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Automated Life

A look at the Neato Robotic Vacuum


Sometimes, I get a product in and no matter what I write, I really can’t find the words to explain how much I love something. The Neato Botvac 80 Robot Vacuum self-cleaning vacuum is one such product. With outstanding filtration and maneuverability, the Neato allows you to maintain clean floors without lifting a finger.

The Neato Botvac 80 Robot Vacuum is equipped with cleaning brushes that allow it to agitate and lift stubborn dirt and clingy pet hair. Its powerful suction motor then lifts what the brushes have loosened. It travels in a unique pattern to ensure it doesn’t miss a spot and is very different than iRoomba’s “randomized” pattern or other vacuums “back and forth” patterns. The NEATO system is very intuitive, intelligent and almost scary at how smart it is.

The Neato Botvac 80 utilizes a laser-guided navigation system to clean a room. It glides from bare floors to low-pile carpeting without any fuss, and it easily navigates around obstacles without “crashing” into them.

This is an ideal system if you have a lot of “nooks” that animals can get into and leave hair behind (such as the bed) and if your cat accidentally leaves her “mouse toy” behind the chair, you can trust the Neato to avoid it via nifty laser navigation. The pattern looks a lot like this:

 [note style=”5″ icon=”yes” class=”template-style”]Disclaimer: We received a Neato unit for review and have no plans to return it! The fact that they gave us one to review has not impacted our review in any way. We also use affiliate links where possible.Thank you for using these to help us keep our site free from cluttering ads![/note]

The dogs and cats love this new vacuum as well because it’s so quiet that none of them get stressed out by the noise. See for yourself. (And keep in mind that the clip below did not include treats or commands – the dogs were just totally fascinated by the activity and even laid down to sleep). It’s a very quiet system.

I’m not NEARLY as scientific as Digital Trends, so I’m borrowing their findings – since I experienced the same thing.

“We measured out 70 grams of this filthy concoction and scattered it all over the room. Then, equipped with a full charge and an empty dustbin, we let the BotVac do its thing. When we came back to find the bot finished and docked at the charging station (about fifteen minutes later), we yanked out the dustbin and weighed its contents. The first trial yielded impressive results, with the bot picking up 66.2 grams of gunk. Not only is that slightly better than the top-of-the-line bots from iRobot and Moneual, but for what its worth, Neato’s bot also did it in a fraction of the time the other bots took. Subsequent trials weren’t quite as good, picking up 62.2 grams of gunk on the second trial, and a 63.5 on the third. On average, that gives Neato about the same overall cleaning performance as Moneual and Roomba, but it’s also worth noting that it did a considerably better job at reaching corners, didn’t get choked up with hair or Nerf darts, and never once got stuck. (Read more at Digital Trends)

There are so many things to love about this product that I don’t know where to start… So, let’s begin with the questions everyone has been asking me.

Does it pick up pet hair?

It picks up pet hair and everything else as well, or better, than any “regular” vacuums. I’m very serious about this…

We have pets with all types of different coats: from the short, coarse hair of a pit bull, to the longer softer hair of a pointer, to the “impossible to manage, always shedding, groomers charge me $100 more than any others” fur of an Australian Shepherd/Chow mix. We also have cats with hair of all types of texture and length, and hair is our number one nemesis in life.

The Neato picks it all up easily, without stressing the vacuum, and without breaking belts.

Will it scare my cats and dogs?

Probably not. At least not nearly as much as the other vacuums on the market. In fact, my cats abhor the traditional vacuum and I have video of them sitting in front of this vacuum. It vacuums around my dogs (because it’s the most polite vacuum on the market) and I have a house that looks like a maid just visited, every single day.

Is it difficult to program?

It’s as hard to program as plugging it into the wall. Literally, this vacuum teaches itself. It will head off on the initial run like Dora the Explorer and as it wanders around, it maps the house. The Neato teaches itself where the tables are (without running into them), and where you want it (and where you don’t). If there is a room you really don’t want it to visit (i.e., a kids toy room or something), you just place a magnetic strip in front of the door and it will avoid the room during it’s daily cleaning. This is a “plug-n-play” vacuum.

To create your cleaning days, you press a button and follow the on-vacuum directions. It took me about 1 minute to program the cleaning times each day and now I never have to worry about it. The other day, I woke up to a completely clean house and didn’t even hear the thing go off. That’s what I call impressive.

Do you have to clean the Neato Vacuum often?

It depends on your home. We had to clean the filter pretty often the first couple of times and I wish we had done an initial cleaning because I feel like I unfairly subjected the Neato to things it wouldn’t normally encounter. But, it was a good test that it handled with ease. And now that the house is being vacuumed every day, we only have to empty the bin after it finishes its daily vacuum (and sometimes not even then).

What about rugs and pet beds?

The Neato will teach itself to go around beds, rugs that are super plush, and other things that are lying on the floor (shoes) or in its initial path.

How long does the battery last?

The coolest thing about Neato is that it will return to the charger if it senses a low battery. Ours usually gets through nearly our entire house without having to recharge. If it does need to return, it will go back to station, charge, then resume cleaning where it initially left off.

How much are replacement parts?

We haven’t had any reason to look, but at first glance, they look incredibly affordable. (I.e., you can pick up a 2-pack of filters for $15 at Walmart). You can purchase replacement parts or units at Walmart or online at AimToFind.com and SmartAccesoryNation.com

What makes it better than other robotic vacuums?

In all honest, I haven’t used any other robotic vacuums. And to be quite honest, I’m not sure there is any point. From what I hear, the Neato is not only easier to use and “smarter”, it accesses the corners much better (due to its unique design) and it is quieter.

How does it do this wonderful thing?

There’s a lot to it. In fact, this is truly a robotic design and I can’t even begin to explain it all. But, our friends at BestCordlessVac did a little diagram that I think will help. So I’m posting that pic below and you can read more about their findings here.


Learn more about Keeping your House Clean:

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