Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

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Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby JEfromCanada » August 9th, 2011, 3:53 pm

I just finished upgrading the software on my Neato from 2.0 to 2.1, but I'm going to try holding off testing until tomorrow because I've already run a scheduled mission today.

Having completed the upgrade, the hardest part was removing the rubber cover from the USB port!

I watched the video run-through supplied by Neato. It was informative and helped me understand that certain delays were "normal". From the description of what was going on, I got the impression that the existing software was "backed up" from my Neato onto my computer. If that's the case, I'd like someone to tell me where the file was stored, so I can be sure I back it up (just in case).

EDIT: I have KICS syndrome (Kid in Candy Store). I couldn't wait until tomorrow for my first run. It finished a trial run and here's what I perceived as different:

1) When getting into a situation that calls for Neato to rear up on it's hind quarters, the unit decided to do so much quicker than before.

2) It appeared to me (and this may be wishful thinking) that it came a bit closer to corners before starting its arc turn. It's still not getting completely into corners though.

3) The Neato FAILED TO DOCK!!! My Neato has NEVER failed to dock since I bought it. On this run, it stopped about 18" in front of the dock. I had visitors over at the time, so I didn't see it try to dock. I'll have to keep an eye on it to see if it happens again (and why).
Last edited by JEfromCanada on August 9th, 2011, 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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: Neato Upgraded

Postby neato » August 9th, 2011, 4:18 pm

The firmware updater does not have the capability to "back up" the software from the Neato. It can only load the available firmware updates that are on the web site.
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Re: Neato Upgraded

Postby JEfromCanada » August 9th, 2011, 7:04 pm

neato wrote:The firmware updater does not have the capability to "back up" the software from the Neato. It can only load the available firmware updates that are on the web site.


The message about "backup" was part of the dialogue during the installation or update process. Maybe it's referring to original versions of configuration files on my system that were modified during installation, but I am certain I saw a message indicating that a backup of something was being made.
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: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby voicegy » August 9th, 2011, 8:13 pm

Updated no problem and I set it on a "run."

Since I bought the Neato only a week ago, it already had the software that allowed for multiple languages and spot cleaning, so this is a more "exciting" upgrade for those early adopters.

My initial observations:

1. More "thinking" going on - could be my imagination, but I seem to notice him looking around a little more than usual. Still gets the job done in the time frame thereabouts that I've been used to.

2. I noticed that he turned off his brush sometimes - for no apparent reason. (I don't have rugs with tassels.) It was when he went over an already-completed area, so it's not that he missed anything - noticed it when he was scanning-thinking.

3. He seemed to do a bit more "cross-cutting," which I like, actually. Made some long rows, then mapped out an area and went over some of the same area crossways. Made a slightly more "evened out" look on some areas of my low-pile carpet.

4. He found the dock (he always did, and this is about the 12th run or so since I've had him) but his behavior in edging up to it is distinctly different - making very short little back-and-forth dance-like movements as he backed up into it for the last few inches. I would *suspect* that this programming was to help move the dock ever so slightly when placed against a not-so-perfect back wall. (Only a guess, mind you.)

OK....I'm ready for the next hardware revision - color LCD screen? Choice of body color schemes? Cool skins? :D
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Re: Neato Upgraded

Postby neato » August 9th, 2011, 8:37 pm

JEfromCanada wrote:The message about "backup" was part of the dialogue during the installation or update process. Maybe it's referring to original versions of configuration files on my system that were modified during installation, but I am certain I saw a message indicating that a backup of something was being made.


You computer system is making a "backup/restore" point before installing the Neato USB driver so you can uninstall back to the original state of your computer. This does not save the firmware that is installed in the Neato.
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby rampar » August 9th, 2011, 9:14 pm

yep definite change in docking, it now wiggles its arse for the last few inches. Id say it is doing a slower but more thorough job, it used to do my area in one go but now it went back for a quick charge before finishing the last sqr meter. Navigation is a lot better. Good improvement.
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby firelog1101 » August 9th, 2011, 9:15 pm

I will be updating from 1.1 version of Neato. (So I am guessing its going to be a fairly large leap)

Neato has been working well for me for over a month now and in some ways I am slightly worried that the upgrade will actually end up with it working less effectively or failing to dock.
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby philbio » August 10th, 2011, 12:05 am

I would like the ability to fallback to my previous firmware rev if the upgrade results are unsuccesfull for my environment. Can I get access to older revisions from Neato?
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby neato » August 10th, 2011, 1:01 am

firelog1101 wrote:I will be updating from 1.1 version of Neato. (So I am guessing its going to be a fairly large leap)

Neato has been working well for me for over a month now and in some ways I am slightly worried that the upgrade will actually end up with it working less effectively or failing to dock.


