NEATO XV-21 Pet & Allergy Robotic Vac

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NEATO XV-21 Pet & Allergy Robotic Vac
$299.99 + $5 Standard Shipping
Condition: New

DISCLAIMER Wootalyzer! is in no way affiliated with Woot!, and this post may not always be here!

Previously Sold On 10/30/2012 for $299.99
Previously Sold On 10/5/2012 for $299.99

here kitty kitty kitty …hold still while this thing rolls over you


I wooted up a pair of these guys months ago and they are great. Much better than the Roombas they replaced. They have no problem with thick pile carpeting.

One tip, they will actually try to climb around stuff, so you need to keep the area you are vacuuming Neato friendly. They do include a guard thingee to prevent the Neato from taking a header down the stairs.

My wife actually thinks they are alive and treats them like pets. Scares me too!

I admit I have always been fascinated by these robotic vacuum cleaners and this one certainly seems to be the Rolls Royce of them. My concerns would be one of our dogs will think it’s a squirrel in disguise that managed to get in the house and attack it! My other concern is it seems kind of impossible that it will cover every square foot in our modest 1,200 square foot home. It’s not entirely clear but are they suggesting that this thing will figure out how to clean every square foot in every room and not hit chairs, dogs, sofa legs, trash cans, dog toys… you get the idea.

The magnet strip? Yeah, you don’t need that for stairs. Neato has downward-facing sensors on the corners (at least the XV-11 does, and I think the XV-21 is just a different brush and filter with the same brains), so it’ll notice cliffs, back away, and continue vacuuming. If that fails, there’s also a wheel-drop sensor which stops it in its tracks, hopefully still avoiding a tumble. I’ve never seen it get that far.

I tested mine on a raised game platform (think boxing ring but with no ropes or posts) with enough clearance around the edges that almost the entire room was too far away for the LIDAR sensor to see, forcing it to navigate almost entirely by dead reckoning and cliffs. It not only avoided plummeting to its death, but it added these “invisible” obstacles to its map and proceeded to vacuum its usual pattern parallel to one of the “walls” it couldn’t even see.

I have used the magnet strip, though: The fireplace here has a floor-level hearth, and Neato would happily roll right up on it during a fire, getting his chassis a little toasty, until I used the strip to define a keep-out zone. Luckily the color looks fine against the slate hearth.

One caveat: This generation of Neato lacks the twirling side-brush of a Roomba, so it does an inferior job on the two inches right against the wall, despite the almost-eerie ability to follow perfectly along the wall. Rumor has it that the next-gen Neato may remedy this, but for now, Roomba has better edge cleaning. Where Neato shines is in the smart navigation, which will negotiate a complex floor plan and clean every inch without need of beacons or anything.

Yup. If it can get in there. Narrow gaps are a deal-killer, obviously. (It’s possible to barricade off a room by simply setting up a line of soda cans ten inches apart; it knows it can’t get through and won’t try.)

The five-way legs of wheeled office chairs are a hilarious challenge: They’re just a smidgen below the LIDAR beam’s plane, so Neato only sees the central post of the chair. It bumps into the legs and navigates around them Roomba-style, then continues on its merry way mapping and vacuuming the rest of the room.

Trash cans are walls, as far as it’s concerned, and it knows better than to run into things it can see on LIDAR. The black wire mesh ones are nearly invisible to the scanner, though, so it may nudge those.

Dogs and dog toys are where it gets interesting. Mapping happens 4 inches off the floor. If the dog has a protruding feature (a tail, perhaps) that’s not visible at that height, it may get run over. Please catch this on video. Dog toys and other objects below the scanner’s view will either be pushed around if they’re light enough, or collided with and navigated around Roomba-style.

A different model (but all Neato machines are all the same, except for the brush, filter and color) from Costco, for $50 less.

Not the Pet/Allergy version.

I purchased the XV-11 this spring and my only complaint thus far is that it tends to move lightweight furniture and small objects and even rugs. When this happens there is a chance that it will get off track enough to where it can’t get back home. That said, I wouldn’t mind a second one to use upstairs.

It does a decent job picking up dog hair. While it won’t get everything, it picks up enough every run to overfill the dirt bin. Can’t expect much more than full, am I right? Running it every 1-2 days is enough to keep my floors relatively clean.

