba robotic model. Instead , Neato’s XV-11 uses those same algorithms collected by the RPS and SLAM mapping systems to determine how to best clean the assigned area with a methodical back-and-forth motion that results in consistently clean floors. And all you have to do is program it once and send it on its merry way. It even plugs itself back in when the task is completed so it is ready to go.
One of the big complaints about robotic cleaners from consumers is the necessity of dumping them on an almost daily basis, taking some of the fun out of the automatic process. Neato also addressed this issue by putting a hefty .69 quart dustbin that can go for days without needing human intervention. It will issue an auditory chirp when it requires human intervention. The versatile brushes can work on both carpets and hardwood floors, and the friendly system adjusts itself automatically for each type of surface.
You would think all this technology would cost considerably more than the competitors, but at a projected release price of just $399 per unit is going to give Roomba some stiff competition — their top of the line robotic vacuum sells for $600 and doesn’t have near the features of Neato’s model. Another plus is the energy saving features that have been built into the stylish but rugged robot. It is, of course, bag-less and comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty and also a 30-day money-back guarantee if the little robot does not live up to your expectations.
Due to be released in February 2010, the XV-11 is still making the round of trade shows and gathering acclaim. The product launch should be soon, though, and savvy consumers can pre-order today from the Neato website and be the first on the block to bring home the ultimate 21st century labor-saving device.