My family and I have wanted a robot vac for years but I never felt tech was quite ready in the price range we wanted to pay. After much research and checking out several bots at local stores, we chose the D5. Here is why:
- From an engineering standpoint, I felt the neato bots had the best design. The brush / roller was twice the size of competing bots and the D shape simply made more sense to me. There is a reason no one makes O shaped vacuum cleaners. Sort of a duh there.
- I like that the dirt storage container is on top which makes it quick and easy to remove / empty. Not to mention it was larger than other units we looked at
- It specifically mentioned pet hair which was my biggest worry
- Setup was quick and easy! Manually connected the unit to my wifi and put the unit on the charging station. I was surprised the battery was at or near 100% (big no-no in shipping with lithium batteries)
- The app says the D5 has a firmware update however it will not take. Keeps saying invalid file format after about a minute or so (on the phone app). However the firmware notes only mention a daylight savings time update which I do not care about as I live in Arizona. However, the update should work. I have not tried the USB manual firmware upgrade yet.
- Our house is all tile and wood. Zero carpet and only a few rugs. We have a large black German shepherd and a long haired cat. Between the two, the hair tumbleweeds are a dear daily fight. We have to sweep the entire house at least twice a week which is about 2600 square feet / single story. This is a LOT of work. To note, we had just swept the house earlier in the day.
- We prepped the house as if we were doing a normal cleaning to see how the little vac would do. Chairs lifted on tables - no loose items on the floor / quick prep. Just normal things anyone would do
How did the D5 do?
Once we started the little botvac on its journey, I was laughing out loud it was so awesome! It drive away from its charger about a foot or two.. thought for a few seconds... rotated a bit (I guess scanning the area). Then immediately drove over to a couch, found the edge / as far under it as it could go and it started cleaning! I could not believe that it found edges so precisely. It would hug walls and edge them. Map out an area and then perfectly vac the entire area and then move to the next in a very efficient pattern. I did not want a cheaper bot that did random in-efficient pattern silliness so the D5 did not disappoint! Rosie (we named the vac Rosie BTW per the maid on the jetsons) knocked out the living room. Then cruised into the kitchen and got under every counter edge, and even under the refrigerator edge. Into the pantry... she just kept going! After about 45 minutes, I decided to check how much Rosie had picked up so we hit the pause button. To my surprise, she had gotten under things so well in places we had missed from the earlier sweep - the bin was packed full of mainly dog and cat hair! This was IMPRESSIVE. This is all nastyness that would have blown out eventually and left more hair tumbleweeds on our floor. I put the now empty bin back on Rosie and resumed her duties per the app. Off she went! Into the hallway, my office fumbling around two large roll around chairs... into our bedroom where we had our first little snag. Literally... Wife had left a blanked that hung down low with frilly strings on it which any vac would get caught up in. I got a message from Rosie she was stuck and needed help. We resolved the situation and off she went again! After all was said and done, the little vac did about 80% of our home in one charge. When finished, I got a message that she was done cleaning. I watched her cruise out of our closet, out of our master bath, through the bedroom and back to her charging station in which she squared up, spun around and backed in wiggling her butt as she went until the charging contacts made connection. In total we emptied the bin 3 times. Twice totally full as she got under things so well and one half full bin.
I cannot be more impressed. At this time - I cannot recommend this bot more highly! My only small reservations are the firmware upgrade not working right from the app and that I cannot figure out how to display the map of where the bot went as they show in photos. This map in photos of the app shows a floor plan of the house per the areas the bot has driven. I cannot find or get this to work.
I wanted to add a few other cleaning notes / details:
- If your table legs are high enough - this little bot finds them and drives in a circle around each leg using its spinny side brush to clean around each leg!
- The unit does not like large thick bathroom type rugs. If it hits them straight on, it goes over them. But if it hits at an angle, it pushes the rug up and gets snagged a bit. But it will pull away eventually and start over. I cannot knock this device for this as even a large vac would have the same problem! These rugs are hard to clean. Best just to shake them out
- Our dog goes insane when the large stand up vac is used. It is so loud I think it hurts his ears. He barks and yelps. With this D5, it does not bother him at all! In fact it drives right up to him and will bump right off of him :) And our cat is simply fascinated by it. She watches it drive around and follows it room to room watching it
- The unit is about 1/2 as loud or less (if you can quantify that) as standup vac. Just loud enough you can hear it a bit through the house at night but not loud enough to be of a real bother
My only wish is that if it sees the kids shoes or junk they throw around that it would scold them for me and tell them to pick it up - text me if they do not HA!