This is a valid point to consider. We always advise not to change your Neato if it is working fine for you. It will work, but it will work *differently*. It will make different decisions and that results in a different path and that may cause it to get lost or stuck or miss the dock when previously it was fine. If that happens you will have to start working with the Neato again to arrange your environment so it can succeed.

There is no way to restore the original firmware unless it was one of the versions that is supplied with the Neato firmware updater.
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby firelog1101 » August 10th, 2011, 1:38 am

The new version of neato has worked pretty well so far, compared to my older 1.1 (or 1.2) version of neato it seems alot more aggressive and is willing to drive much faster in many circumstances.

Docking behavior seems to have improved significantly, along with its navigation to the dock. Neato used to drive rather slow and stop often when returning to dock, now it very rarely stops (2 times when traveling across multiple rooms to get to the dock) and returns at a faster speed. As others noted it does a "little dance" at the last few centimeters as it edges its way back.

Only issue I can note is that neato stopped near the end of his cleaning and requested that I clean the dust off of him so that he can navigate better. I have never had this request prior to updating, and it usually has the same amount of dust on it. I am guessing alot of dust buildup ontop of neato can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the laser, but the dust was, in my opinion, a relatively thin layer.
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby TimTaler » August 10th, 2011, 10:37 am

Supports the new firmware the docking to station by starting the neato in a different room ?

Example the station is in the kitchen and i start neato in the sleeproom, with the old firmware he find home (by cleaning the full house).
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby voicegy » August 10th, 2011, 12:34 pm

Additional feedback post upgrade:

I have Smarthome remote tech in my living room - I can control 3 lights and a ceiling fan from my Harmony One. There is an infrared receiver for this control located 2 and a half feet above the living room floor, on a ledge.

This morning after an overnight Neato run post-install 2.1, I woke to notice 2 of my living room lights were on!

As this never happened prior to 2.1, I'm going to confirm if this was caused by the upgrade - if so, I'll have to explore relocating the Smarthome receiver to a higher location. (Interesting that the Neato's mapping laser apparently triggered that behavior.)
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Weird Behavior...

Postby rstark18 » August 10th, 2011, 1:16 pm

After the upgrade (from 1.1) I have notice very strange behavior a few times. This has never happened before. This has me a little concerned as the XV-11 has been pretty friendly in the past to my floorboards and furniture. Here is a video of what I am talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vaAtVgGf70

Also while I was at it I took a video of the new docking procedure. I do like it as a few time in the past the XV-11 has "ran up" the dock and I think this will prevent that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFlhWoPGrRA
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby sageman » August 10th, 2011, 1:24 pm

1) hmmm

2) cool much better

also good news for me as my xv-15 has been shipped and will be 3-7 days
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: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby olerass » August 10th, 2011, 1:54 pm

Updated my Neato to v2.1 flawlessly on Windows 7 x64.

Neato has just returned from it's first post-update cleaning mission. Initial observations:

1) Sometimes Neato turns off the brush while cleaning for a short period (~couple of seconds) only to turn it on again. I have no idea why it does this. At first I thought it was a new power saving feature where it turns off the brush when it crosses an area it knows it has already cleaned or when it goes to the next "section", but after observing occasions where it didn't turn it off when it crossed already cleaned areas I don't think that's the reason. It would be a cool feature though - maybe suggestion for new firmware?

2) The new docking seems more reliable than the old one, and the Neato also ends up more aligned with the dock in the end. With the old firmware (1.1/1.2) Neato would sometimes end up turned maybe 30 degrees from the dock which looked kind of silly.

3) Neato seems to turn around corners better and keep closer to the new edge at the corner it is turning.

