Until now, the technology hasn’t been up for the job.
But this might be the robot vacuum you’ve been waiting for.
The iRobot designers reimagined the Roomba using the latest technology. It adapts to human routines, keeps looking for the most efficient path, and accommodates a wide variety of floor plans and styles.
This model – with companion iRobot Home app – continually learns the lay of your home as it cleans. It maps its surroundings while keeping track of where it’s been and where it needs to clean. It makes its way around and under furniture using a navigation system and an array of sensors. You can see how it gets better at figuring out the best way to clean each room via the app’s history report.
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Roomba i7 also learns to identify each room and you can then label them in the app, and it can remember multiple floor plans. You can even create virtual barriers between rooms. Then, by integrating with Google Home or Amazon Echo, you can simply speak to your Roomba, telling it to clean any room.
The app also allows you to easily set schedules, select rooms or manually start and stop cleaning from anywhere using your mobile device.
The small flying saucer-like vacuum uses a sensors to ensure a decent clean. And instead of the rollers you find on most vacuum power heads that forever get tangled with hair and fibres, Roomba i7+ has dual rubber brushes to lift and clean during suction. The system handles a variety of floor surfaces: carpet, tile, vinyl and hardwood.
It also has a built-in filter to deal with allergens.
And if you hate being bothered to regularly empty the vacuum, you can get the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. The app lets you tell the vacuum to return to the disposal base to empty itself.
Roomba i7+ is 13.34 inches in diameter, 3.63 inches high and weighs about 7.5 pounds. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery designed to run for up to 75 minutes. It recharges when docked at the base and will resume cleaning after recharging if a job was interrupted.
But it doesn’t do steps – that technology is probably still a few years away. However, it does have a sensor to avoid falling down the stairs.
Roomba i7+ comes at a premium compared to other vacuums, but it’s adaptable and can save you significant time.
It’s ideal for homes with open floor space and larger cleaning areas.
But if you have a small space, lots of cables and clutter, narrow walking areas, stairs or too any levels (it needs to return to base to charge), the i7 might not be for you.
Roomba i7+ with Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal retails in Canada for $1,249.99. It comes with two dirt disposal bags, an extra filter and side brush. Roomba i7 stand-alone is $899.99. Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal sold separately is $429. It’s available at Amazon and most major retailers.
Troy Media columnist Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.
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