An update on my Neato Robot and my sad little Luddite

Where's Rosie the Robot when you need her?

Most guys know the expression "Happy wife, happy life." It isn't rocket science for us married men. In general, when our better halves aren't happy, nobody gets to be happy. So it is that when my wife stubbed her toe on our brand new, useless brick of a vacuum robot yesterday (a Neato Robotics XV-11 that I blogged about last week), I quickly gathered up the dock and bot and tossed them in the garage, where they await a replacement and FedEx return box.

A couple of readers asked for an update on my robot saga, so I figured I'd share. The day after I posted my wife's lament over our lack of a cleaning robot (that sounds completely tongue-in-cheek, but even I have to admit that I miss having all of our dog hair and kids' snacking detritus picked up for me), I called Neato. The minute I said the words "RPS Error" (the error that the robot informed me it was having), the friendly sales rep happily told me that she would ship out another Neato.

Presumably without what most online forums are suggesting is a relatively widespread problem with the sophisticated "Robot Positioning System" that employs a laser and some fancy algorithms to clean the heck out of every last inch of your floor.

"I never had this problem with our Roombas," grumbled my wife. "I told you we should have gotten a Roomba again."

"I know, dear, but the XV-11 requires far less regular maintenance and uses jet engine technology to far more effectively clean our floors. Remember how much dirt it picked up the three times it worked?"

"How much dirt is it picking up now?" she snarked.

She, as usual, has a point. And she isn't usually that snarky, by the way. She just really loves her Roombas. Our last one continues to run in the basement, grinding its slipping little gears and scattering about the bits of dust it can no longer suck up because a couple years of abuse at the hands of 4 messy boys, 2 shedding dogs, 1 evil cat, and my 1-year old daughter who finds endless fascination in pushing its buttons and then running away from it crying. My wife simply can't let it rest in peace.

So back to the very pleasant customer service representative from Neato who took my call. She took my credit card information (just in case I don't send the first worthless Neato back), confirmed my address, and told me that my new Neato should arrive from Mountain view by the end of this week. And no, there was no way to expedite. Even though I paid extra to get it quickly from Amazon in the first place. And yes, she understands that my wife really wants a robot to start vacuuming again.

So I'm still waiting for my new XV-11, my wife still glares at the dust bunnies along the wall and then looks meaningfully at me, and I'm hoping against hope that I shouldn't have bought a Roomba. I just keep telling myself that the XV-11 uses lasers and jet engine technology. Using bleeding edge technology sometimes carries a price that even my Mastercard doesn't understand.

It's not going to be pretty if this one dies too.