4) Overall speed seems a bit improved. Neato is more agressive and does more of the half-circle turns at the ends of its straight pathways.

Overall a welcome update. Good job Neato :cheers:
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby Blind Guy » August 10th, 2011, 4:07 pm

We, fortunately, are in the camp of those whoes update went flawlessly, from installing the new 2.1 SW, to the first Neato run after the upgrade.

We used a 64 Bit Toshiba laptop, and the installation went flawlessly, with ABSOLUTELY NO hickups or problems. We watched the Neato produced video, and unless you're an old hand at this type activity, we'd highly recommend it, it just simplyfies the process and removes any questions one may have.

Since the day the update was available, we'd already had Neato do it's daily run, we decided to observe any feature improvements TODAY.

Our initial Neato had V1.3 software, and the current robot was equipped with V2.0, so we've seen some of the new features. On all of our previous robots, we'd had issues with all of them being able to dock reliably and consistantly, much of that can be attributed to us having placed the dock on short pile carpet and Neato's old method of aggressively approaching it's dock. Neato also took 3 sessions to vacuum our 2100 sq ft home, whereas the final trip was usually a 5 minute session to do a very small area that was left over. Total time to vacuum and charge usually involved anywhere from 6-7 hrs.

Today was a little different. Though we weren't home to watch it's initial run, so we can't atest to those who've stated that it follows the walls closer and gets closer in corners, but we can say it vacuumed the whole house in 2 hrs and 40 minutes! When we returned home (after 2 hrs and 35 minutes) it was still running, but within 5 minutes it shut off the vacuum and returned to it's base, that's where the good news (for us) began.

On previous dockings, it would aggressively and rapidly approach it's dock, usually resulting in it climbing up the dock. With the aforementioned new docking proceedure, where Neato approaches the dock during it's last few inches at a slow methodical back and forthe manner, resulting in a virtually perfect dock!

So with our limited exposure to Neato's new V2.1 features, we've been able to determine that it's navigation has been dramatically improved, allowing it to take significantly less time to accomplich the same job, to a massive improvement in it's ability to routinely and reliably dock!

Neato Inc. you are to be commended in addressing many of Neato's shorcomings, looking forward to any future SW upgrades!!!

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Re: Weird Behavior...

Postby Scott up north » August 10th, 2011, 4:25 pm

rstark18 wrote:After the upgrade (from 1.1) I have notice very strange behavior a few times. This has never happened before. This has me a little concerned as the XV-11 has been pretty friendly in the past to my floorboards and furniture. Here is a video of what I am talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vaAtVgGf70


My non-upgraded (original firmware) Neato did something like that the other day. Just odd behaviour.....and couldn't find its way home. I shut it down (from the menu) and recharged it. Its worked fine since then. Maybe it accumulates "errors" over time (from cleaning mission to cleaning mission) and it just needed to be turned off to clear everything so it could start afreash?

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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby Scott up north » August 10th, 2011, 4:29 pm

neato wrote:
firelog1101 wrote:I will be updating from 1.1 version of Neato. (So I am guessing its going to be a fairly large leap)

Neato has been working well for me for over a month now and in some ways I am slightly worried that the upgrade will actually end up with it working less effectively or failing to dock.


This is a valid point to consider. We always advise not to change your Neato if it is working fine for you. It will work, but it will work *differently*. It will make different decisions and that results in a different path and that may cause it to get lost or stuck or miss the dock when previously it was fine. If that happens you will have to start working with the Neato again to arrange your environment so it can succeed.

There is no way to restore the original firmware unless it was one of the versions that is supplied with the Neato firmware updater.


My Neato works fine with the original firmware but I like the spot cleaning and detangle features included in the v2.1 firmware.

Scott
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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby Blind Guy » August 10th, 2011, 5:07 pm

Scott, NOT with the NEW 2.1 software, but previously we've had Neato get lost or fail to come relatavely close to it's dock. and when I called CS they had me unplug the charger from inside the dock and plug Neato in direct, we've NOT had ANY problems since!

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Re: Neato Upgraded - initial feedback ...

Postby voicegy » August 10th, 2011, 7:11 pm

Blind Guy:

You've not had any problems since with the dock because...you're not using it anymore?
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