Pretty much everyone is familiar with the Roomba, the intelligent vacuum cleaner that does all of the work for you. We can’t say that we’ve ever been very interested in Robotics in the past, but that is because we’ve been skeptical about whether or not the performance is really there yet. Yesterday, we got to meet with iRobot and hear about their goals and inspirations. iRobot understands the plight of the modern day woman. We’re busy, busy as heck. More so usually than our male counterparts. Between raising a family, careers and other important things, the average American woman is constantly working and isn’t getting enough personal downtime to keep her happy. That is where iRobot’s products come in. Their goal is simple – to take away some of the routine grunt work that is a part of life. The result is that you are left with more personal time for yourself.
The most famous of their products is the Roomba, now up to the 5th generation. The device automatically navigates, cleans under and around furniture, including corners and along wall edges, it self adjusts from carpets to hard floors and back again, and it’s even smart enough to automatically avoid stairs, and other drop off areas. Over the years iRobot has been paying attention to consumer feedback about their product and as the latest Roomba is a product of that feedback. iRobot even claims that the Roomba can to do a better cleaning job than Dyson’s model can, and that is a pretty strong claim. We look forward to getting a chance to try the Roomba ourselves. If it is everything that the spec sheet claims and pans out into reality, than we might not think this whole robotics thing is beyond us after all.
iRobot also showed off their other products which includes the new Looj, a robotic gutter cleaner. Admittedly, gutter cleaning ordinarily would be the last thing to get our attention, but a device that saves us time and energy is worth a look at. The Looj can clean a 60 foot long section in just 10 minutes. It’s also a much safer alternative to cleaning the gutter yourself. Just let it go and you can control it fowards and backwards via a remote, thus eliminating the need to dangerously climb around the roof. We got to see the Looj go at it on a make-shift gutter set up. The Looj retails for just $99
iRobot also currently produces Verro, a pool cleaning robot ($799-$1199) and Scooba, a floor washing robot for $499. They are also currently beta testing the ConnectR, a virtual visiting robot that you can control remotely that allows you to talk and interact with people at home. This will be a great way to watch and talk to pets when you’re away from home, or even monitor elderly relatives or unwurly teens.