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The LG Hom-Bot Square is a robo-rival for Roomba (pictures)

LG's robot vacuum uses cameras to track your floor and ceiling for better navigation. Can it keep up with our favorite Neato and Roomba cleaners?

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Ryan_Crist2.jpg

Ry Crist

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1 of 13 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

LG Hom-Bot Square

You're looking at one of the newest versions of the LG Hom-Bot Square robotic vacuum (model number: VR6570LVM). It's a square-shaped Roomba competitor that finds its way around your house with the help of built-in cameras.

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2 of 13 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Cameras

There are actually two cameras in the Hom-Bot -- one that keeps an eye on the floors and the immediate surroundings, and a second on top that stares up at the ceiling to help map out the overall shape of the room.

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Navigational intelligence

The cameras work fairly well in tandem. In general, the Hom-Bot does a very good job of detecting furniture and avoiding bumps.

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The undercarriage

The Hom-Bot uses a typical vacuum brushroll to suck up debris. There's also a dry-mopping, Swiffer-like attachment that you can clamp on to help sweep up dust and pet hair from flat surfaces like tile and hardwood.

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Side-sweeping brushes

The vacuum also features a pair of side-sweeping brushes to help it clean along walls and sweep debris underneath the brushroll.

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Bin up top

To access the bin, just press this button on the top of the vacuum. It lifts right out for easy emptying.

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7 of 13 Ry Crist/CNET

Performance tests

We spent days testing the Hom-Bot Square to see how well it could pick up different kinds of debris on different kinds of surfaces.

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Rice

The Hom-Bot was generally good at picking up rice, but it would miss spots on occasion.

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Pet hair

The same was true of pet hair. Some clumps got missed, others ended up ground into the carpet.

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Tangles

Even more of it ended up tangled in the cleaner's brushroll, which seemed less successful at moving the stuff up and into the bin than other cleaners we've tested.

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Sand

Our toughest test? 1.25 ounces of sand spread across each of our test floors in a thin layer.

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Missed a spot

Like with the rice, the Hom-Bot didn't do terribly, but it missed spots, which hurt its numbers.

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13 of 13 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Price point

This Hom-Bot Square model sells for $900, with other models selling for a little less. Similar models are available at various price points in Australia and the UK.

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