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Neato XV-11 vs Roomba 560 is one robot battle that everyone is talking about. So how do these two robotic vacuums compare?
As far as appearances go both the Neato XV-11 (from Neato Robotics) and the Roomba 560 (from iRobot) are about the same size. The Neato XV-11 is a little taller (13×12.5×4 inches) than the Roomba 560 (13.4×13.4×3.6 inches) but basically there’s nothing in it. The extra height on the Neato being from the dome of the laser guidance system on top.
Design-wise, Neato Robotics and iRobot have taken different approaches as to the body shapes of their floor cleaners. The Roomba is circular whereas the Neato has a squared front and rounded back-end. There are reasons for both designs.
The Roomba 560 has been designed so that it can spin on itself so as to never get stuck in a corner. This unfortunately means that it can never clean in a corner without some extra help. iRobot overcame this deficiency by adding spinning arms to the Roomba so that it can collect dirt along the edges and corners of a room. This may improve cleaning but it also means that there is one extra component that needs to be replaced periodically and something else to break.
The Neato XV-11 doesn’t suffer from this problem as the front of the unit is square, allowing it to get right into the corners and along the walls. The extra strong suction of the vacuum will pick up pet hair and dust right up to the edges. Intelligent software algorithms are used to prevent the robot from becoming stuck in corners instead.
As for cleaning the Roomba uses two counter rotating brushes so that it is able to clean deep into carpets whereas the Neato XV-11 utilizes a rubber brush and more powerful vacuum so that it can pick up larger debris.
When it comes to navigating their way around your room both the Roomba and Neato do it in two very different ways. The Roomba 560 takes more of a random approach, changing direction each time it hits something and mapping the room as it goes. Your room will be cleaned completely but due to this random approach the Roomba will sometimes go over the same spot 3 or 4 times and thereby increasing the cleaning time. Depending upon the size of the room it may need to recharge before completing the cleaning. The Neato XV-11 has a more logical approach and uses a laser to map the room intelligently. Using this technology ensures that the Neato only passes over a spot once and greatly reduced the cleaning time meaning that there is less chance of this robotic vacuum having to recharge before completing the clean.
It’s always nice to know if your robot has any issues but how do you communicate with a floor cleaner? The Neato has a LCD display on top that can show battery power, error messages and scheduling information. The Roomba doesn’t have a display but can beep or will sometimes talk to you when a problem occurs.
There will be times when you want to limit the area that the robot cleans in, either to avoid certain furniture and or to stop it cleaning one room before it has finished the first. The Neato and Roomba again use different approaches to solve this problem.
Roomba uses small devices to project Infra Red beams across a doorway or area, so called ‘virtual walls’. These units are very effective at blocking the robots path but they do require battery power to operate.
The Neato uses magnetic strips that need to be placed around or along the area to block. Although this approach doesn’t require any batteries it can sometimes be hard to keep the strips in place without them being knock, kicked or removed by playful pets.
Both units have an auto-docking feature, whereby they will return to their respective base units to recharge, and scheduling functions so that they can be pre-programmed to clean at certain times, such as when your are working or sleeping.
Overall, both of these robotic vacuums will reach places that you never dreamed of cleaning before, such as under sofas and beds and whilst they are not cheap and may not have the suction power of a Dyson they are both very capable floor cleaners. More importantly they get the job done with minimal human interaction, which is the reason they are so popular in the first place.
My personal preference would be the Neato XV-11 with its more powerful vacuum, quicker clean time and LCD message display. The iRobot Roomba 560 is still an excellent floor cleaner but in the battle of Neato XV-11 vs Roomba 560 my money is with the Neato XV-11.
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