So one of my best buys so far has been the Neato Botvac Connected. Robot vacuums are increasingly prevalent, and when I finally decided to take the plunge to save myself some household chores, I did my research and this model consistently came up in review sites as the best performing robot vacuum. The price was much steeper than other budget options, but a few factors swayed me to pay the price for this top end model:
- Vacuum performance must be top-notch to ensure Wife Acceptance Factor.
- The random movements of the iRobot vacuums goes against my slightly obsessive nature of knowing whether this section was done.
- Neato Botvac Connected was one of the few models that integrated nicely with SmartThings.
After a few weeks of usage, everything has been working like a charm with the exception of the inevitable scratches on the body after knocking against all my metal furniture.
The smart features of the Neato Botvac are a nice touch, although not essential. Besides being able to start and stop the vacuum from the app instead of having to bend over to reach the manual controls, the other smart feature that I appreciated was being able to receive notifications of when the vacuum was stuck, or its bin was full, or when it has finished cleaning.
The SmartThings app is where it gets much more interesting. The SmartThings community has done an incredible job to build a feature-packed integration between the two systems: https://community.smartthings.com/t/release-neato-connect-v1-1-6-botvac-connected-series/60039. After following the setup instructions, what we then get is an improved user interface where we are able to see more details like the bin status, the charging status, the dock status, and the amount of battery power left.