March 03, 2016      

Neato Robotics’ Botvac Connected robot vacuum was already easy to control thanks to its compatibility with iOS and Android devices. But the $699 robot vacuum is now even easier to control.

A new app update now allows an Apple Watch or Android Wear device to control the WiFi-enable Botvac Connected robot vacuum. An Apple Watch and Android Wear device can start and stop the Botvac Connected robot vacuum and monitor its cleanup progress.

However, unlike the full-fledged apps, the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices do not allow you to take full manual control of the Botvac Connected’s movements.

Neato claims the Botvac Connected is the first robot vacuum capable of being controlled by an Apple Watch or Android Wear device.

“Smartwatches are letting people do many things right from their wrist – like check in for a flight, get directions, answer the phone, play music,” said Avril Murphy, Neato’s VP Sales and Marketing, EMEA. “Why not cleaning? We’re happy to be the first to add this new task to the list.”

Neato’s Botvac Connected robot vacuum launched in 2015 and can clean for 120 minutes in its energy-saving Eco Mode or for 90 minutes in Turbo Mode. The Botvac Connected uses a laser to map its environment and move from one room to another, automatically transitioning between hardwood and carpets.

The Botvac Connect uses two types of brushes: a Combo brush designed to pick up pet hair, and a Spiral blade that’s designed to pick up dust.

Neato improved the filter design on the Botvac Connected robot vacuum by adding a protective mesh layer over the accordion-like folds of fabric. This is designed to keep dust out of those folds to make it easier to clean the filter.