I was expecting Neato bring its newly announced Botvac D series to Berling (IFA), but we got a little more than the slightly facelift Botvac series.
The new Botvac Connected is the new flagship of the American company offering - surprise - Wi-Fi connectivity. It is probably the hottest keyword in robotics these days, no wonder all companies are updating their product lines with at least one connected model.
Neato is of course among them. The new Botvac Connected comes with a smartphone app that allows owner to set schedule or start the robot remotly. Nice, but nothing exciting.
Fortunately Neato pushed the envelope and changed a few other, rather important things as well. The most important improvement is hidden in the dust bin. The new HEPA filter got a meshed covering layer to prevent dust and debris filling up the foldings of the filter. This is a huge change as it hopefully makes the bin emptying process a lot easier and cleaner. I hope Neato will make the new filter available for earlier Botvac models as well.
Finally Neato has let the old NiMH technology go, and now powers the Botvac Connected with state of the art Li-ion batteries. This gives the Botvac 10 more minutes to work and probably allows longer battery life.
The third modification is somewhat cosmetic. The previously available cleaning mode was renamed to TURBO, and a new lower suction mode was introduced as ECO mode. It uses less energy, so the robot will run up to 120 minutes on a single charge, and will be significantly quieter. When the Neato Botvac runs every single day, full power is probably not needed in every households.
The Neato Botvac Connected will be around 749 € what is approximately 150 more than any Neato before, and twice as much as the Signature Pro.