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Four of the most important innovations in robot vacuums

You're interrupted from your work by loud, distressed beeping. 

You sigh and stand up from your desk. That's the tenth time today you've had to go and rescue your vacuum from a completely imagined threat. You find it at the edge of a centimeter-tall depression in the floor, sigh, move it, and start it up again. 

Ten minutes later, it's stuck under the bed, running repeatedly into one of the legs. 

That kind of experience used to be part and parcel of owning a robot vacuum (or robovac) when the technology first came to market. On paper, it was a magnificent idea. A self-directed, automated tool that would keep your floors clean for you. 

In practice, though? Not so much. And that's not even going into the nightmarish pet accidents that used to be common with automated vacuum cleaners.

Fortunately, the underlying technology of robovacs ...

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