Firmware 3.4

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

Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby johnnyh » October 11th, 2014, 7:38 am

The fix to virtually all my XV issues was to buy a botvac. Night and day across the board.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby neat99 » October 11th, 2014, 11:29 am

johnnyh wrote:The fix to virtually all my XV issues was to buy a botvac. Night and day across the board.


Is botvac any better? Seems like it has same issues as xv plus more like the sweeper bearings. It's troubling that Neato can't get their software fixes and QA on acceptable levels. Hardware of the xv however seems well built and sturdy. The software is the major frustrating point. Too many errors that prevents the bot to finish its job. :(
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby johnnyh » October 11th, 2014, 11:57 am

neat99 wrote:Is botvac any better? Seems like it has same issues as xv plus more like the sweeper bearings. It's troubling that Neato can't get their software fixes and QA on acceptable levels. Hardware of the xv however seems well built and sturdy. The software is the major frustrating point. Too many errors that prevents the bot to finish its job. :(


Well, I can only speak from personal experience, but I was one of the early adopters of the first iteration of XV-11, over the years have owned four XV series units (three warranty replacements and the Signature series unit I bought when the warranty ran out) and my current Botvac. So I've had a LOT of time with these machines.

First of all, right out of the box my Botvac didn't work - had a bad bumper (stuck) switch due to poor (thin) plastic bumper design. It was promptly replaced.

I have a 2,000 sq ft loft - with many challenges from thick rugs, to mission style chairs that have a slope in the underside (i.e. a perfect overhead pinch trap), to a closet filled with dive gear, to a Harley in the living room. I also have a wife, two cats and a dog.

Okay - so here's my experience.

Botvac uses an entirely new OS - it's better at navigation, better at pose determination, better at determining when the wheels are spinning, better at base location, just better in general. Meaning, where as the four XV units would have about a 50% chance of finishing a cleaning mission (meaning returning to base, recharging, going back out, etc), the Botvac almost never fails. it's something like 95% success. And keep in mind, I have many years and four XV units for comparison - spanning all iterations of firmware.

Botvac is overall much quieter - my wife works from home and she can tolerate it running, where she couldn't with the XVs (both running the pet brush).

Bootvac has a far better battery tech. With the XVs, they all took three charge cycles to d entire place, if at all. Usually the unit wouldn't make it home and therefore would never finish. The botvac handily does it in less than two. Always. And that was best case with the XVs - as the battery in the XVs would start moderate, get better in a week or so, then would start to degrade over time (and yes, I've also purchased replacement batteries for the XVs)

Botvac has a MUCH better bearing system. I'm an engineer by education. I've fully disassembled the XVs to deal with hair in the beater brush motor, to deal with spring issues, to deal with scanner issues, to deal with bumper issues, etc. The XVs were a pain to clean the brush as you had to fiddle with the belt. The Botvac is literally a snap. So before every run I pop out the beater brush, pull off the single end bearing and remove the small amount of hair wound between bearing and brush. I only did this on the XVs when absolutely necessary - and there were two bearings (and yes - I've purchased new bearings for the XV in the past).

Botvac has a side brush - even on carpet it helps (See video on this forum for proof). It loves to chuck this brush under my motorcycle from time to time, but it's magnetic so no issues to pop it back on.

The suction on the Botvac is definitely much better - as can be demonstrated by both the amount of air ducking out of the unit as well as the amount of material found in the dustbin.

Even the button placement is better on the Botvac.

Finally, due to the new OS (and I've posted information about the new real time OS they put in the Botvac on this forum already), future updates are going to be handled much better than the OS in the XV series.

I just wish they were making the German version with the lidar bumper sensors, sonar rangefinders in the front bumper and repositioned side brush - that unit looks like its the best of all worlds...

But to summarize, again in my experience, there is no comparison between the XV series and the Botvac. The Botvac is exactly what it is supposed to be - the next generation - and is vastly superior.

John

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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby neat99 » October 11th, 2014, 3:18 pm

John, thank you for a thorough review. I'm learning from what you wrote. Much appreciated. Pls continue to keep us posted on your experiences with the good and bad of the xv and botvac. Thanks again.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » October 13th, 2014, 3:59 pm

The XV-vs-BotVac review is repeated in its own thread for further discussion of that topic separately from firmware issues here. See "XV Series vs BotVac -- One person's thoughts" http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18097
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby davidelewis » October 17th, 2014, 2:59 pm

davidelewis wrote:
kamiraa wrote:I wonder if this will fix the dim light issue.

