Top positive review
Worthy of 5 stars; here’s why.
September 29, 2018
This is a review of the Neato Robotics D6 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum.
Getting a robot vacuum can be very exciting and you’ll want to get out the quick start guide and get it up and running quickly. Please take a moment to read through the quick start guide and visit neatorobotics.com website to see their how-to-videos; they are really informative and helpful. After leaving the D6 plugged into the charging station overnight, I was excited to get started with it. However, I didn’t heed the above advice and dived right in with just a cursory examination of the quick start guide (mistake). This led to me failing the pairing process and delaying the setup. I had to reset the pairing process multiple times. I was too impatient wondering why it wouldn’t connect to my wireless network. Finally, I read through everything clearly and looked at the how-to-videos online and just waited patiently as it finally connected to my wireless network. Once the pairing was done everything worked perfectly and it was ready to go.
The laser and bumper guided allows for squaring to walls, giving a less random and more purposeful vacuuming path. It has a very accurate tracking system so that it knows where it’s been and where its base is at all times. The Neato robotic vacuum has amazing problem-solving logic - I repeatedly found myself thinking it was stuck between two chair legs or some other obstacle and couldn’t get itself unstuck, but as I watched it work itself free, I saw how many different methods it used. It has a lot of different ways it can get unstuck and its logic in doing this is fantastic. If you see your D6 struggling, just wait, if it can’t get free it will send you a notification on your smart phone with a map of your floor plan where it is stuck. When you free it, simply place it a maximum of 2’ from its stuck location and press the resume button to let it continue working.
The built in memory that can hold up to 3 different floor plans.
The Docking/Charging station - is another one of its great features. My floor plan is nearly 1200 s/ft. and the D6 on a single charge can get about ¾ of way through the floor plan. When its battery is nearly depleted it stops vacuuming and returns to the charging dock, recharges, then returns to the spot it left and continues vacuuming. This was a must to limit the need of scheduled human interaction.
The Dust bin - because of its small size my initial take was wondering how convenient it is if I have to frequently empty the D6 dust bin. When I did the first run, I didn’t empty it and when it was done I found the dust had backed up into the brush and was very dense and thick. I had to run it multiple times on the floor until it stopped having dense amounts of debris in the bin. It’s then that I realized I don’t vacuum the floor but once a month. But putting the D6 on a schedule of twice a week it really never fills up the bin I just have to empty it between runs. Our floor has never been cleaner.
It also has a WiFi and a corresponding smart phone app that keeps you in communication with your D6 even, if you’re no longer on the same WiFi network.
Only one time did the D6 drop off of WiFi, even though this happened it still finished cleaning and then returned to its dock to charge. To get it back on WiFi I just turned it off then back on (funny how that is the fix for almost all tech) and it connected back onto the network automatically.
The smart app is not just a start and stop the vacuum app, it has a lot of its own features like:
• Cleaning options: whole house cleaning, spot cleaning
• Cleaning profiles: Eco (Quieter, longer cleaning run) and Turbo (Super powered cleaning with maximum pickup)
• Navigation mode: Extra Care (Gentle navigation)
• You can set your D6 to clean on a schedule; time, day and repetition.
• Can create a “My Floor Plan” that sets your D6 exploring throughout your home all the time making a map of it as it cleans. Once it’s done, it will allow you to create “No Go” lines that will keep the vacuum from going into areas where you don’t want it.
Whole house cleaning is exactly what it sounds, the D6 will travel everywhere it can as long as its path isn’t impeded (closed doors or other obstructions) cleaning back and forth and around objects in the room until it has gone over every surface it has found.
Spot cleaning is when you have a specific area of either 4’ x 6’ or 13’ by 13’ (option) you place the D6 in the middle of the long side facing the center of the cleaning spot then start it. It turns right and does a boundary cleaning of a 4’ x 6’ or 13’ x 13’ virtual area and then cleans the interior using a back and forth straight-line pattern.
I use the Eco mode when I’ve been doing regular cleanings and I’m doing them at night; in this mode the D6 is so quite that you can be in the same room while its working and not really notice. I used Turbo mode when I’ve run it during the day and want deeper, quicker cleaning.
