Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

News and information about the Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby Hydra » August 25th, 2014, 1:20 pm

Oh I Just found this in an Amazon review of the Botvac 85, that guy must have some insider knowledge and is planting positive reviews :cheers: I translated the most important parts :)

Code: Select all
Im Gegensatz zum VR100 der auf dem XV-11 basiert und „nur technisch modifiziert“ wurde, ist der VR200 diesmal eine „eigene Produktion“ und ist kein technischer Umbau eines vorhandenen Neato Modell, also auch nicht des vor kurzem erschienenen Botvac.

# Grundsätzlich erkennt man eine völlige andere Gehäuseform.
Während der Botvac (altmodisch) wie die bisherigen XV Modelle (oder Signature / Essential) bzw. der VR100 ausschaut (Grundform, Seitenbürste, Laserturm),
hat der VR200 ein völlig anderes (moderneres) Aussehen.

# Der Botvac hat die Seitenbürste wie der VR100 seitlich nach hinten versetzt,
der VR200 hat sie vorne seitlich am Eck

# Der Laserturm des VR200 sieht völlig anders aus und hat scheinbar einen Bumper integriert

# Der „Zugang“ bzw. die Aufmachung des Staubbehälter ist völlig unterschiedlich.

# Der VR200 hat vorne 3 Ultraschallsensoren
Has three front ultrasonic sensors

# Der VR200 hat oben einen herausklappbaren Tragegriff

# Der VR200 hat vorne mittig ein ähnliche Ladanzeige wie sie der VC100 hat

# Der VR200 hat ebenfalls wieder einen LiIon Akku und keinen NiMh

# Beim VR200 gibt es eine IR-FB und eine App-Steuerung dazu
Apparently it does have an Smartphone App remote  :clap:

# Der VR200 ist nun 1cm flacher, also nur noch 9 cm hoch
And is 1cm less high, damn that solves a lot of furniture problems :cheers:


Well worth the additional 150€ I'd say.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby invenio » August 25th, 2014, 1:47 pm

Hydra wrote:Don't forget the list price for the Botvac 85 is 599 € or 792 $ here in Europe.
So its just 150€ more for Li-Ion battery and an IR remote that no one really needs ;)


Wow, I think I'll just stick with a good old new XV series which is $200 new with free shipping here in the US (Walmart). I think I could forgo the $800 side brush!
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby glnc222 » August 25th, 2014, 2:45 pm

The BotVac has the side brush for only $100 more than the newest XV model. Vorwerk is another class entirely -- and not distributed much outside Germany, not even throughout Europe. I think they prefer specialized dealer stores, governed by the entire company product line instead of the high tech gadget market. And that lithium battery presents a shipping problem.

$200 is for a discontinued XV-12 on clearance, without the pet brush -- which is still only $39. The functionally same Signature without the pet brush is $331, and has metal gears in the drive wheel assemblies. Nor do these include the pet filters. They sort of nickel and dime you for this and that. Interesting is their battery offer at $49, a steep drop from a year ago. Maybe economies of scale have finally kicked in. A "mature" industry -- or the Great Economic Recession. But for me, neither their filters nor their batteries seem necessary any more (but still don't make my own razor blades). These vacuums have become pretty inexpensive as such things go. Just another broom in the closet -- have you seen the outrageous prices of brooms lately?
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby zuse » September 1st, 2014, 9:51 am

The first review of the VR200 is out:
http://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2014/0 ... ld-vr-200/
(german)
Contend wise notihing unexpected ....
Only "new" feature is the ability to vacuumclean the storage bin and a wall following sensor.

Another announcement:
http://www.pcwelt.de/news/Vorwerk_Kobol ... 83590.html

It will be available on the 15.September for 749€.

The Dyson n223 souds interesting ...
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby piokrza » September 1st, 2014, 1:52 pm

zuse wrote:Only "new" feature is the ability to vacuumclean the storage bin and a wall following sensor.


What about sensors inside front bumper?

