Roomba wants to make its robot vacuum cleaners really “smart”


Why do the Roomba robots are they so often interrupted by their owners before the end of their cleaning mission? Their builder iRobot looked into the matter and concluded that they weren’t necessarily doing something about it. These machines therefore had to be able to respond to more specific orders and no longer to general orders such as “Clean the kitchen”. The new iRobot Genius Home Intelligence artificial intelligence platform, launched today via a software update, is expected to meet these targeted needs. It will still be possible to interact with the robots by voice command via speakers or thanks to the mobile application which is completely redesigned.

Roomba’s have been equipped since 2018 with a mapping function based on integrated cameras and computer vision. With the new system, they’ll be able to create and vacuum “clean-up areas” around the sofa, for example. And it is the machines that will suggest them, once they have registered the furniture and objects present in the environment. So there’s no need to run Roomba for an hour around the apartment if the kids have just tasted and scattered crumbs under the kitchen table.

Always more personalization

Another novelty is the creation of “exclusion zones”. This time, it’s a matter of avoiding certain strategic places, such as the place where you put the cat food, for example, or a risky corner of a room with lots of cables. The user can customize their areas in the application.

Roombas are also now on a mission to adapt to your whereabouts. This means that the robot is able to launch automatically when you go for a run and it also stops on its own when you come back from your session. For this to work, the vacuum cleaner relies on the presence sensors of connected objects such as Nest thermostats or August Smart Lock smart locks. Finally, it will be possible to create routines adapted to your schedule or to the season. Allergy sufferers will be able to vacuum automatically more often during the spring.

Clean and Avoid Zones will be available for the Roomba i7, 77+, s9 and s9 + models, as well as the Braava Jet m6134. The other functionalities will benefit all the other robots connected by Wi-Fi. IRobot thus intends to differentiate itself with a high-end service, while the robot vacuum cleaner market has become very competitive and low-cost players have emerged.

Source: The Verge, iRobot

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