Control Neato's robot vacuum with Amazon Alexa voice commands

If you want a robot to clean your house, all you have to do is ask.

Getting your robotic vacuum to clean the house is usually a matter of setting a timer or pressing a start button -- but what if you could just ask it to get to work? If you happen to own an Amazon Echo and a Neato Botvac Connected robot vacuum, now you can. Today the company announced that its Wifi-connected vacuum cleaner will take commands from Amazon Alexa. The feature is extremely straightforward, and features just two commands: start and stop.

Users who set up their Botvac with the Amazon Echo will be able to start cleaning with the phrase "Alexa, ask Neato to start cleaning." The vacuum can be similarly stopped by asking it to "pause cleaning." It's not exactly the "huge leap forward for the smartphone," Neato claims it to be, but it's still a nice feature for folks who already have Amazon's digital assistant. The company says the feature is compatible with both the original Echo and the Echo Dot. We have to admit, it is kind of neat.