Where as Roomba -- arguably the most popular robot vacuum on the market -- uses a tried and true pre-programmed algorithm to randomly explore and clean the floors in your home. Neato's robotic vacuums -- including its new BotVac -- use a built-in laser scanner to map a room and plan out the most efficient cleaning route.
So besides maximising its battery life by avoiding cleaning the same area twice, the BotVac will actually remember exactly where it left off in a room when it has to automatically return to its base station to charge, and resume from that spot when it's good to go again. And since it cleans with a straightforward back and forth pattern, anyone who loves straight vacuum lines on their carpet will certainly want to upgrade.
But navigation prowess isn't the only feather in the BotVac's cap. It's also a pretty great vacuum, boasting the largest rotating brush on any robot vac currently on the market, and the ability to clean less than half-an-inch away from a wall. It's even been blessed with a more capacious dirt bin so you don't need to empty it as often.
It still can't quite compete with the Jetsons' Rosie, but with four models available mid-April starting at $US480, it's priced on par with many of Dyson's vacuums -- except this includes the cost of labour. [Neato Robotics via Wired]