Neato 2 wish list!

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Neato 2 wish list!

Postby a4refillpad » January 18th, 2013, 10:20 pm

Thought I would start a dedicated "wish list" thread to help out neato with ideas for their next gen neato.
Hopefully neato would take some of these ideas from their customers on-board.
(quick list I have to kick things off - some of these could be even implemented into current gen!)

Software ideas:
    • option to carry out multiple schedules on a single day.
    • ability to attempt restart/dock automatically from RPS faults and other faults. (rather than wait forever)
    • option to schedule a deep clean (run over same spot more than once)
    • option to schedule a quick clean (run at higher speed)
    • option to "find dock". (neato is one of the few bots out there that requires you to manually dock it)
    • option to clean a single room only
    • quiet/night mode option? run with vacuum on lower power for night or day runs.
    • more imaginative display. (LCD screen is great but really underutilised.)
    • spot clean to perform a "spiral" pattern as well as current pattern for deeper clean

Hardware ideas:
    • Self emptying option (ala Karcher, Deepoo and Samsung)
    • Transparent dirtbin (as per their promo video to see when full!)
    • replacement dirtbin with "quick/easy empty" option for people to empty with handheld or full vac.
    • extend the suction and beater bar to right edge of robot to edge clean properly (possibly better than sidebrush)
    • Wifi or at least some kind or remote start (true home automation!)
    • bump sensor needs to be much more sensitive. currently low objects get moved around a little to much! Maybe some IR sensors too to help out.
    • Softer wheels/castors (my hardwood floors have had a lot of small surface scratches due to continuous repetition the hard plastic wheels) Softer ones would also make for a quieter/smoother operation and less banging noise when the bot falls back down after raising itself to get out of corner etc.
    • upward facing blower/outlet. (not sure why no other bot i've seen adopt this) This would prevent dust being blown around the floor before being captured.
    • Some kind of dirt detection

Please add some more ideas to help them out! 8)

[edited to tidy up list with bullets]
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby c.mueller » January 19th, 2013, 7:08 am

I can not think of any error possible it is better to restart rather then wait for user interaction...
In most cases things may get worse.

Most other points agreed...

I use the following workaround to let dock my neato itself: I start a spot clean near the base. After finishing it will dock.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby craigbla » January 19th, 2013, 1:32 pm

Alternate primary direction in a room so the carpeting doesn't get the same pattern on it every time + cleaning might improve with a different direction.
Adjustable bumper height would help rooms like mine where everything is very flat and I want to stop the vac from climbing my chairs etc.
Some other (invisible would be nice) way of having Neato stay out of certain areas.
Better room detection with a single room option as mentioned above.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby c.mueller » January 19th, 2013, 1:43 pm

I do single room by closing the door or just use a magnetic strip..
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby craigbla » January 19th, 2013, 1:55 pm

I have an open floor plan and Neato can't seem to recognize the openings so cleaning one room = cleaning the whole floor which means picking up chairs that I don't want climbed in a room I don't want cleaned - If I use magnetic strips, it's ugly and requires about 2 more sets($60) so I'd rather have better room recognition and a "This room only" option.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby c.mueller » January 19th, 2013, 2:04 pm

More usefull i find the following:

Adjustable size for spot cleaning. This might also cover the single room problem...
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby a4refillpad » January 20th, 2013, 10:10 am

Thought of one more option:
    • slow brush spin option for delicate carpets like shag pile. This would potentially reduce tearing fibres out of carpets.
Basically, we need a lot more options in the menus. These can be hidden under advanced settings for people who do not want to utilise and want a simple device. This is where the neato has a huge advantage over other robots as it has a full lcd display. I think it would also give neato support personal more options to help the customer who are experiencing problems with their device rather than returning.
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby glnc222 » January 20th, 2013, 3:43 pm

Neato's detection of position and navigation control has not been fully utilized. A substantial piece of software is conceivable to run on PC's or tablets for graphical instructions on handling floor plans, marking up which areas to clean and avoid, dividing work between multiple units etc. -- which the unit can use from knowing where it is. Download finished specs to the vacuum. Mark which doors are entered or not, where open plan floors are divided, certain furniture to be avoided. The hardware may just be there to support this already, and it remains to make the large investment in programming to do it. Just as the existing ordered cleaning patterns are a step up over random running, some larger scale control of operation is a step up over the present go anywhere procedure.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby a4refillpad » January 20th, 2013, 4:08 pm

I work in technology and one of the hardest things to do is improve customer satisfaction. In order to do so you need customer feedback which is actually surprisingly hard to do in amongst the daily fire-fighting involved with supporting a production system. I started this thread to help neato out and to be honest would expect our hands bitten off to get this type of constructive feedback.
Obviously you do not expect any manufacturer to be dictated to in any way, but feedback like this should be seriously looked at to spark innovation and ways to improve their release roadmap and next gen products.

Hope they watch these threads and take at least some of it on-board to help make their products even better in future.
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby glnc222 » January 20th, 2013, 5:01 pm

There is a previous thread on this, "future Neato" or something.

A lot of this is imagination and wishes for science fiction technology. Surprising advances do happen, but somehow never quite like imagined. The basic thing missing in these wishes is professional knowledge of costs and what technology available supports economically. The military has no constraints on its budget and will do more remarkable things. You just don't want to buy one for personal use.

