Recommendations for the future Neato

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Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby firelog1101 » July 5th, 2011, 7:07 pm

I have recently purchased a Neato xv-11, and while I am fairly pleased with it I feel Neato Robotics could improve alot on their next model (or for future firmware updates). Feel free to chime in with any of your ideas.

Some of mine:

1) A brush option for the main beater bar; while the plastic does pretty well on hard floors, I find it to be unsatisfactory on medium to deeper carpets. This could be a replacement option for the standard plastic bar. While I realize bristle brushes often get tangled I imagine strong enough suction would prevent the bar from becoming too entangled. I have read many good things about Irobot's aerovac system, many people have stated that the suction from this system is sufficient to prevent most hair from tangling the bar.

2) Better corner coverage; while I do not recommend a side suction duct (due to the loss of pressure for the main beater bar) I might recommend some sort of side beaters. Not too big of a deal for me, others get pet-peeved over this.

3) Multiple times a day scheduling; one of the pseudo-advantages roomba has over xv-11 is that it often covers the same spot multiple times, whereas xv-11 covers each spot only once. I feel that this advantage could easily be nullified if they allowed Neato to be scheduled to run multiple times a day. This would mean Neato covers the same area twice, or more, times a day. Another idea might be to have Neato take a different path for each cleaning, however I could see the difficult in such programming (and its energy inefficiency).

Lets be honest, I don't feel that a single "sweep" over a certain area by a robotic vacuum (that isn't as powerful as an upright) is sufficient to clean many types of surfaces. Even with powerful uprights, many people find it necessary to move back and forth to clean. I get alittle upset sometimes because XV-11 races past my tile and wasn't able to pick up some of the dirt in the "grooves" in the tile, and simple knowing that the neato will not ever go over that area again until tomorrow. Neato really needs to be able to cover surfaces more than once per day (in terms of scheduling). Future progress should be made so that Neato would cover areas via a different direction each time, yet still maintaining the energy efficiency that it holds over the roomba.

4) Quality Control on the manufacturing end; I have heard many good things about Neato Robotics sending replacements for defective products, which is excellent. However, I have also read alot of bad things about bad batches of plastic beater bars, along with faulty lasers. Neato Robotics would save face and money if they ensured their products were of good quality prior to them being shipped.

5) Dirt sensor. I have read that there are many patents surrounding dirt sensors and that is the primary reason this was never included in XV-11. Non-the-less I feel it should be stated that it would be a major improvement for Neato if it could go over extra-dirty areas multiple times and by multiple directions.


While I do not own a Roomba, I do feel that my XV-11 is alot more intelligent than any other robot-vacuum out there. I applaud the room mapping system (probably one of the better systems out there in the market), it is highly effective and efficient in my opinion. The laser is a nice feature, especially when it comes to the robot returning to dock (it has always made it back!) and finding its way to the next room (huge improvement over other products).

Some things could be implemented into the XV-11 as it is, firmware updates could allow multiple-times-per-day scheduling. A brush beater bar could be an option for sale for xv-11 if neato robotics determines the current suction to be on par with the roomba's aerovac.

If these things are included into the next Neato model, I will be very interested in purchasing it.
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby holmes4 » July 5th, 2011, 7:51 pm

I do own a Roomba (and a Neato) and I do not consider Roomba's repeated passes over spots to be an advantage. Rather, it means that the Roomba wastes a lot of its time and battery power revisiting places again many times during a "mission", missing others and greatly reducing the amount of the house it covers. The Neato has an additional advantage in that it KNOWS what it covered and will recharge and go out again if it has not finished, while the Roomba will do the "drunkard's walk" until it happens across the charging base after an hour has passed.

I do agree that some sort of beater brush would be beneficial - the Roomba does much better than the Neato on carpets of even short nap.
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby djos » July 6th, 2011, 3:10 am

hey Steve, well said mate, I agree 100%. :)
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80
Neato XV-11 w/ Pet Brush-bar & Filter, 3500mAh Batteries
iRobot Scooba 380

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iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby joeygil » July 6th, 2011, 5:17 pm

Dirt sensor is out. That's an iRobot patent, unless Neato can figure out another way to do it.

The vacuum in the Neato is suppose to be 5x stronger than the Roomba. As such, it shouldn't need multiple passes, but it doesn't always get everything, as we know.
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby sageman » July 6th, 2011, 6:32 pm

yes so a propper brush needs to be made as has alredy been said

cmon neatorobotics you know it needs it
400/disco disassembly's (everything down to the PCB)
http://www.robotreviews.com/wiki/400disco-disassembly

one day many years from now a person will say "right I'll just ROOMBA downstairs" instead of hoover
oh wait I already do :)

main bot: neato xv-15 (Europe xv-11)
to sell (one day): roomba sage and silver (both 400's)
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby JEfromCanada » July 6th, 2011, 7:20 pm

My reason for buying the XV-11 was that my Roomba's batteries became unusable too quickly (they're NiCad instead of NiMH) and the Li-Ion batteries available from third parties were not always of reliable quality (not the fault of the suppliers, but rather the fault of the cell manufacturers). While my Roombas did a reasonable job using the "drunken sailor" navigation algorithm, it was still frustrating to see them go over the same spot so many times, while leaving other areas untouched.

