This Neato XV-11 Robot Vacuum Cleaner was the toast of the CES consumer electronics show this year and is now about to ship to customers. What makes it special is the use of a clever laser navigation system which is supposed to ensure the thing avoids obstacles like drunk policemen on your floor and stuff.
It also can be programmed to start cleaning at certain times, will clean multiple rooms in a row (returning for a mid clean charge if necessary) and will even map a new object while it’s cleaning and avoid it as necessary. Oh and it looks pretty ‘Darth Vader’ cool too, which can’t hurt marketing eh? $399.95 buys you a machine that will clean for an hour per charge, but won’t demand tea and biscuits. Bargain eh?
What is “intelligent cleaning”? The Neato XV-11 maps its surroundings in a room and determines the doorways when first analyzing a room. It determines the best path to take and starts cleaning the perimeter of the area and then uses a methodical back and forth straight-line pattern to complete the interior. It follows this method, cleaning a room in 15′ x 15′ segments, one at a time until it finishes cleaning one entire room. Then, it will go to one of the “recognized doorways,” drive through the doorway in order to start cleaning the next room.