Neato robot vacuum can map multiple floors of your home

It also knows when to recharge if it can't finish cleaning in one go.

Robot vacuums can frequently map a floor of your home to clean without much fuss. But if you aren't living in an apartment or bungalow, you probably have multiple floors -- where's the robovac for that? Neato thinks it can oblige. It's releasing a software update to the Botvac D7 Connected that lets its automated cleaner create maps for up to three floors. You'll still have to haul the robot up and down the stairs, but that beats buying another model just to avoid breaking out conventional cleaning tools. Neato is selling stand-alone charging stations (currently $40 each) to save you from moving the power source every time.

The update promises to make larger cleaning jobs easier, for that matter. It includes a "Quick Boost" charging feature that has the robot calculate the electricity it needs to complete a given cleaning task, and return to its charging base if it needs a top-up to finish its work. You shouldn't have to worry about the Botvac conking out just because your living room is larger than usual.

Both the software and the stand-alone bases are available now. It's an expensive proposition (the D7 by itself costs $800), but it could help Neato's robovac stand out in a field where differences are often subtle at best.