The 3.4 firmware seems to have cured this problem with my XV-14. Previously, the Neato get caught in an endless reboot cycle and would display a "dim" green light (instead of red). I would reset it my powering it off (using the switch inside the dust bin compartment), attach a mini USB cable between the XV-14 and a laptop, and then power back on the Neato. This would reset the boot sequence such that it could then be recharged.

Since upgrading to the 3.4 firmware, I have had zero failures out of three cleaning cycles.


After another week, I'm happy to report that with my XV-14 (board revision 64), there have been zero failures returning to the charger base since upgrading to the 3.4 firmware. Previously, I was having a 30% "return" success rate with the XV-14 typically draining the battery so low that is was caught in an endless reboot cycle (as above).

Interestingly, I never had this issue at all with my XV-11 (board revision 113) with the 3.1 firmware. The XV-11 would only "die" if is ate a sock, shoelace, etc. but would always retain enough battery power to recharge (although the clock would be reset).
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » October 27th, 2014, 1:22 pm

This thread reports BotVac behavior problems at close quarters compared to XV's which might be included in the v3.4 release for XV's, assuming that is based on BotVac revisions http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18114
Caution installing this update might be warranted without a proven method of reverting to the previous version. That has always been confusing with Neato Robotics limited update procedures. The website system has been revised, and the features could now be different. Customer service has taken to discouraging virtually all updates anyway, making it difficult to even query them on such matters. All very peculiar and contrary to industry standards.
Maybe someone closer to them can get the needed information.
This is getting to be one of those be-careful-what-you-wish-for things, appropriate to the present Halloween season.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Spider210 » October 28th, 2014, 11:20 am

I've had this firmware for about 2 weeks now, I had never had an issue with the bot not finishing its job until this update.

I've come home now to the bot beeping and stuck in between my chairs. I'm not sure what this update was suppose to fix but it seems now my bot gets stuck like every day. (Probably 8 out of last 10 days)

I have all woden floors and it now pushes my kitchen chairs around the table and now gets stuck there most. The other day I came home and it was in the corn of the room saying clear my path. Another thing is now it seems that the bot can't even finish without returning to the base.

I can't complain about runtime because it does run for 75min yes, 1 hr 15min but before it used to finish in aprox 60min.

I have noticed now it cleans very wierd pattern it starts cleaning the first room and then halfway through cleaning it leaves and does a different room and then starts cleaning room 1 again in like 15 mins and then goes to the kitchen an cleans half that and then goes back and cleans room 1 section of room one, then move to room 2 , back to kitchen, room 2, kitchen, then back to charger.

Anyone else having these wierd issues?
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » October 28th, 2014, 12:54 pm

If you want to temporarily revert back to the previous firmware on your neato just hold down the "back" and "start" button together for a few seconds. This will last until you next restart your robot.


If the nav problems did not occur the first time v3.4 was installed they are probably hardware of some sort failing, but it is easy to test whether the problem is fixed by reverting to the previous version. Do a Shut Down and restart to get back the current latest version. The Lidar spinning motor beginning to fail can cause random nav errors, as well as a dirty wall sensor. Intermittent failures are very hard to identify.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby PythonNF » November 3rd, 2014, 12:10 pm

Recently upgraded my Neato XV-14 firmware to 3.4 & have noticed significant improvement in run times and 100% docking. It just finished my downstairs which has berber carpet in 55 minutes without re-charging. Something it never did even when the batteries were new.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby davidelewis » November 3rd, 2014, 12:50 pm

glnc222 wrote:If you want to temporarily revert back to the previous firmware on your neato just hold down the "back" and "start" button together for a few seconds. This will last until you next restart your robot.


I've tried this repeatedly with the 3.4 firmware on the XV-14 and cannot temporarily revert to the previous firmware.
Current
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Neato XV-14 (3.4 firmware) with Lithium Power (LiNMC) batteries
Neato XV-11 (3.1 firmware) with HQRP NiMH batteries
Scooba 5800 with PWR+ NiHM battery
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Roomba 580 with wireless remote
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 3rd, 2014, 1:18 pm

This reverting method was something reported here by users complaining about 3.1 changes in the cleaning area size, and supposedly came from customer service. Perhaps it only works on the older system boards incompatible with 3.4. It could also have been altered by 3.4 itself.
[edit] Later post from Lewiy below:; In rev64 boards you should press the left bumper corner to the center direction (both micro switches -- front and side -- should be pressed) instead of BACK button. It might take 30 seconds for reboot.

