They took their sweet time about it, but Samsung is finally ready to let the United States in on what those in other lands have already gotten their hands on—one of their robotic vacuums. Samsung has been running with robotic vacuums at least since 2011, when they unveiled their NaviBot S at IFA 2011. IFA was also where the POWERbot VR9000 was introduced last year, which expands on Samsung’s previous offerings and looks like it can compete with market leaders like the Roomba. At CES 2015, we’ve learned that Samsung plans to bring the VR9000 stateside sometime this year.
The POWERbot VR9000 is able to autonomously create a floor plan of your home by looking upwards. A top-mounted camera scans the ceiling to create a basic floor plan, while a camera and an infrared sensor on the front is used to detect obstacles and walls. The wheels are sturdy enough to where they can run over small obstacles if need be, useful if you’re expecting the vacuum to move on to thick rugs you might have laying around your home.
It’s powerful, too—the 60-watt motor, according to Samsung, enables suction up to 60 times more powerful than the average robot vacuum. We’re not exactly sure what we should be using as a frame of reference, though, so do keep that in mind. Another helpful addition is CycloneForce technology, which sends larger particles into a separate bin to help prevent blockages. A new, wider brush bar should help the VR9000 cover more ground in less time, which helps mitigate the one-hour battery life. That battery life might be fine for you, depending on how big your home is. It probably depends on the vacuum’s performance, too—if it can actually get the job done properly in one pass, one hour is probably enough. Regardless, once the battery life is running low, the VR9000 will automatically return to its docking station, recharge, and remember where it left off so it can get back to work once it’s gotten a full charge.
Trust in robot vacuums has never really been high, hence the money feature on the VR9000—Point Cleaning. Using a small laser remote that comes with the VR9000, you can light up a spot on the floor that needs another run. The VR9000 will follow your laser guidance with all the devotion of your average house cat, making it an ideal feature for those who still can’t help but be hands-on when it comes to cleaning house. However, Point Cleaning will only appear on the premium model of the VR9000, so you’ll have to pay a little extra.
What that little extra is, we don’t know yet. A Samsung rep at CES indicated that the company plans to release the vacuum in the United States sometime this year, but couldn’t provide more information about a specific release date or pricing. All we know is that the VR9000 will be released in a standard model and a premium model whenever it does come to market.