I, too, would like to see the XV-11 improve its performance on carpet, but absolutely do NOT want to have to put up with the stringent cleaning requirements of the Roomba. In the month that I've owned my XV-11, I've only had to remove hair ONCE from the brush. If the XV-11 is to add a bristle brush, then it must also incorporate an internal "comb" to slice through the accumulated tangle of hair so that the hair can be sucked into the dirt bin. Just as the XV-11's suction is not sufficient to remove particles from the nap of carpeting, so too will it not be sufficient to remove hair from the bristles.

I've already made my suggestions elsewhere, but for my money, it would only take a firmware change (not a new accessory or hardware redesign) to improve the XV-11's effectiveness on carpet.
Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (not connected)
Roomba 560 (not connected)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby firelog1101 » July 6th, 2011, 7:55 pm

I read some of your suggestions from another thread, and you're certainly right. Occasionally I just want Neato to do one bedroom or the master bedroom, and that's it (starting neato away from dock). However, the "single pass" philosophy (which is good in almost all applications) along with the rubber main bar (which also is preferable in many applications, hard floors for one) isn't sufficient for cleaning medium carpet in my opinion. I agree that some improved options in the way of firmware updates that users can select from would be even more appreciated than a brush bar. I would like to see XV-11 or a future Neato product have the option to do a second pass or near-second pass in the opposite direction of the original cleaning plan, as you mentioned in your thread.

It would be of course optional for the user, I would prefer energy efficiency (single pass system) if I wanted Neato to do the tile of my house (which is what I have on the majority of my house) because tile really doesn't need a second pass.

I can't wait for the upcoming update, and I hope some of the users recommendations are included.
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby JEfromCanada » July 6th, 2011, 9:06 pm

firelog:

The upcoming update will only have the features previously discussed by user "Neato" in a separate thread. That version of the firmware is the one that came with my (new) unit. None of the items I or other users have recommended will be in that release.
Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (not connected)
Roomba 560 (not connected)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby Jubo » July 7th, 2011, 1:12 am

There seems to be some problem with neato's software on the battery. It simply discharges too fast within a day if left off the dock and according to neato, it was drain by powering the clock. That was not a good reason as how could the clock draws so much current?

I tested by fully charged the batteries and then disconnect one of them and put it back, to my surprise neato was not able to clean and claims the battery is low. This leads me to conclude that the software is the one giving problem and the battery is not really discharge. However, it still takes the same amount of time to charge that fully charged battery in order to run neato again. Strange........
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby djos » July 7th, 2011, 4:24 am

Neato is not a dumb pile of electronics like a Roomba, it's running a small computer and onboard operating system and is actively monitoring many of it's sensors even when docked or not cleaning.

This is why it will run down it's battery when not in use and not docked.
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80
Neato XV-11 w/ Pet Brush-bar & Filter, 3500mAh Batteries
iRobot Scooba 380

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iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby mfortuna » July 7th, 2011, 6:14 am

The roomba has a small computer as well and monitors IR, switches, battery, and external power when on the dock.
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby djos » July 7th, 2011, 6:20 am

mfortuna wrote:The roomba has a small computer as well and monitors IR, switches, battery, and external power when on the dock.


The difference is your Roomba is 99% dedicated electronics with a very basic firmware, the Neato is a "real" computer with an ARM processor, memory and Storage (for the OS and for map segments that dont fit into its ram).
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80
Neato XV-11 w/ Pet Brush-bar & Filter, 3500mAh Batteries
iRobot Scooba 380

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iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby mfortuna » July 7th, 2011, 7:12 am

The roomba 500 series has an ARM7 processor, runs an embedded OS, and has storage both as RAM and EEPROM. It could be the Neato has a more powerful processor since it implements room mapping. But for you to say the Neato has an internal computer and the Roomba doesn't is wrong.

You seem to always push the merits of the Neato by trying to make the roomba look bad. Remember there are probably millions of Roomba users that are happy with their robot and its cleaning ability.
Mike
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby djos » July 7th, 2011, 7:16 am

mfortuna wrote:The roomba 500 series has an ARM7 processor, runs an embedded OS, and has storage both as RAM and EEPROM. It could be the Neato has a more powerful processor since it implements room mapping. But for you to say the Neato has an internal computer and the Roomba doesn't is wrong.

You seem to always push the merits of the Neato by trying to make the roomba look bad. Remember there are probably millions of Roomba users that are happy with their robot and its cleaning ability.


The ancient ARM7 in the Roomba is incredibly basic, the ARM9 in the Neato is more of a modern general purpose computer, im not trying to put Roomba down, Im merely describing the difference between the two. Roomba is designed in a much more Appliance like fashion, Neato really is a computer (running a Linux variant as its OS) that cleans your house - you can shut it down and if it is 100% off boot it back up.

