iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) recently launched a more affordable smart device focused only on cleaning, the Braava Jet 240. Its price tag goes near $200, the cheapest robot cleaner from the company. It appears that this time the robot maker has focused on quality rather than quantity due to the small range it covers.
The Braava Jet can only cover 150 to 200 sq ft, a big step down from other cleaning robots from the same company that can cover from 300 to 1,000 sq ft ranges. But even though iRobot reduced its covered ground, the Braava Jet comes with other appealing options in the cleaning department.
Vibrating cleaning head to increase agitation, water nozzle to spray the covered area and premixed detergent in its disposable pads are the most outstanding new improved functions that offer the 6.7-inches-long device, according to Mashable.
The device is designed around accessibility all the way. The Jet has one button that turns it on and starts one of the three different modes available: dry sweeping, damp sweeping and wet mopping. The user will not have to select one directly because each one has its own unique Swiffer-style cleaning pad, sold separately for $7.99, which the device knows how to difference.
Sensors will not require previous configurations for its functioning as to the Jet uses a bumper to detect objects, a wheel to tell how far it has traveled and a gyroscope to keep track of how much it turns. The small device will also cover the floor one quadrant at a time, row by row like a normal person would do.
“Braava jet complements our successful Roomba robotic vacuum by offering customers a separate option for daily hard-floor mopping on particularly dirty and sometimes unsavory surfaces,” Christian Cerda, general manager of iRobot’s Home Robots business unit, said in a statement.
The Braava Jet will be available for purchase starting April 1, but some reviewers have already tested the cleaning-only device and criticized some functions of its one-room-at-a-time service.
According to Andrew Gebhart, a tester from CNET, the lower price somehow helps mitigate the fact that iRobot is taking a big gamble introducing the range and run-time of the model. Thanks to the square feets it covers, the Jet 240 is usable in one room at a time, and after the first use the user will have to swap out the pad and charge the battery, making the process more complicated.
The difference is noticed compared to the latest Roombas, one of which can take care of a whole floor of the house with practically any supervision, and can even find its docking station and charge itself when it is necessary.
But a complete positive improvement would be the navigation, said Gebhart. This should help the Jet to efficiently cover a single room and detect a carpet and use it as a boundary, without any human direction.
During the demo, the Jet did a great job cleaning up dirt and even coffee stains, but it could not remove tough rubber scruffs, Gebhart added.