Barry is a revelation. He doesn’t whine about the relentless nature of household chores and the never-ending crumb trail that naturally occurs in the vicinity of toddlers. Barry doesn’t mind that his allocated chore of vacuuming is mundane, and he doesn’t “forget” to clean under the couch or cut corners so that he can watch the footy…
Because Barry is a robot. Specifically, Barry is a brand new Neato D3 Connected Botvac.
We’ve Come A Long Way
I remember when I first saw a video of a robot vacuum. I was amazed!
But did I run out and buy one? No.
The fact was that they were not great. They had a pretty poor reputation for being able to actually clean floors – you know, the one single task for which you purchased the damned thing. They also seemed terribly haphazard, randomly bumping their way around the room in the hope that sooner or later it all would be covered.
While the idea of a robot taking over one of my least enjoyable chores was attractive, the simple fact was that the bots just weren’t up to the task.
But a lot can change in a few short years. The latest generation of robot vacuums are much, much better. For starters, they actually clean the floor!
The Neato D3 Connected Botvac
When it comes to great robot vacuums, Neato is leading the charge. They sent me one of their newest robots – the D3 Connected Botvac for review, and to include in the Alternative Mother’s Day Gift Guide. To be a worthy inclusion in the gift guide, the D3 Connected had to be up to the task of autonomously vacuuming. It had to make life easier for us.
It’s early days, but so far the Neato D3 Connected is making a significant improvement to the cleanliness of our home, and to the amount of time and effort we have to spend on vacuuming.
The D3 Connected is Neato’s new entry-level Connected Botvac. It looks like a simple unit, with just two buttons on the top. But looks can be deceiving. The Neato D3 Botvac is an intelligent piece of home-maintenance equipment. It’s just that it’s smarts are accessed through the mobile app, rather than on screens and buttons on the robot its self.
Frankly, that is just the way I like it. It makes sense to be able to control everything from an app on my phone, and not on the robot. For those on the bleeding edge of technology, the Neato D3 Connected can even be controlled through Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Neato Chatbot for Facebook! Neato were the first robot vacuum manufacturer to announce such integration.
The app is easy to use and it means that I can send the D3 Connected on its merry way, from anywhere and at any time. That’s great, because I’m the kind of person who conveniently forgets I had chores to do until I’m out of the house and half way down the road. On more than one occasion a simple tap of a button has allowed me to return home to a beautifully clean floor!
Can it Clean?
As I said earlier, the whole purpose of a robot vacuum is to take over one of the more tedious household tasks – vacuuming. In my opinion, there is not much point to a robot that just supplements the vacuuming regime, which was the common complaint that I had heard from robot vacuum owners in the past.
So can Barry vacuum? Absolutely. The Neato D3 Connected doesn’t just keep things looking tidy in between my regular vacuuming, it does the regular vacuuming. Obviously there are things it cannot do – the stairs for one. But it does a great job of covering the floor of my townhouse.
I tend to run the Botvac every couple of days downstairs, where there is more foot traffic and where messy events like eating take place. I carry Barry upstairs about once a week, where he vacuums the carpeted bedrooms and landing.
The Neato D3 Connected Botvac handles both the tiles and the carpet really well. It picks up all the usual dust and debris that I would expect my standard upright vacuum to find. Even better, it gets right under the bed and lounge… it doesn’t even whinge about it! It is fair to say that those places are a lot less dusty than when I used to do it manually.
Since we have had the Neato D3 Connected, I have not felt the need to go over where it has been with the upright. The Botvac has just done the job. A handy cleaning map is available after each clean, which is great for seeing if the D3 Connected has missed any part of the floor. Naturally, it can’t move furniture out of the way and there are uncleaned spots around places like my dining table. Unless there is a visible mess in those places, I simply move the chairs to a different part of the room before the next clean, ensuring that the whole floor is cleaned over a period of a week.
The only part of my house I now regularly vacuum with the upright is the stairs. I don’t foresee any robot vacuum taking on that task any time soon. I don’t mind, it means that I now only regularly vacuum for about 5 minutes each week. Brilliant.
So far, maintenance of the D3 Connected has been fairly straightforward. I just clean the filter and empty the dust bin after every couple of cleans. It takes a couple of minutes to do, and is similar to emptying any bagless vacuum. Easy.
…Why Did You Call It “Barry”?
When you first set up the Neato D3 Connected Botvac, you are prompted to give it a name. To be honest, I’m not even sure why I chose “Barry”. It just seemed to appeal to my sense of humour. You could call yours whatever you like – name it after your workplace nemesis, your child who never helps clean, your favourite sci-fi robot, a world leader… the choice is yours.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for my full review of the Neato D3 Connected, once I have really put the Botvac through its paces!
Disclosure – Neato provided Blog of Dad with the D3 Connected Botvac free of charge, for the purpose of review and inclusion in the Alternative Mother’s Day Gift Guide. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the D3 Connected Botvac. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.