After 11 years and 5 generations of robotic vacuums, iRobot?s gone brushless with the Roomba 880, the newest addition to the product line.
Long-standing user concerns and technology lags have been addressed in what CEO Colin Angle is calling the biggest innovation since Roomba?s introduction in 2002. The biggest hurdle?tangling debris, like pet hair, which would trigger a safety stop in the robot?has been completely eliminated thanks to iRobot?s new AeroForce Performance Cleaning System.
Traditional bristle brushes are retired by two counter-rotating rubber brush rolls which collect debris in grooves and direct it to a more concentrated airflow, leading to the collector bin. Without bristles, hair and other easily jamming debris do not become tangled so easily, or regularly?much to the relief of pet owners.
Along with the rollers, the AeroForce system includes an airflow accelerator to increase suction, as well as a high-efficiency motor, to improve airflow up to 500% over older models and increase dirt removal by 50%. Other hardware fixes include gaskets on every point of connection within the 880 to minimize pressure leaks, and a 60% larger collection bin. Some reports indicate these improvements result in a louder Roomba, though.
Software updates are also putting the 880 leaps and bounds, and rooms, beyond its predecessors. A common complaint with older models stemmed from the Roomba?s lack of specification, which iRobot has addressed fully in this upgrade. The 880 navigates obstacles, as is standard with all Roombas, and now locates spots with heavy dirt and debris through acoustic and optical sensors, so it can go over them multiple times to collect all of the mess.
New modules also allow consumers to adjust their Roomba?s path. The ?virtual wall? creates an invisible boundary where you don?t want the robot to go. The ?lighthouse? module similarly acts as a virtual wall, but more importantly identifies doorways so the Roomba will fully complete a room before moving on to the next. This way, all floors you want the Roomba to clean will be cleaned before the robot returns to its home base.
Some previous features, like the 790?s wireless remote, are now extra and can be purchased in addition to the Roomba. The 880 is available now for $699.99.