It has nice color display and upright vacuum empty port (like older Navibot) but the main brush is mounted far away from the front edge...
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby zuse » September 3rd, 2014, 5:07 am

You are right. Sorry for the missunderstanding. :shifty: I ment with "new" = not posted beforhand.
The "ebay-pictures" showed an (iphone) app, but it was not ment in any announcement. :think:
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby johnnyh » September 3rd, 2014, 1:50 pm

Looking at this picture, there's a potentially very cool obstacle clearing device on this bot...

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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby piokrza » September 3rd, 2014, 4:13 pm

I thought it was made for threshold climbing..btw guessing from above youtube links it sounds a 'bit' louder than VR100 which was very quiet in compare to...at least Neato XV.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby glnc222 » September 3rd, 2014, 9:29 pm

[edit] Operation is shown in video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7usMO-ecFJw&feature=player_embedded

Hypothesis only: noting it points forward, a passive linkage which extends the wheel suspension when pushed against an obstacle over which the front has already been pushed. I have found Neato's get stuck with wheels having insufficient traction against the obstacle even though the front gets pushed over. Extending the wheels and raising the back on the teeter-totter suspension shifts the weight onto the front leaving less weight to lift in back by the wheels climbing the obstacle. Climbing would get divided between the front and back, like an articulated creature.
The space in these things is so tight I would bet on a passive device rather than additional actuators. But wonders never cease, so will have to see.

Interesting there are more alternatives than simply larger wheels, which raise the profile rendering some under-furniture areas inaccessible. Counter-intuitive like the Wankel engine.

[edit] The Neato wheels extend under reverse motion torque, so maybe a linkage is needed to get that motion moving forward.

[edit] It could also just be lifting the body using the butting part as a fulcrum, replacing wheel traction up a slope for lift, leaving traction applied to moving forward.
Last edited by glnc222 on September 23rd, 2014, 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby fufu » September 4th, 2014, 5:25 pm

It's passive. It's not fixed exactly in the middle of the wheel. So it's moving forward and backward while the wheel is turning.
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Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby johnnyh » September 4th, 2014, 9:39 pm

fufu wrote:It's passive. It's not fixed exactly in the middle of the wheel. So it's moving forward and backward while the wheel is turning.


I think it's both actually. Looks like the arm does always articulate up and down with the rotation of the wheel, due to it having an off center pivot point. However it probably only comes into play when the white arm is pulled closer to the underside of the bot, thereby making the arm have an up down component, essentially turning the arm into a pole vault. (Clever!) When the white arm is pushed away from bottom of bot then the arm has a more horizontal motion, so it doesn't come into play...

I'd love to see this in action.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby glnc222 » September 5th, 2014, 12:55 am

[edit] actual operation is shown in video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7usMO-ecFJw&feature=player_embedded

If that bar is pivoted onto the wheel itself I do not see how the bot can roll. It would be balanced on top of this stick with the wheel off the ground, with the stick just jiggling back and forth.
A geometric diagram is needed to explain how it moves.
The wheel is shown extended, and when resting on the floor the wheel will be depressed into the body, with only about 3/4" between the body and floor.
Exactly what joints there are in the mechanism and how their motions are restricted is not shown. It is a fancy little fixture with fine details. Nor are there pics of the bot moving against and climbing obstacles, with any changes in the balance.
Last edited by glnc222 on September 23rd, 2014, 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby netsloh » September 5th, 2014, 1:23 pm

Some informations for the non german users about the differences between the VR 200 and the BotVac:
- advanced suction (claimed)
- Li-Ion Battery
- ECO Mode (quiet, battery lasts about 90 minutes)
- IR Remote
- Wifi (App still has to be announced)
- 3 ultrasonic sensors in the front
- bumper with contact sensors around the dome
- better dust bin mechanism
- Firmware Updates can be installed from an USB flash drive
- climbing bars
- just 9cm tall
- vacuum empty port

So it's more than just the bars and battery ;)
Last edited by netsloh on September 5th, 2014, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby piokrza » September 5th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Nice to hear the "Neato" is finally 9cm in height. :)
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby glnc222 » September 5th, 2014, 4:21 pm

Some information for the non german users about the differences between the VR 200 an the BotVac


Those extra sensors might take the place of additions made to Neato style models which lower the bumper edge to accomodate tubular furniture legs and assorted thin bases on the floor which trap these machines in some homes. I'd have to see detailed specs or demos to be sure. Too much glitz in these things with no apparent attention to the details of actual usage.

