Neato side brush upgrade?

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Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby lip » January 14th, 2013, 1:51 am

Any chance Neato will offer a side brush upgrade kit?
This is really the only thing missing from my neato...I can't for the life of me understand why they don't offer this model here in North America...the difference I've seen in the videos is pretty amazing.
As it stands now on hard surfaces, the neato is useless along walls or the corners but awesome everywhere else...
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby crowone » January 14th, 2013, 3:27 am

Nope, I think not. imo. Irobot has the patent (Not Europa)
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby lip » January 14th, 2013, 10:27 am

Samsung is offering a side brush as well as is Kobold so I don't think it's a patent issue they can't overcome
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby ilpirata » January 14th, 2013, 12:58 pm

That would be an intelligent way for making money by Neato.
I think a very good percentage of neato owners would buy it.
Last edited by ilpirata on January 14th, 2013, 2:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby mfortuna » January 14th, 2013, 2:00 pm

lip wrote:Samsung is offering a side brush as well as is Kobold so I don't think it's a patent issue they can't overcome


The patent probably prevents companies from selling in the USA.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby a4refillpad » January 14th, 2013, 8:30 pm

In my view a ridiculous patent, side brushes have been used in floor cleaning devices since the seventies. One could argue that they were first used in a robot by iRobot, but so were wheels, buttons and leds. Awarding patents for taking prior art and applying it to a new device for an obvious function like this tends to stifle industries. Problem is, due to the size of iRobot, no one would be willing to challenge them in court for fear of losing or spending so much in litigation to break small upstarts. This same problem exists outside of vacuum robots and is a major problem in technology as a whole.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby Wing Nut » January 14th, 2013, 8:59 pm

The iRobot side brush patent has been mentioned several times on Neato forums, usually in passing as a possible excuse for US Neatos missing this feature, but I've yet to see the actual patent details.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby vic7767 » January 14th, 2013, 9:13 pm

It wouldn't take an engineer long to design a side-brush just a little different than the iRobot patented side-brush design, possibly even the VR100 design would do. There must be some other reason we're not seeing a side-brush on the US Neatos.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby a4refillpad » January 14th, 2013, 9:16 pm

http://www.irobot.com/us/robots/home/ro ... ing_System

Mentions here the patented three stage cleaning system. The side brush is stated as the first. Enough to scare off smaller companies?
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby glnc222 » January 14th, 2013, 11:22 pm

Any chance Neato will offer a side brush upgrade kit?


There is no physical way to simply add side brush components to a Neato as an "upgrade kit". It requires a new case with holes for shafts etc., wiring connectors inside for the motor and so on, even different arrangement of internal parts to fit it in. When it is offered, it will be a new, and more expensive model. Adding an "upgrade" would not be much different than the DIY side brush in "Adding A Rotation Side Brush",
http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16078

It always bears repeating that side brushes do nothing on carpets; strictly for hard floors.

The additional power load of the motor also makes it more appropriate for LiOn higher capacity battery systems like the Vorwerk, and the additional motor noise may motivate their extra sound insulation. Those models go for twice the cost of a regular Neato (in the U.S.) and probably serve a more limited market.

As to the patents, there are any number of business reasons not to offer a more expensive unit with this feature (which doesn't even work on all floors), when building sales at start up. There are similar reasons why the feature would be restricted to a deal made with Kobold to sell an exclusive offering for their needs (an offer you can't refuse?). And you can already buy Dirt Devil (major brand) imitations of Roomba's in the U.S. replete with TWO side brushes. Take that you patent trolls.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby mfortuna » January 15th, 2013, 12:24 am

One such patent that mentions counter rotating main brushes, a vacuum, and a side brush.

http://www.google.com/patents/US6883201

If you search for Irobot and Patents you will see for good or bad, Irobot has patented a lot of technology.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby JEfromCanada » January 15th, 2013, 1:31 am

mfortuna wrote:If you search for Irobot and Patents you will see for good or bad, Irobot has patented a lot of technology.


While that's absolutely true, you'll also see that virtually every iRobot patent makes reference to prior patents, suggesting iRobot created improvements, not necessarily new inventions.

As long as Neato (or any competitor) can come up with enough of a variation, they should be able to patent the variation, referencing, among others, the iRobot patents.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby glnc222 » January 15th, 2013, 4:06 pm

Since iRobot hasn't sued Dirt Devil or other things you see, they don't appear to believe in any profitable patent claim. Were it so important they'd have coverage in Europe and gone after Kobold already. Neato's brush just being behind the intake instead of in front might be enough in the crazy patent world.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby Wing Nut » January 17th, 2013, 8:42 pm

While we wait for a US Neato with a side brush, how about this to scare away wall/corner dust bunnies - hard floors only, sorry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIuVKO_B ... e=youtu.be
http://www.sabco.com.au/index.php/about ... osweep-vid

It looks fairly useless, seemingly based on a kids' toy, but come to think of it, it might be handy to send one of these out occasionally on my parquetry floors. I'd have to close a few doors leading to carpeted rooms and block off the stairs. It's probably not heavy enough, but maybe it'd also work as a light scrubber if the cloth was slightly dampened (and weighted?).
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby a4refillpad » January 18th, 2013, 1:58 pm

I think it would be unlikely that neato launch the side brush model in the US. If I were to design "neato 2" I would try to keep number of components down to a minimum. It would only take a small design change to extend the beater/brush bar all the way to the right edge of the robot much like manual vacs. You would not need to extend on both sides as the neato only follows walls on it's right anyway. This would be superior to a side brush which does not do a lot for carpets especially deep pile. This together with the software change to hug corners and edges better would be fantastic and totally different to everyone else's strategies. In fact I would be surprised that neato have not created this in their labs by now.
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Re: Neato side brush upgrade?

Postby glnc222 » January 18th, 2013, 2:52 pm

What is not so small a change is the way the bumper sits between the brush end and a wall, blocking any extension of the brush outwards, with room for bumper travel.
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