Neato is rolling out a new firmware update for its high-end Neato Botvac D7 Connected robot vacuum today which will enable the use of multiple charging bases to provide support for multi-level homes. For folks with multiple floor levels in their home, this could be a game-changer in the robot vacuum industry, as other OEMs don't offer support for multiple levels of a home with a single robot vacuum. Neato's multi-level support can be activated when additional charging bases are added to the home, signaling the vacuum that it's on level 1, 2 or 3 of the house. These charging docks retail for $39.99 each on Neato's website and are automatically eligible for free shipping between July 31st and August 31, 2018.
Neato was the first to offer home mapping via its app and the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithm, creating a map of your home as it cleans. Now Neato's app is able to distinguish between up to three different floors of a home with the addition of multiple charging stations. Placing the vacuum on a charging station will open up the map of that floor level, and now that the floor maps can be permanently saved, drawing "No-Go" zones in areas won't be messed up in the event of a power loss or if the vacuum doesn't finish going back home.
This is a big deal when most robot vacuums don't support multiple floors, let alone allow users to save the maps of their homes in a permanent way. We've criticized a number of robot vacuums in the past for lacking this ability, as their full functionality is only available when a map of the home is available. The new functionality also includes Quick Boost charging, which allows the vacuum to charge only what's needed to finish the map of your home, based on the historical cleaning times in your home at each level. Users can expect their vacuums and apps to be updated sometime today if they haven't already, and new Neato customers can expect an update once they connect their vacuums to their home network for the first time. Check out the pictures below of the new multi-floor mapping functionality.