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Taking Samsung's $1,000 robot vacuum for a test drive (pictures)

Samsung's new automated floor cleaner has some powerful hardware under the hood -- and a couple of killer features, too.

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Ry Crist
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1 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Samsung PowerBot VR9000

Samsung's PowerBot VR9000 is the brand's newest robot vacuum. Click through to see what this cleaner is capable of.

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Camera guidance

In addition to multiple built-in sensors, the PowerBot uses a camera to track the ceiling and help it find its way around your floors.

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"CycloneForce" cleaning

The PowerBot wears its "CycloneForce" motor on the outside. The build is designed to optimize airflow and improve suction.

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In the bin

There's also a centrifugal build to the bin aimed at eliminating clogs. The translucent design means that you'll be able to see when it's full without needing to open anything.

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Brushroll

The PowerBot's brushroll is over 12 inches wide -- bigger than any Neato or Roomba robot vacuum.

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A bit bulky

It's a bigger cleaner in general -- heavier and taller than Neato and Roomba, too.

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Base station

You'll keep the base station plugged in -- when the PowerBot needs a charge, it'll find its way back automatically.

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Remote control

The PowerBot comes with a handy remote that puts all features and functions right at your fingertips.

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Chasing the red dot

You can also direct the PowerBot simply by pointing the remote's laser at the floor.

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Navigational smarts

Here's a long exposure light painting of a typical PowerBot cleaning run, with red glow sticks stuck to its head. You can see how it finds its way along the perimeter to map out the space, then cleans up and down through the middle in rows.

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Baseboard difficulties

Unlike top-of-the-line Neato and Roomba models, the PowerBot doesn't have a side-spinning brush, which likely would have helped it clean a little bit better along walls.

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Price point

The Samsung PowerBot VR9000 sells for $1,000 in the US (you'll find it for about £700 in the UK, or about AU$1,500 in Australia). Is it worth such a steep price? Our review will help you decide.

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