The navigation mode Extra Care is very important if like me, you have delicate furniture like a piano or small speaker stands (that could be easily tipped over). Much of its navigation around objects is done with the front bump sensor on the front of the D6.
With the app I scheduled my D6 to vacuum twice a week on Wed and Sat at 10pm in Eco mode. I didn’t schedule this until I knew the D6 could run that program repeatedly while I was monitoring it.
In creating a floor plan I made several mistakes the first was that after doing a cleaning a map is generated and I mistakenly thought that I could just select that map and make it my floor plan and then from there add the no-go lines to that floor plan. But actually, to do this, you have to follow the “My Floor Plan” initial setup before you can do any no-go lines. The second mistake was that I had moved all of the small furniture out of the room like chairs and pet toys. What I didn’t realize was that after the Floor plan was done and I moved the small furniture back into the room it errored out whenever it started with the no-go line floor plan. Thus, I had to re-do the whole floor plan with furniture in place. It only cares if more objects suddenly appear on the floor plan not if they are gone. So, if you do want a really thorough cleaning job you can move the chairs and larger pet toys out of the room and still have the no-go lines floor plan work.
No-Go Lines: The D6 comes with a magnetic strip physical “No-Go” line that you can place on the floor and the D6 will vacuum up to it but not cross it. But the better “No-Go” feature is that once your floor plan is created you can draw your own “No-Go” lines right on your floor plan and if you use the app or a schedule a cleaning it will use those “No-Go” lines as though you dropped the physical strip down. I used this feature on one of our desks, it was just low enough to allow the D6 vacuum under it before it got stuck. So, I drew a “No-Go” box around the desk and the D6 vacuum just went right around it and didn’t try to vacuum under it.
Because you can easily add and remove “No-Go” lines, you can use them to temporarily block off areas of your floor plan that don’t need regular cleaning.
Works with Alexa: it has built in Alexa support with their supported Alexa skill that you can enable. But for best performance and to allow floor plans and “No-Go” lines to work you will need to initiate the D6 from either the Neato app or the scheduled job.
One of the final tests was to vacuum the floor with my standup vacuum after the robot finished to see if it really was completely cleaning. When I was done the standup vacuum had no dirt in the dust bin.
I did have an odd issue with the vacuum I had scheduled it for an 11pm night run. I got a notification that I didn’t read until 1:45am that it was in trouble. I found it with the battery and “I” icon flashing red. I thought it had run out of battery and didn’t return to the dock to charge. I started a chat session with Neato support and went over the problem she said that might have been stuck and ran out of battery power prior to it getting free. I re-ran the cleaning cycle and but with the suspected object it got stuck on moved out of the way. It ran with no issues and returned to the base to charge and then back out to finish cleaning. The support agent followed up multiple times to make sure that it was working as expected.
Price and Value:
I recognize that the hefty price is really high for a vacuum cleaner but to be honest with you, I hate vacuuming as you can tell since I only do it once a month. However, just the idea of having my carpets and bare floors cleaned automatically twice a week is amazing and liberating and it’s once again comfortable doing floor exercising without doing them in month old dog hair (I know, it’s gross.) For me that price tag is completely worth it.
My Final Take:
Neato’s D6 robot vacuum will be one of the most amazing purchases you’ll ever make. It is clear to me that Neato’s R and D has created and tested it thoroughly for every possible vacuuming issue that the D6 could face. After just simply picking up the small items like pet toys the D6 robot vacuum does its job without failure moving around and under chairs and coaches. The “No-Go” feature allows you to make the D6 robot vacuum as close to autonomous as possible—your only job is to empty the dust bin after every cleaning and occasionally clean the roller of pet hair and carpet fibers. Also, because it cleans bare floors, I don’t need to sweep the kitchen or bathrooms anymore. I only need to make sure the floors aren’t wet when the D6 robot vacuum starts cleaning.
So I never have to vacuum or sweep the floors ever again! I (obviously) love it and give it a huge thumb’s up.