Just remember, vacuuming by hand is often much faster and picks more up. Where the Neato XV vacuums pay off the most is when they run while you’re away. THAT is what its all about.

What happens when it goes from a carpeted room to a hardwood floor? Does the unit automatically adjust its’ height so it isn’t too high on the hardwood floor or to low in the carpeted area. Also, we have alot of large rugs. What happens when it comes across one? Or does the answer depend on how high the rug is?

I have a less expensive model of NEATO and several Roombas. The Roombas were always getting clogged up with pet hair. The NEATO works great with pet hair, does carpet much better, navigates through several rooms on its own, and even goes back and charges up and then finishes up later if its battery gets low. Never gets clogged up and does a pretty good job of cleaning. Have had a few problems: have to pull the kitchen chairs out so it can get around them or it jams up between the chair legs and table; and the bottom cross supports of the dining room chairs are too low, so the NEATO jams itself under them and stalls. So I keep it out of the dining room with the included magnetic strips unless I move the chairs out. The Roombas are all bricks. Don’t even think about getting a Roomba if you have a pet hair problem or high pile carpets.

I have not used the NEATO model that is for sale. I would not personally spend the extra money to get a pet hair model, since my more modest unit does just fine with the copious shedding of my australian shepherd.

I’ve owned a Roomba and currently own a Neato XV-12. This model may be improved. Frankly I’m not thrilled with the Neato, the Roomba worked better. The Neato has tried to suck up light weight rugs and dog toys but also missed obvious small debris on the floor. In our short haired dog household the fur will manage to get stuck in the intake area and prevent anything more from getting sucked up but will not alert that it’s not picking up anything. This can happen while the bin is essentially empty. Forget about walls and corners it misses them completely. If you don’t mind going around the rooms with a broom and dust pan to get corners and walls and you don’t own pets then the Neato might work for you.

I decommissioned my three Roombas a week after I got this Neato back in October. The Roombas needed a lot of monitoring to keep the brushes clean and to move and restart when the batteries ran down. They both advertise being able to start it and forget it, and the Neato actually delivers on that.

I’m thinking about getting a second one for upstairs to save me carrying the one I have back and forth.

I just got an XV-14 a week ago off of eBay for $229, which is the blue model that Costco tends to have (comes with extra filters). It, however, does not have the updated Pet & Allergy filter/brush bar, which costs about $60 normally on its own. That’s why the one at Costco is $50 less than this.

Just so everyone is aware, this model is constantly “on sale” for this price, or even $10-20 less. It’s a good base price for it, but it’s not really a deal.

Still, after running my new Neato several times now, I do recommend grabbing one. I’m much happier with my model since it’s blue rather than looking like a modified SNES. I did order the Pet & Allergy upgrade kit separately – the filter is better and the brush bar makes the unit quieter on hard floors (the traditional beater bar is louder when banging against hard floors). However, I’ve read reports of the brush bar causing more battery use from the friction against carpeted floors.

In comparison to Roomba: the vacuum on the Neato is much stronger, but that means it’s also a lot noisier. It also follows a more traditional pattern when cleaning the floors: going in straight lines back and forth. The Roomba cleans in a random pattern that makes it look crazy, although such a method does ensure it hits areas more than once and from different angles, but it can also cause it to completely miss some areas.

Hope this post helps!

Okay, I can’t tell from the description: Is there a remote way to make it sound off if it gets lost under the trash and maybe seizes up?

If it finds all the IBugs I’ve lost, will vacuuming them up hurt them?

I bought an earlier version, and thought I might comment on some of the pet questions. It does eat cat toys, which get stuck in the bristles. I use it less than I thought because if I don’t pick up daily it doesn’t get far. YMMV in a more organized home.

I do find using it every day cuts down on the need to break out the full vac more than once a week.

It does tend to get lost in rooms with more than one entry, such as my kitchen or bathroom, so I’ve used the magnet to block it off.

Overall I’m happy but wish my pets were better at cleaning up after their playtime (yeah right) so it would be less likely to get jammed up.

Best three hundred I ever spent! “Rosie” works tirelessly and amazes me that she gets so much dust, dog hair and stuff…daily! Love it…I will buy another if this one dies…

Believe it our upstairs is 1600 sq ft., this thing goes from room to room and when it is running out of battery power goes home by itself and recharges, then it restarts and finishes the job from where it left off.