EDIT: The Neato is running an ARM9 based CPU/microcontroller called an AT91SAM9XE128 from Amtel which operates at up to 160mhz.

The Roomba 500 series is running its ARM7TDMI at a blazing 8.00mhz! :shock:
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80
Neato XV-11 w/ Pet Brush-bar & Filter, 3500mAh Batteries
iRobot Scooba 380

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iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby mfortuna » July 7th, 2011, 8:16 am

Who cares about the speed difference? Both are computers on a chip and both get the job done according to many users. You fail to admit your original statement "the roomb lacks a computer" was wrong. If you said the Neato has a better computer than Roomba's computer then I would agree.

Even armed (pun intended) with your information I would still buy a roomba over a Neato even if I had no prior experience with the roomba.

I can get a roomba that will clean my house fine for less money than a Neato and I can tinker with the roomba via the SCI port.
Mike
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby djos » July 7th, 2011, 9:13 am

mfortuna wrote:Who cares about the speed difference? Both are computers on a chip and both get the job done according to many users. You fail to admit your original statement "the roomb lacks a computer" was wrong. If you said the Neato has a better computer than Roomba's computer then I would agree.


It was a relative comparative statement, if you want to argue about it go right ahead, I was explaining why the Neato uses power when off (which was the question I responded to) compared to a Roomba which doesn't and I'll clarify it just for you:

Neato is using a modern computer processor running a Linux OS and does not turn off unless specifically shutdown. The "CPU" in the Roomba is a very simple ARM7 based micro-controller and does not boot/run an OS in the same way that the Neato does!

mfortuna wrote:Even armed (pun intended) with your information I would still buy a roomba over a Neato even if I had no prior experience with the roomba.


And that's your choice, some folk like robots that cant clean their entire house and require constant labor intensive maintenance!

mfortuna wrote:I can get a roomba that will clean my house fine for less money than a Neato and I can tinker with the roomba via the SCI port.


Roomba 700's cost significantly more than a Neato and only 2 of 500's cost less than a Neato so thats a pretty stupid argument!

The Neato has a USB port and has way more Hacking/tinkering potential than the Roomba, Seriously man do some research before attacking me! :roll:


http://www.rustechstudio.com/big-builds ... 1-hacking/
http://www.robotshop.com/blog/neato-xv- ... -free-1063
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80
Neato XV-11 w/ Pet Brush-bar & Filter, 3500mAh Batteries
iRobot Scooba 380

Previous Robots:
iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby piokrza » July 7th, 2011, 9:56 am

joeygil wrote:Dirt sensor is out. That's an iRobot patent


You talk about Dirt Detect I (acoustic sensor), right? Because Dirt Detect II (optical sensor) was invented about 10 years ago by Karcher ;)
past: Samsung SR8855 (bad sw) Samsung SR8895 (bad rotor) Neato XV-11/XV-15 Roomba 780 (bad battery) Scooba 385 Roomba 530 2x Scooba 230 (broken bladder), Samsung SR8980, Samsung VR10F71 Hobot-168
current: Roomba 620 (bad CHM; repaired u/warranty) Scooba 330 Scooba 230
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby sageman » July 7th, 2011, 10:39 am

yh but neato themselves have said no dirt detect like feature due to patent etc
400/disco disassembly's (everything down to the PCB)
http://www.robotreviews.com/wiki/400disco-disassembly

one day many years from now a person will say "right I'll just ROOMBA downstairs" instead of hoover
oh wait I already do :)

main bot: neato xv-15 (Europe xv-11)
to sell (one day): roomba sage and silver (both 400's)
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby mfortuna » July 7th, 2011, 1:51 pm

Attacking? I don't think so. I'm just trying to point out your incorrect statement. The roomba has a computer, runs an OS (very simplistic) and does boot.

The roomba is never completely off and consumes battery power if not on the dock. It is monitoring dock status, switches, and IR commands.

There are many types of operating systems, Linux happens to be an advanced general purpose one.

I for one am very happy with my roomba 400 series cleaning performance. The most I paid for a roomba is $130 for a dirt dog, the only roomba I bought new. On more than one occasion I have run the roomba after vacuuming the floor by hand and I'm amazed about the amount of dirt picked up.

A USB port really doesn't offer much over a serial port when it comes to communications. USB does have more potential as it can do DMA type operations but for simple communications serial port is fine. I have done research and developement for 25+ years. I think I know a bit about computers.

Is there any software that anyone has developed for the Neato's USB port? I would be interested to read about it.
Mike
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Re: Recommendations for the future Neato

Postby vic7767 » July 7th, 2011, 2:10 pm

I did find a USB COMM port driver that is installed on WinXP SP3 so that you can communicate with the Neato min USB port.

Here's the rr topic: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=14004&hilit=mini+usb
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

http://www.Robot-Doc.com/
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