Roomba vs. Neato: Robots Battle To Clean My Home

roomba vs neato robots battle to clean my home roombo robot vacuum wars
The life of a technology analyst has its perks. While women don’t fight for my attention, technology does, and often that is a good thing. This occurred to me as I unpacked my Neato Robotic vacuum and put in down on the floor. I could almost hear the growl from the other rooms because we are a Roomba house, and each floor has one or two of those little monsters. They didn’t appear to be happy. Granted, the growls were in my head, but I’m pretty sure that if they were smarter they’d be pissed.

Now, one of the reasons they should be pissed is that the Neato is both smarter and more capable than a Roomba, as we geeks have discovered. Inexplicably, they’re also nowhere near as popular.

Neato vs. Roomba: The Battle Royale

There is something particularly satisfying about two robots fighting to clean up cat hair. No matter which one wins, as long as the cat hair is gone, you’re the winner. I mentioned that the Neato is smarter, but then it has to be, because it’s a real vacuum, the Roomba is more of a powered sweeper. A vacuum on carpet will always be better, but a vacuum uses a ton more power, so it has to be more efficient as well. So while the Roomba can bounce around the room, often covering the same spot a number of times, the Neato has to map out the room and execute on the map, maybe even needing to recharge once in the process.

There is something particularly satisfying about two robots fighting to clean up cat hair.

So the Roomba starts off merrily, like a drunk clown bouncing off everything in the room with wild abandon. The Neato stops, thinks a bit as it makes a plan, and when it has one, fires up the vacuum and methodically covers the room. It really is like watching the difference between the village idiot sweeping a room and a trained professional. Now, on a wood or tile floor, both products actually do a reasonable job, which is why I’m up to my armpits in Roombas. But on carpet the Neato is vastly superior, because you don’t have someone come in and vacuum to get the deep dirt out. Since the Roomba does get the stuff on top, you may not see the deep dirt, but it will reduce the carpet life and it is kind of gross to think about.

You really don’t want to run either of these products close to you when you are sleeping, but the Neato, once again because it actually vacuums, sounds like you have a little jet engine running in the house. It is best used when no one is home, and comes with an event timer to make that easy.

One really cool thing about the Neato is that it uses a technology similar to what is being used for self-driving cars to map out a room digitally. While I wouldn’t suggest giving it the key to your automobile, it is kind of fun to point this out. Oh, and when it is charging, since it senses the charger, you can slide the away from it and it has this cute, (yes I said cute, so what?), way of wriggling its butt back until it gently touches the charger again.

Which is better?

If all you need is a sweeper, the Roomba is fine, but if you want a vacuum, the Neato has this feature. Be aware that the Neato is taller and won’t go under many couches, but given how often we lose our Roomba because it has gotten stuck under the couch, I’m thinking I’m OK with that. For a geek, and yes I am a card-carrying geek, the Neato is far cooler. Even the jet-turbine sound puts a small smile on my face. Since the Neato is smarter, sucks better, and sounds cooler in my battle royale (which was mostly in my head) it is also the clear winner.

Crap, now I have to lock my bedroom door because I’m likely to be pummeled by pissed-off Roombas, which come from iRobot, the same company that makes it makes military robots. Maybe I should rethink this? Nah, I’ll live dangerously, just not Carlos Dangerously, the Neato wins my vote for King of the Robotic Vacuums.

Emerging Tech

Amazon is building a fleet of autonomous robots to deliver packages to your door

Amazon has announced the launch of a new delivery robot service called Amazon Scout. A fleet of six of these robots are being deployed on a trial basis in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Emerging Tech

Hexbot is a modular robot arm that does everything from drawing to playing chess

Who wouldn’t want their own personal robot arm to do everything from laser engraving to competing against you in a game of chess? That's what Hexbot, a new modular robot, promises to deliver.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Abode Systems upgrades its smart home gateway with new chip and Z-Wave Plus

Palo Alto-based Abode Systems is adding an upgrade to its popular smart home starter kit by replacing its central gateway with a second-generation version that supports cellular backup and enhanced Z-Wave support.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Product Review

Making a smart home can be a DIY job, but security should be left to the pros

Sure, you can DIY a smart home system, but when it comes to security, you should seriously consider professional monitoring and service. That’s where Vivint comes in. Is it worth the lofty price?
Smart Home

You can play NPR’s ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ on your smart speaker

You can play "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on Amazon Echo speakers or Google Home devices with the new Wait Wait Quiz. It's hosted by Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis and will be updated every week with new questions.
Smart Home

Walabot Home, a device aimed at keeping seniors safe, expands its capabilities

When you have to be away from your elderly family members, Walabot Home can serve as your surrogate. This device can detect when your loved one falls and will call for help — no wearables or user input required.
Smart Home

Allergies acting up? Thes best air purifiers on the market can offer relief

Indoor air is often more contaminated than the air outside, which can cause an array of health issues over time. Luckily, these air purifiers can easily rid your home or office of unwanted allergens and contaminants.
Smart Home

Hackers hijack Nest camera, issue fake warning of North Korea missile attack

A Nest security camera hijacked by hackers who used the device to issue a fake warning about an incoming North Korean nuclear missile attack heading toward Los Angeles, Chicago, and Ohio.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.
Computing

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.
Smart Home

Sing with Freddie Mercury with the ‘Ay-Oh with Bohemian Rhapsody’ Alexa skill

20th Century Fox announced a new Alexa Skill for Freddie Mercury fans. To celebrate the digital release of Bohemian Rhapsody and a National Day of "Ay-Oh," fans can download the Ay-Oh with Bohemian Rhapsody Skill.