Never used it myself. Maybe customer service can advise something else. They always gave this advice to individual customers calling instead of publishing it. When updates fix some problem, you don't want customers having the same old problem they already fixed. Yet they are not much in favor of updating at all now it seems. Maybe to promote more hardware sales. It's a changing business.
Last edited by glnc222 on March 16th, 2015, 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 3rd, 2014, 1:23 pm

I suspect that the drop back to previous firmware feature is only supported on the Rev113 board. I have an XV-14 upgraded from 3.2 to 3.4 and it will not revert back to 3.2. Only Rev64 boards can be flashed with 3.4 firmware.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 9th, 2014, 7:03 pm

deleting bot registration

Received reply from Neato Customer Service they can delete bot registrations at the website by supply the info to customer service, account ID email and serial number. Caution they also offer to delete entire accounts, so be very clear in instructions.

Note the entire bot serial number is registered, not anything on the system board inside (which could be replaced routinely in repairs). The serial number appears to be used to identify which type of board was originally installed, to present the menu of available updates even without connecting the bot. Whether the update software can recognize what system type is updated in communication with the bot,is not clear, though it would be common practice. There is a menu item and USB command to get that information, so you would think they use it. Some makeover of the entire updating facility was made with Botvac introduction and more complicated support for multiple incompatible models.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 12th, 2014, 1:55 pm

Yet another customer service message says they may not be able to delete an individual bot registration in an account, though still investigating. Yet they had also asked whether the entire account should be deleted, which might be easier in their system. That suggests use of a temporary hotmail account or equivalent to register a bot for the very infrequent updates, and then delete the entire account. Since updates may occur less frequently than the one year warranty, the warranty registration may become irrelevant by the time updates are needed.

The problem may stem from a shortcut using the warranty ownership database for the update operation. Warranties are not transferable, so it is understandable those registrations are not set up for deletion. Doesn't work right in the end for firmware. The printer industry, for example, made no such mistake.

Taking shortcuts in management software is an old story affecting even large firms. Rapid growth in operations tends to promote temporary fixes needing later make overs.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Lewiy » November 12th, 2014, 3:39 pm

I've tried this repeatedly with the 3.4 firmware on the XV-14 and cannot temporarily revert to the previous firmware.

Here (http://forum.ixbt.com/topic.cgi?id=47:10516:3447#3447) is described a method for flashing Neato offline. The author used it to downgrade to version 3.0 and then upgrade to v.3.1. Firmware for Binky can be downloaded here:
3.0 - http://www.neatoroboticsupdates.com/Com ... .17235.enc
3.1 - http://www.neatoroboticsupdates.com/Com ... .17844.enc
3.4 - http://www.neatoroboticsupdates.com/CommandScripts/UploadFiles/Binky/24079_15295/XV11App.Prod.Box.24079.enc.
Here (https://bitbucket.org/heXor/share/downl ... neTo30.zip) is a complete package of files for flashing v3.0. All files are for Binky, not for Cruz.
Those who will take advantage this information for offline firmware must ensure that he has the Binky system (rev.64), to avoid damaging your unit. In any case, the success is not guaranteed. You make a decision on your own risk.
Last edited by Lewiy on March 14th, 2015, 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 12th, 2014, 4:35 pm

Lewiy wrote: All files are for Binky, not for Cruz.


So this will translate to Cruz = Rev-113
and Binky = Rev-64 ?
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Lewiy » November 12th, 2014, 10:45 pm

vic7767 wrote:So this will translate to Cruz = Rev-113
and Binky = Rev-64 ?

Yes.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 12th, 2014, 11:37 pm

Have any adopters of 3.4 noticed a reduction of about 10 minutes run time?
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Lewiy » November 13th, 2014, 12:09 am

vic7767 wrote:Have any adopters of 3.4 noticed a reduction of about 10 minutes run time?

It seems to me that nothing has changed in runtime with v.3.4. May be possible to notice any difference on a large cleaning area.
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