Following Neato’s lead from last year, iRobot is announcing that they will add an Alexa skill for their Roomba robot vacuums. The skill is being prepared for a Q2 release, at which point you’ll be able to boss your Roomba around with voice commands. iRobot is also preparing a new feature that will show you post-cleaning heat maps of your house, huge if you’re big fans of household chores like us.
Alexa integration will work out about how you expect — just the basics. It’ll be possible to start, stop, and pause cleaning by asking Alexa to tell Roomba to do one of those things. The real news here is that the future is in us telling robots to tell other robots to do jobs, which seems pretty cool. It also portends a spicy future of lower-rung robots rising up against their robot bosses instead of going at the humans. Nice deflection!
But, we’ll still need to wait a few months for the Alexa skill. For the time being, iRobot is adding Clean Maps to the iRobot Home app. While your Roomba wends its way across the home, it’ll put together a map of your home, highlighting the dirtiest parts. What can you do with this information? I have no idea. Maybe you can do some sleuthing and start lobbing wild accusations at messy family members for making the poor Roomba’s life harder.