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News and information about the Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.
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Botvac D85 damaged my furniture, mod to protect?

December 26th, 2018, 5:24 pm

My botvac D85 has issues with my chairs in our dining room, it gets stuck inbetween the legs and when it tries to get loose it scrapes the charging connectors on the back against the leg. This has caused it to scrape off paint off on many of our chairs legs. :thumbdown:

Since the bot is very close to not getting inbetween the legs, im thinking about modding the bumper with something soft, cloth of some kind or something. That should make the bumper slightly wider so it wont go in between the chair legs and also protect other stuff the bot happens to slam into.. Honestly im a bit dissapointed that the d85 seems more aggressive than my old xv-1, i want my bot to be careful with my furniture.

Anyway, has anyone tried modding the bumper with something soft to protect furniture? Cause any problems?

Re: Botvac D85 damaged my furniture, mod to protect?

December 27th, 2018, 2:29 am

I have wrought iron furniture with very thin painted legs. Neato used to have trouble navigating through them until I followed the advice of someone on this board. I place two chairs side-by-side, so that the two thin legs are touching. For some reason, Neato has an easier time sensing this "wider" target area and has less trouble navigating through the openings.

Re: Botvac D85 damaged my furniture, mod to protect?

December 31st, 2018, 5:33 pm

I removed the front bumper of my D85 and placed (using very thin double faced tape) a strip of thin felt. I'm guessing anything soft and thin like cotton with a little bit of softness and durability would work.
Here is a picture of the mod:


Has been working fine with this mod for about a year.
Doesn't solve scraping with the back of the bot, but did cut down a lot on impact scrapes from the bumper on wooden furniture.

Re: Botvac D85 damaged my furniture, mod to protect?

December 31st, 2018, 9:29 pm

A very old method of softening the bumper is using the soft side of velcro, since supplied with glue to attach and is durable, as well as supplied in strip shape. Example from the Mods & Repairs list top of forum

Neato is not the only robot requiring such enhancement. I put a strip on the front of the Samsung Powerbot because it can bump head on into things with a recessed bottom the IR sensors see as beyond the contact point higher up on the front of the machine. The optical sensors also do not work well on dark colored surfaces. Some bumper contact at low speed is deliberate in software, as the means to cover all the ground.

One Neato user in some leather working capacity finished a Neato in "fine Corinthian leather" (recalling a famous car commercial from long ago now, actor Ricardo Montalban).

Re: Botvac D85 damaged my furniture, mod to protect?

January 6th, 2019, 2:31 pm

I ended up doing something similair to Fillimerica. It works, but i realized that is not the big issue here. The big issue is that Neato backs up onto the chair legs and the charging contacts are whats causing the damage. I noticed some light damage on other furniture as well. I think this is a real flaw in the bot, i cant remember my old neato doing this.

You can see the behaivour in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTYElC9oHBI

Disappointed in my new Neato, but i dunno if its worth it to sell and buy for example a Xiaomi instead. Shouldnt have this problem at least.. Since its round it should not have to back up generally.

Re: Botvac D85 damaged my furniture, mod to protect?

January 6th, 2019, 11:53 pm

It may be possible to prevent the charging contacts rubbing furniture with some foam pads to offset it, apparently without preventing contact with the charger. A similar problem arose with metal furniture legs and kitchen baseboards shorting out the contacts. Listed in the Mods & Repairs list top of forum, see thread
You can check it out by manually moving the robot as it did in actual runs, and similarly check the charging connection.
Various size felt bumper pads and sheets are in hardware stores. Mounting foam tape is a fairly stiff type of foam, but softer foam can be found in stick on weather stripping. Some experimentation required.
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