Vacuum wars: Neato takes on Roomba

If competition breeds innovation, robot vacuums should be about ready to take over the world any day now. The latest automated vacuum cleaner is the Neato XV-11, a Roomba clone that claims superior weaponry in its mission to clean floors: lasers. The XV-11's Room Positioning System (seriously?) scans its path with lasers to map out your room and avoid any obstacles (as opposed to the Roomba, which lightly bumps obstacles before changing direction).

I honestly don't care so much about how my robot vacuum avoids obstacles — I'm more concerned about how long the charge lasts and, well, if it actually works. We'll give Neato the benefit of the doubt until the XV-11 goes on sale in February. When it does, you'll have to shell out $400 for its laser-guided suction.

Via Neato Robotics