Company Creates Smartphone-Controlled Vacuum

October 27, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. vacuum / ˈvæk yum / (n.) – a device used to clean carpets or floors
Example: The vacuum was able to get the cat hair from the carpet.

2. primacy / ˈpraɪ mə si / (n.) – state of being important
Example:  Their brand puts a primacy on safety.

3. notify / ˈnoʊ təˌfaɪ / (v.) – to share information to someone
Example: He was notified about the noise coming from inside the house.

4. upgrade / ʌpˈgreɪd / (v.) – to improve the quality of something
Example:  The company upgraded the new smartphone by improving its camera. 

5. downside / ˈdaʊnˌsaɪd / (n.) – a part of something that causes the user to dislike it
Example: The downside of my new phone is that it has short battery life.


Read the text below.
Neato [NEE-toh] Robotics has developed a kind of robotic vacuum that can be directly controlled using a smartphone.

Called the Botvac Connected [BOT-vak kuh-NEK-tid], the robotic vacuum puts primacy on convenience and functionality. It can be operated even if the user is not at home.  The user can do this by accessing the Neato app from his or her Android or iOS smartphone. The vacuum can clean carpets or hardwood floors. It can go as long as 120 minutes from one recharge and as long as 90 minutes on turbo mode.

The first step in using the vacuum is to connect it with a home Wi-Fi network. Afterwards, the Neato app should be installed on a smartphone. Through the app, the user can create a regular schedule for cleaning. The vacuum can do full house cleaning or spot cleaning.

Through the app, the user is notified on the cleaning status. It can also be used to direct the robotic vacuum where to go to make sure that it does not miss any spot. On its own, the vacuum can also continually monitor the area through its laser scanning feature to make sure that everything is clean.

While robotic vacuums are being upgraded with new functions, they still have certain limitations. First, robotic vacuums may have difficulty differentiating dirt from other things on the floor. Another downside to robotic vacuums is that most of them do not have the technology to detect stairs, which could result in the device falling and getting damaged.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think can be disadvantages of using the Neato Botvac?
·         Do you think the Neato Botvac would sell in your country? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Which do you prefer, robotic vacuums or traditional vacuums? Why?
·         In your opinion, what will cleaning devices be like in the future?

October 27, 2015