Connected Vacs? - What's the latest info w/ ST

Continuing the discussion from I'm interested in a roving vacuum cleaner robot for laminate flooring. can it be integrated?:

I don’t know if it’s better to start a new thread or revive an old one but I thought I’d try the linked new topic for the best of both worlds.

I’m interested in replacing our dying Roomba with a new robotic vacuum. Since we have ST it only makes sense to see what’s available as far as integration. It’s possible I’ll end up going with the Neato connected BotVac as it has such good reviews on actual pickup but I’ve also been keeping an eye on the forums for new info on other connected models. I know I could get an older 500 or 600 series Roomba and connect with Thinking Cleaner but I think that the actual performance would be worse than the Neato. Integration was promised/expected before the end of 2015 with the Samsung robo vac but I’ve heard nothing further in this regard. I couldn’t even seem to find out if the connectivity is built in and not turned on (this is my suspicion as it appears that the same vac sold in Australia has this connectivity at time of purchase and would be similar to the bluetooth capability in the ST v2 Hub :wink: or whether it has been left out altogether. If so, it makes the expense of the Samsung vacs less understandable.

Anyway, I just wondered if anyone could post a current snapshot of the market on these as they currently relate to ST and home automation integration. Any info would be really helpful. I haven’t seen anything specific coming out of CES 2016 in this regard but it may not have been fully covered yet or just not as popular in Google searches as I have search for these since then to no avail. If there is forthcoming info that cannot be released yet, can there be some pointers on this in some manner? There’s no way around this being a sizeable purchase regardless of whether it’s a Samsung, a Neato Connected, an older 600 series Roomba w/ Thinking Cleaner, or a newer connected Roomba 900. I’d hate to spend a bundle thinking we wouldn’t see any progress for awhile only to find out two months later something new or connectivity to any model was nearby and I’d blown many $$$$. Thanks so much. I really do appreciate it!!

I don’t think anyone can honestly speak for unreleased products or integrations. If you want ST to automate cleaning, the simplest, and easiest is still… It’s allowed ST to clean carpets for over a year…

Also replacing the battery and the Brush Assembly can make your old Roomba run as good as it did on day 1. I’ve had my 630’s for 2 years now, that swap has made a huge difference.

The 700 and 800 series work with @sidjohn1’s thinking cleaner code too. You will need to do some modification and depending on preference print a 3d cover

If your still not convinced, here’s an outside source. Interestingly enough the older roombas seam to be the best bang for your buck.

Using an external application running on a Raspberry Pi, I’ve managed to get Neato Botvac Connected working with SmartThings very nicely. I had to modify the ThinkingCleaner device type.

Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate the info. I’m disappointed that after saying multiple times that there would be integration between the Samsung Vac and ST before the end of 2015 and now there isn’t even an update on what is happening. I suppose the reviews weren’t entirely favorable for that Samsung Vac so maybe I’ll just let it go. I’m consistently amazed at the looooooong delays in the HA field and how far they seem to miss estimated release dates.

Looking at it from a different perspective - and please know I’m not intending to be idiotic with this musing - what exactly does a ST connected vac do that a Neato Botvac Connected wouldn’t? Obviously, it uses another app. Got that. But both are internet connected, can be scheduled in advance, run remotely, etc. From what I understand, the Thinking Cleaner add-on doesn’t actually improve the cleaning pattern of the Roombas but do allow more integration. I suppose things like motion sensors or away mode could trigger cleaning with the TC/ST that maybe couldn’t be setup with that particular trigger automatically with Neato Connected. My problem is, I tried a TC with my 595 Pet and had issues. Now, it’s not clear if my 595 is just having issues but after trying 25+ times to pair the TC, I had to send it back. I’m not against trying it again if I can clear up whatever may be causing it to fail but it appears I may have to purchase a new Roomba to use with the TC so that makes my investment cost go up an some of the other models possibly more attractive. Again, performance in actual cleaning is quite important to me so I may end up having to go with a Neato just for that. I wouldn’t go with the 900 series Roomba just due to the cost/performance.

Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to respond to my questions. I really appreciate it and each answer is extremely helpful. :slight_smile:

@Alyc100, I’m not really at all what I would consider an advanced ST user but your setup is pretty much exactly what my current “dream setup” would be with the quality of pickup/suction on the Neato and the full connectedness of ST. Am I correct that the improved cleaning patterns with the Neato Connected remain with the ST integration?

My question is, for someone like me - and who has never before worked with Raspberry Pi - how difficult is your setup to achieve? Is there an alternative that might be simpler for less of a power user? I’m guessing not but I just have no concept or frame of reference of how difficult - or easy - that project would be. Thank you so much for sharing your efforts!

To answer a couple of your questions:-

  • The ST integration does not affect the Neato Botvac Connected cleaning patterns at all. It’s more of a remote triggering of ‘clean’ and ‘stop’ commands along with status updates into a SmartThings. This gives the ability to pair the Neato Botvac with something like Rule Machine to trigger a clean when everyone is away for example.

  • The setup is not trivial. See [DEPRECATED] Neato Botvac Connected + Raspberry PI + ST . Even though I have tried to make the Raspberry Pi setup instructions as easy to follow as I could, I would say that sometimes things don’t always go according to plan and a level of comfort with a linux environment is helpful. If you’re feeling brave though, then this community is a great resource for assistance.

If you look hard enough, you can always find a review that picks your favorite product. Case in point :

…and :

Im sure that’s true, but don’t confuse me for a Roomba fan boy. I would have chosen any robotic vacuum that I could easily access locally over http so I could automate it with SmartThings and doesn’t look like a hack. If you want a connected vac there aren’t a lot of options and if you’re not a super geek and need an easy setup and want it to work with SmartThings there is only 1.

I hear ya… and there is no doubt the Raspberry Pi hack for the Neato is about as bad as it can get and definitely unacceptable. But if I’m going to pay this much money for a vacuum, I personally want it to work well as a vacuum first. My research has the Neato Connected with suction power that is twice as strong the Roomba and a more efficient space mapping algorithm allowing it to clean more per charge. An elegant Smartthings integration is secondary but the APIs are available for this to get resolved in the future.

…but I can understand if your vacuum cleaner priorities are different.

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No, your description couldn’t be more accurate of what my vac priorities are. As cool as ST integration, I’m not wanting a robotic vac so I can control it through ST, I want clean floors! And, if I can get floors that are potentially twice as clean (Neato) for the same or lesser price as another brand (Roomba) I just can’t see spending the same or even more just to have it “connected” with a loss in actual performance. First and foremost, a robo vac is a vac. If cleaning performance isn’t primary, I’m not sure what the point is…but as you said, this is just my opinion. From what I read, the Neato Connected Botvac has better mapping (as you also mentioned), better suction (I definitely want to learn more about this hearing that you had found 2x better in your research - that’s significant!), and still has plenty of “connectivity” for most uses. I can start it while I’m away, schedule times for it to start based on complex days of the week, etc. The only thing that I can see that it can’t do, is “watch” for where people are at home or away and clean during those times. While that would definitely be nice and a cool factor, I can replicate it enough by just starting the vac when I get in the car from my smartphone. For me, that’s a small price to pay for significantly better cleaning ability. Anything that’s developed from the API that you mentioned (quite new that it’s available, if I remember correctly), would be a super fun bonus. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of priorities in a connected vac. Thanks for sharing your information and experience. I really appreciate it. It helped a lot!

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I’m thing of getting a robotic vacuum. For now, the most debated topic seems to be the Roomba 770 vs 650. Can these two be paired with SmartThings? OR Z-Wave?

Any information provided will be helpful! Thanks in advance.

:joy: As predicted, some genius created and SmartThings Device\SmartApp for the Neato Connected : [RELEASE] Neato (Connect) V1.2.1e (Botvac Connected Series)