Robot vacuum cleaner gets smarter
The new Roomba 980 vacuum cleaning robot is the company’s first such product to combine adaptive navigation with visual localization to clean for up to two hours on hard wood floors. The latest model also offers cloud connected app control, and increased cleaning power on carpets.
"Roomba 980 is the next big step as it marks iRobot’s first cloud connected product with mapping capabilities for the consumer market," says Colin Angle, iRobot’s chairman and CEO. "Leveraging the cloud and mapping technologies, robots gain a better understanding of their environment, and customers are provided with more control. Looking ahead, these technologies will also enable expanded capabilities for connected robots in the smart home."
Combining the company’s iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology with new sensors, the Roomba 980 is said to be capable of independently cleaning an entire floor level in a home. In addition, the company says, the Roomba 980 implements the company’s proprietary visual simultaneous localization and mapping technology – called vSLAM – for the first time in a consumer product. The robot uses this technology, which works using a low-res video camera, to create visual landmarks in its map so it doesn’t lose track of where it is or where it has been.
The company’s new HOME app, available on iPhones or Android devices, lets users connect the robot to their Wi-Fi networks to allow remote control of cleaning schedules and cleaning modes anywhere at any time. The Roomba 980 is available in the U.S. and Canada starting at $899, with availability expanding to Japan and various European countries in early 2016.