iRobot‘s newest vacuuming bot, Roomba 980 robot, was launched today in the US and Canada, with prices starting at $899. The new machine has now mapping capabilities, which means it is able to direct itself while users control it from their Smartphones via Wi-Fi.
Roomba is the first of its type to combine adaptive navigation with visual localization. Instead of sticking to a targeted area, the vacuuming bot will now clean the room randomly, eventually covering up the whole floor of a given place.
In order to do so, Roomba has a second-gen version of iRobot’s iAdapt 2.0 intelligent cleaning tech that allows the bot to track, like a map, the locations it has already cleaned. All this thanks to an affixed camera and sensors for smarter home navigation. After 2 hours, the machine comes back to its home base to recharge and then start again the cleaning.
“Roomba 980 will clean efficiently in open areas by moving in parallel lines while also taking advantage of the robot’s suite of sensors to adapt its pattern when necessary, seamlessly navigating under furniture and around clutter,” wrote the company in a press release.
Roomba’s users can command the robot via Wi-Fi through a Smartphone app called Home. They will be able to start a new cleaning job or schedule another when they want their room to be cleaned.
The machine also has an increased cleaning power in carpets and rugs, thanks to its AeroForce Cleaning System equipped with caper boost technology that detects carpeted floors and delivers twice the cleaning power of the Roomba 600 and 700 lines.
Although it contains a low resolution camera, features to allow Roomba identify other objects from the house -like chairs, tables, cats, etc.- are not included in this version.
“iRobot is positioning itself not just to be the best vacuum in the world,” CEO Colin Angle said at a press event in Manhattan, “[but to] lead us toward a future where robots can do much more in service of humanity.”