We spend so much time thinking about dancing robots, writing about killer automatons, and attempting to kill mechanoids ourselves that we barely have time to do the vacuuming anymore, so we're delighted when a new robot cleaner enters the automated household-chore arena. It's no surprise, then, that our glee-o-meter soared when we saw the Neato XV-11, which promises to wipe the floor with rivals, offering superior cleaning and navigation chops.
With Neato Robotics' Room Positioning System, the XV-11 can see 360 degrees around a room for a distance of 4m and map any obstacles, so it won't continually bounce off your polar-bear-shaped TV in its quest for unmentionable filth. At just over 10cm tall, it should also be able to get under the bed, and its D-shaped design lets it clean in corners, which rounder robots, such as the Roomba, may struggle with.
Neato claims the XV-11 has the most powerful vacuuming system yet seen in a gadget of its type, and that, with consistent use, it can clean more thoroughly than humans, which is something we're perfectly prepared to believe if the current state of our hovels is anything to go by. The Brucie bonus, if you will, is that the XV-11 can be scheduled to run automatically on certain days of the week, and it will also return to its charging base once it's done. If only it could pick bogies off the wall...
It's due to become available in the US in February for around $399 (£250), but whether it will make it to the UK remains to be seen. Check out our US colleague Tom Merritt's video below to find out more.