When we think about laser technology we normally think about high-tech weapons or powerful pointers that can pinpoint a target miles away, but laser technology is becoming more and more pervasive and it’s now being used in everyday products. The great attraction of lasers is that they are extremely accurate and will always map out a perfectly straight line. Surprisingly, there’s actually a robot vacuum with laser-guided technology and it has the potential to change the way we look at vacuum cleaners.
The vacuum I’m talking about is the Neato Botvac D80 and it’s an impressive little machine. With its laser-mapping technology it turns household cleaning into an art form, but that type of technology doesn’t come cheap. If you’re interested in purchasing one of these models you can expect to pay in the range of $500 – not the most expensive vacuum cleaner on the market, but fairly pricey nonetheless.
One of my biggest concerns when looking at robot vacuum cleaners is: Will they be able to deal with the obstacles in my household? I like to think that my family does a pretty job of eliminating clutter, but we do have a four-year-old and a six-year-old in the house, so the odd mess is inevitable. This Neato vacuum has built-in laser-guided mapping technology that helps it to map out its environment before it ever sets out on a cleaning expedition. It’s amazingly accurate and probably one of this machine’s best features.
Powerful Cleaning Technology
It’s nice to know that this machine learns how to get around your environment with ease and that it’s well designed to get into the various corners of your rooms, but these features wouldn’t be all that impressive if it didn’t do a good job of cleaning as well. Fortunately, this machine uses SpinFlow power cleaning technology to pick up all of the dirt in its way. It combines potent suction with precision brushes that tackle just about any job you can give it. There isn’t much that a traditional vacuum cleaner can pick up that this robot vacuum can’t handle as well.
With some of the more affordable robot vacuum cleaners on the market you have to do a lot of babysitting. For example, if the charge runs low on these less expensive models usually you have to physically plug them in yourself – if you’re not paying attention as it cleans you might return after a couple of hours to find that it hasn’t done the job. With the Neato Botvac D80 that’s not a problem. This is a smart little machine that knows when its charge is running low and will automatically return to its charging station, repower itself, and go right back to cleaning where it left off. You may have to pay a little extra for this technology, but it’s probably well worth it.
Some Extra Precautions
No matter how great smart technology is, it can’t recognize everything a human being can – at least not yet. If you’ve got a play area in your living room littered with toys there’s a good chance it might still attempt to suck these up. To help you differentiate various sections of your home, this vacuum comes with easy-to-use boundary markers that can be set up to help it recognize the no-go areas. Sure it would be nice if it had the ability to tell the difference between toys and dirt, but we’re not quite there yet. It does do quite well at avoiding stairs and ledges though.
One curious flaw that’s been a problem for some customers with this robot vacuum cleaner is that it seems to get stuck on occasion and will continually bang into a corner as if it’s forgotten how to turn around. Overall most customers didn’t seem to experience this type of problem so it may be a glitch with certain machines, but I’ve no doubt it would be a little frustrating to experience this. At other times the machine has been known to produce a message asking for you to clear the obstructions out of its way when there’s actually nothing there – this is obviously a bit of a concern as well.
An Innovative Worthwhile Product
While the Neato Botvac D80 does have its critics, the overwhelming majority of customers have been quite satisfied with its ability to clean any room. It’s laser-mapping technology is very impressive and its D-shaped design makes it better equipped to handle the tough corners. Overall it seems like good value for the money.