Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum Steers via Smartphone

Neato's Botvac Connected robot vacuum laser maps its environment and has Wi-Fi connectivity so you can control it from anywhere using a smartphone.

Photo Caption: Neato's new Botvac Connected robot vacuum features built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to control the robot vacuum from your iOS or Android smartphone.

It’s that time of year again. School is back in session and your home will be a lot quieter - and cleaner.

Robot vacuums, of course, have made cleaning less of a drag, and the new Botvac Connected robot vacuum from Neato Robotics is about to make cleaning much easier.

Introduced at the IFA trade show in Germany, the Botvac Connected features built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to control the robot vacuum from your iOS or Android smartphone. Think about it: you can start, stop, schedule and monitor the Botvac Connected while you’re at work or out doing something more fun than vacuuming. You can also use your smartphone to dictate the robot’s path, perhaps ensuring extra cleaning in a high-traffic area, or it will clean in a linear pattern on its own.

Another addition to the Botvac Connected robot vacuum is the lithium-ion battery (switching from a nickel-metal-hydride battery) that enables longer cleaning times. The Botvac Connected features an Eco Mode - up to 120 minutes of quiet, energy-saving cleaning - and Turbo Mode that offers maximum cleaning for 90 minutes.

“Battery life varies according to floor plan, floor type, the amount of furniture in the room, and other factors,” says Neato VP of Marketing Nancy Nunziati. “But it will clean a 4500- to 5000-square foot home in three circuits, automatically returning to its base twice to recharge its battery.”

As with previous Botvac robot vacuums, the Botvac Connected uses a laser to map its environment and move from one room to another, automatically transitioning between hardwood and carpets.

The Botvac Connect uses two types of brushes: a Combo brush designed to pick up pet hair, and a Spiral blade that’s designed to pick up dust.

Neato also says it improved the filter design on the Botvac Connected robot vacuum by adding a protective mesh layer over the accordion-like folds of fabric. This is designed to keep dust out of those folds to make it easier to clean the filter. “If you vacuum daily and don’t have pets, cleaning the filter once a week should be good enough,” Nunziati says. “If you vacuum once a week, you should clean the filter every time.”

Neato says the Botvac Connected robot vacuum will be available by the end of 2015 for $699 in major online and brick-and-mortar retailers.

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
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