That problem can be solved on older machines with simplest change in mechanical design.

Another problem, though, is inability of lidar to see very dark materials, given its low power for safety. Those extra sensors should improve detection of furniture legs and what not. I still would think some better software interpretation of bumper hits would solve the problem as well.

Skepticism is warranted about little gadgets of all sorts, like the side brush on these machines, which do nothing much on carpets requiring the front brush. Among the flood of depictions of these machines operating, few of them target particular functions and problems in the house. See how it works in this beautiful home, without a single throw rug or height transition, much less a low overhead couch. They are framing artworks, not testing appliances.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby chris-s » September 5th, 2014, 4:34 pm

glnc222 wrote:Those extra sensors might take the place of additions made to Neato style models which lower the bumper edge to accomodate tubular furniture legs and assorted thin bases on the floor which trap these machines in some homes. I'd have to see detailed specs or demos to be sure.
It seems on this video that the 3 new sensors are useless.... or firmware not finished to be worked on ?
http://youtu.be/mlKK8HOlJIY?t=4m6s
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby glnc222 » September 5th, 2014, 4:38 pm

Looking at this picture, there's a potentially very cool obstacle clearing device on this bot...


A better interpretation of that bar on the wheels. It may move around in a circle in front of the main wheel, operating in effect like another small drive wheel forward. No effect when running flat, but when against a forward obstacle, the drive contact is a little vertical, on the forward pseudo-wheel, effectively expanding the effective drive wheel diameter. A wider wheel when you need it, but narrower when you don't. Rabbits in the hat.
[edit] the operation is shown in the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7usMO-ecFJw&feature=player_embedded

Dyson has finally put a tank like tread on for driving. The problem with that is turning the machine around, having to spin the long tread across the floor. Funny just moving around is such a complex thing. The tire industry keeps inventing new designs.
Last edited by glnc222 on September 23rd, 2014, 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby netsloh » September 5th, 2014, 7:08 pm

In my opinion just the "smart" bumper around the dome is an huge improvement. It won't get stuck under 40% of our furniture - and I don't have to tape that ugly magnetic stuff all around. The dust bin of our old VR 100 was worn out after a year and opened while driving, so the new bin is also great.
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Re: Vorwerk Kobold VR200 just announced!

Postby johnnyh » September 8th, 2014, 8:10 am

glnc222 wrote:
Looking at this picture, there's a potentially very cool obstacle clearing device on this bot...


A better interpretation of that bar on the wheels. It may move around in a circle in front of the main wheel, operating in effect like another small drive wheel forward. No effect when running flat, but when against a forward obstacle, the drive contact is a little vertical, on the forward pseudo-wheel, effectively expanding the effective drive wheel diameter. A wider wheel when you need it, but narrower when you don't.


Let me try to explain how I see this working with a visual. Think of a piston driving a train wheel. The piston moves in and out horizontally, but the other end is mounted offset from the center of the wheel, thereby converting horizontal motion into circular motion. Now, instead of the piston driving the wheel, picture the wheel driving the piston. Okay, now extend that piston rod past the wheel on the other side (that's the 'leg' of the walker). When the wheel turns the leg moves in and out in a horizontal arc. This is the non-active mode as it does nothing. Now, picture a solenoid pulling the 'piston' end (in the robot, the 'piston' end is the white linkage) into the body of the robot (down, in respect to the picture). This will change the angle of the leg from a horizontal oscillation to a vertical one - i.e. a walking motion. Once robot detects that the wheels are no longer slipping (LIDAR sees pose change along with wheel tach input), it puts legs back into horizontal position.
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