Now you can play Candy Crush Saga AND do a spot of vacuuming from your smartphone – thanks to Botvac


You’ve got to love the robotic vacuum cleaner. No trailing wires; nor heavy bags to dump; not to mention their portability. Soon, they’ll reach a price that is suitable enough for most users. Neato is one company which has made robotic vacuums worthy of their premium price tag. Their latest model, the Botvac Connected, does everything your typical robotic vacuum cleaner does – and more besides.


As well as the usual sensing technology, the Botvac Connected has WiFi capabilities. After linking it up with your WiFi box (in the same way you can access the internet on your PC or smartphone), you can control Botvac through an iPhone or Android smartphone. The ‘phone app has details of your cleaner’s battery life and cleaning status.  You can move the vacuum cleaner to a given spot with your smartphone, like a radio-controlled car.  Or you can let it clean its merry way for an hour.


Better still, if you’re away from home and able to find a suitable WiFi hotspot, you can switch your Botvac Connected cleaner on several miles from home. After returning home, your carpet is cleaned. If you wanted to, you can put your feet up and play Candy Crush Saga (other smartphone games are available) whilst Botvac does the rest. This time-lapsed video clip shows you how.


What’s in the box: features of the Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum


  • Ultra performance filter;
  • Spiral blade, combo, and side brushes;
  • Charging base;
  • Power cord;
  • Boundary markers;
  • Brush and filter cleaning tool;
  • OLED display on vacuum cleaner;
  • iOS and Android compatible smartphone app.




The Recommended Retail Price for the Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum is £599.  Online, the lowest price we have seen is £499 (from Thurgo, Exeter).  The most common price is £549, as charged at Maplin and The Wright Buy.

How a Blue Peter approach is used in decommissioning the Dounreay nuclear power station

Blu-Tack Blob
Holy Atomic Blu-Tack, Batman… The versatility of Blu-Tack and its imitators never ceases to amaze us at Clean Hire. Image by Lucie Lang (via Shutterstock).

Blu-Tack is great for a number of uses. Apart from sticking posters on to walls and mounting keys, it is good for picking up fragments of dust. It is also good for picking up drawing pins and loose staples, though awful on carpets. Over at the Dounreay power plant, Caithness, in the Scottish Highlands, scientists have found a novel way of picking up nuclear waste. Their methods are more Blue Peter than Star Trek. Continue reading “Blu-Tack’s Role in Nuclear Plant Decommissioning”

Sir James Dyson aims to muscle in on electric car revolution

Not the Dyson car (though you get the idea).
If successful, the Dyson battery-powered car could be as much a feature of our streets as the Ford Fiesta. This, obviously, is not the prototype. Image by Zdenek Rosenthaler (via Shutterstock).

Imagine its 2030. The new names in motoring could either be Tesla or any present-day market leader that has dared to go for electric cars. If James Dyson succeeds, his electric cars could also be seen on the M62 motorway. (Your Uber cab could become your Hoover cab). Continue reading “Would You Buy a Dyson Electric Car?”

A look at Hoover’s best-selling vacuum cleaner

Your parents might have had one in the pantry. There’s half a chance your grandparents – or even your great-grandparents had this model of vacuum cleaner. For the second model in our series of iconic vacuum cleaners, we look at the Hoover Junior. Continue reading “Iconic Vacuum Cleaners: The Hoover Junior”

Toasty toes and clean floors are possible with Evri’s floor cleaning slippers

Pink Slippers: imagine these as floor cleaning slippers?
Could you imagine seeing these with a brush below the soles? Image by Maya Kruchankova (via Shutterstock).

In October 2015, we looked at the engineering marvel that was a pair of vacuum slippers by Alexander Yurkin, Victor Oshlykov, and Timothy and Alexander Smagin Krivenkov. In this blog post, we wondered if floor cleaning slippers were around the corner. Quoting from our 13 October 2015 entry:

Could industrial vacuum slippers be considered?

If popular enough to grace the shelves of Argos stores from Penzance to Wick, an industrial version could be likely. These could use safety shoes instead of slippers and become a boon in tight corners, and designed for small offices. There could be scope for a wet and dry version for the home market known as the Moppasin.

Over six months on, we are halfway towards the development of anything like the (as-yet-uninvented) Moppasin. This in the form of a pair of floor cleaning slippers, which aren’t far off the mark. Better still, they are available now from and other fine online retailers. Continue reading “Floor Cleaning Slippers: A Brush With Cosiness”