From a practical standpoint, this board has reports of several details of mechanical design preventing it navigating real houses with the kinds of furniture made -- especially scandinavian and modern designer furniture. They should redesign the bumper just a bit to handle things it could, demonstrated by modifications shown to work. If they did that I might actually buy one at full retail. Merely symbolic demos of technology advances don't appeal.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby glnc222 » January 20th, 2013, 6:01 pm

On extending the brush to the wall -- Neato runs about 5/8" away from the wall, just about the width of a low corner molding below the bumper (it won't sense, but will interfere) found on wooden floors. So not as simple as it looks, with annoying archtecture. Yet other things they didn't catch. There's enough of a problem for engineers and mgts. to communicate on complex problems wasting lots of money, so maybe stuff just falls between cracks.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby a4refillpad » January 20th, 2013, 8:20 pm

Another possibility. Open source their software and allow people access to the SDK. Bold step maybe, but open source community could well put together something magical that nothing in-house could possibly do in the constraints of a corporate environment. Unlikely but hey, this is a wish list! :wink:
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby Wing Nut » January 21st, 2013, 3:27 am

I have two PVRs (Topfield) and a old HTC WM6 smartphone that all enjoy user tweaked firmware of sorts, so I'd be a great fan of open source Neatos. The PVRs and the phone are now way more user friendly and capable than the base devices - so much improved that I can hardly figure out how to use them in unmodified form. And thanks to forums like this, badly behaved mods don't spread to far.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby glnc222 » January 21st, 2013, 1:33 pm

Unfortunately Neato's software is the company's principal product, and this would be similar to Microsoft putting their products in the public domain. That worked for Red Hat supporting Linux, but can't for Microsoft's line. It would also be a major job for Neato to arrange its software so flexible adjustments could be made by users, as a substitute, and no sales increase could be expected to justify the expense. If you want an open source vacuum, you (not the vacuum maker) have to provide the open source software; then someone can profit by making hardware for it, the way Linux works.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby a4refillpad » January 21st, 2013, 1:59 pm

I did say it was unlikely but no point being too pessimistic. There are a lot of things manufacturers can do to enable this if they so wish. Pretty sure their code would be modularised into functions or api calls already so most of the intellectual property can be protected and ringfenced in the sdk. They could also prevent unauthorised distribution by introducing simple signing of code that could only run on devices in developer mode. Only authorized modules or updates could then be passed into official production updates.
Really depends on neato and whether or not they are determined to tap into this resource or not. I can see the robot become legendary amongst programming/robot enthusiasts in a relatively short space of time if this does happen and huge numbers selling not for the vacuuming side of things.

Anyway, just an unlikely wish list idea.
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby glnc222 » January 21st, 2013, 2:45 pm

I guess they see the function so narrow, operating a cleaner, that implementing it is their product, so they can't very well use contributions to it and expect to be paid. iRobot in contrast developed a whole derivative product line to support robotics experiment and education, but that is not the cleaner business. The state of the art with external interfaces etc. creates an ambiguous situation. You could say they just haven't fully supported the expected sophistication with communications. Is it compatible with the Mark XII AI equipped household appliance and defense perimeter control system?
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby a4refillpad » January 21st, 2013, 3:59 pm

Anyway back to the wish list.
In addition to the deep clean and quick clean option can the overlaps be increased for deep clean and lesser for quick clean.
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby a4refillpad » January 21st, 2013, 4:07 pm

c.mueller wrote:I can not think of any error possible it is better to restart rather then wait for user interaction...
In most cases things may get worse.


Yes good point. I was referring I suppose to my experience of the dreaded rps error. My old xv15 suffered from this and I would frequently find it stopped at a random location beeping forever. All I needed to do was press OK or tell it to return to dock and it was fine. In fact if it automatically tried again I would not have needed to return it!

Also, currently when the neato gets stuck it retries after a certain amount of time. It would be nice if it did the same for some other selected errors like the one above.
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby ormandj » February 2nd, 2013, 8:03 pm

Lithium-based batteries (or something equally as good/better). My biggest issue with my current XV-11 is how little cleaning time those NiMH batteries provide. Mine are getting older, but just the bottom floor of my home takes the full number of charging cycles to complete. I'd already own a second Neato for the upstairs if mine had better batteries.
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Re: Neato 2 wish list!

Postby Phane7 » February 4th, 2013, 1:25 pm

I'd like to see WiFi. Lots of things you could do there, including remote start, run logs, status reports, even mapping progress of current runs. You could funnel it all through a web interface and be able to monitor your Neato's progress from work or wherever via any computer, tablet or smart phone. If your Neato got stuck, you could know ahead of time and even know where it was without having to play hide and seek. Maybe you could even command it to return to the charger remotely or (if it became especially lost) remotely maneuver it back to where you want it. Lots of possibilities.

Using WiFi through the charging dock could also help with docking and navigation through echolocation.

Given how cheap WiFi is these days, I don't see how the hardware part would be too costly. The software part would be the only real cost. I can foresee some people having issues with an RPS map of their house being hosted online, too, but having that feature disabled by default would resolve that.
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