I absolutely love how technology has progressed over the past decade, not only is tech getting smaller and more useful, it’s also helping us become more productive and replacing the menial tasks that take up valuable time in our day. Whether it’s washing up or vacuuming, these tasks may only take us about fifteen minutes to do, but that accumulates over our lifetime, so wouldn’t it be nice to have that precious time back? Also, I’m ridiculously lazy so I’d rather have a robot or a machine do as much as possible so I don’t have to. That’s where the Neato Botvac 85 comes in. And let me tell you, it’s changed my life.
So here’s a little about the Neato Botvac, it’s a typical robotic vacuum cleaner in the way that it’ll zip around your house hoovering up pet hair, crumbs, dirts, and lord know’s what else has been embedded into the carpet from your shoes. It has all of the gubbins you’d expect from a robot vacuum, and is able to detect obstacles and other things in its way and will move around them without a problem. But unlike the Roomba, the Botvac is more intelligent in the way that it gets around. It doesn’t just bounce around the walls in the hopes to get every nook and cranny, it intelligently maps the room as it goes around the boarder and progressively fills in the rest like a patient child with a colouring book.
This particular model of the Botvac is a fairly high-end one and offers high performance filters and features a better brush to deal with pet hair and dander as well as the usual dirt you’d find on your floor and offers a much quieter system so as not to terrify your pets as the vacuum goes about its business when your not around.
Other features with the Botvac include the ability to set up a cleaning schedule so it can do its business without any human interaction with along with an additional home button to have it clean your home when you want, can make for a really really clean house. There’s also a spot cleaning option where the vacuum cleans a small square of floor around the bots starting position, perfect for when you accidentally drop something on the floor and can’t be bothered to sweep it up. Just grab the Botvac, place it near the mess, and press the Spot Cleaning button and it’ll clean a small meter square area around where it began.
Now, I’m not a messy person, or at least I didn’t think I was a messy person, but the Botvac soon makes you realise how much crap you actually have on your floor and not in the dirt sense, but in the sense of discarded socks from the night before, charging cables and laptop power supplies left discarded on the floor, and pet toys, lots and lots of pet toys. You see, all though you’d think you’d be able to simply let the Botvac go and do its business without doing a thing, it does need some human input otherwise it’ll be more effort than actually vacuuming the house yourself. You need to keep a clear path for the Botvac and once you’ve done that, you’ll realise the house looks at least 40% tidier than it did before.
Once you’ve nearly stored all of your cables, picked up those socks, and cleared away the pet toys and whatever else you’ve got on your floor, the Botvac can now safely go around the house without a worry. Not only does the Botvac clean your house for you, it actually helps you become a tidier person in fear that the £400 bit of kit you’ve got cleaning your house for you will accidentally get tangled up in some wires and cause damage either to itself or your property.
Now, vacuuming the house is probably one of my most hated chores, so when I do eventually get around to hoovering that evening, I do so as quick as I can so I can get back to playing Pokemon or watching Netflix, it’s not the most thorough clean, but at the same time it’s enough to make things look a little tidier. So when we got our Botvac, I was not only pleased I’d never have to Vacuum the floor again, but that it’ll have a thorough clean every day.
And that’s exactly what the Botvac can offer, a truly thorough clean every single day. This goes back to the way that the Botvac travels around your home. It’ll lovingly go from room to room cleaning the boarder first, then filling in the space it missed in a more organised way than just bouncing from wall to wall. Like a farmer ploughing crops, it’ll go back and forth following a neat line to ensure no space has been missed not only giving you that freshly hoovered look, but also offering a nice deep clean. If for some reason you’re not satisfied, send it out again, and again, and again, until you’re happy with the cleaning.
It’s worth noting though that getting a Botvac, giving it a schedule that suits you, and making sure its path is clear isn’t all you have to do to keep your Botvac in ship shape, you do still need to keep on top of cleaning the Botvac itself, otherwise it won’t perform as well as it should and could result in a broken Botvac. That being said, just taking five minutes out of your day to wipe the little guy clean and emptying out its dustbin is a damn sight easier than lugging your vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs.
Though the Botvac is intelligent in the way that it goes around and maps the room, it’s also a little brutish in the way that it detects obstacles, because there’s only so much its laser tracking can do. In order to avoid obstacles the Botvac lightly bumps into walls, corners, and furniture in order to determine something is in the way, then works it way around it until its path is clear again. The time we’ve spent with the Botvac we have noticed a small bit of wear from repeated knocks on its pressure sensitive bumper, but personally that’s something I’ve come to expect after seeing the way it gets around.
It also does a good job with uneven flooring as its rugged wheels are designed to not only stay glued to the floor, its axles can rise a little to help the Botvac get over steps and other heightened terrain such as rugs or a small step between rooms (by small I mean around an inch or so high). This became apparent one afternoon when the Botvac disappeared under our bed and fount itself stranded on top of some picture frames we had stored under there. Thankfully if there’s a certain area you don’t want the Botvac to go then in the box comes a fairly long strip of Boundary Markers which you can place on your floor that will stop the Botvac from going somewhere it shouldn’t. Once we placed that down, it no longer had the desire to go mountain climbing.
Once the Botvac has finished cleaning your home, it’ll stop and find its way back to its dock, no matter where the vacuum finished doing its job it somehow managed to find its way back home and once it does it hilariously reverses back into place doing an adorable little bum wiggle and once the charging connectors meet the dock, it’ll stop and let of a cute little chime. If you haven’t figured out by now, we’ve adopted the Botvac as our own, and has now become a part of the family, even one of our cats is in love with it and often sleeps with his head resting on the Botvac. I’m not kidding:
Overall, the Neato Botvac 85 is an absolutely fantastic bit of kit. It not only helps me be even lazier, it also helped me become tidier. I actually place my old socks and discarded t-shirts into the laundry, and I make sure all cables are tucked away neatly. We also have a super clean carpet upstairs that I’m now really protective over, so take your bloody shoes off if you come over. One thing I will note is that I tried the Botvac on both carpet and hardwood flooring. Though it does a good job on both surfaces, I did need to run it a couple of times on the hardwood flooring before it had cleaned it thoroughly enough. It’s also worth mentioning that if you live in a house with more than one floor, the Botvac doesn’t magically go down the stairs, so you’ll need to decide where the Botvac will be most useful.
The Neato Botvac 85 will set you back around £450 which is a pretty hefty price for a vacuum cleaner but I’m almost at the point where I’d say it’s worth it. You’ll constantly have a clean looking house without any effort from yourself. All you have to do is give it a wipe, make sure the house is free from crap on the floor, and let it do its business. It’s an absolutely perfect addition to any household and I’m in love with it. I just wish that it’d clean the stairs too.
You can check out all of Neato’s Botbvac range, as well as where to buy them, on their website.