BEDFORD, Mass. – Consumer robot maker iRobot today launched two new robots in its Roomba and Braava robotic vacuum and mop series with advanced communication technology that signals a move towards home automation.
The Roomba s9+ robot vacuum with Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal and Braava jet m6 robot mop include new technology that let them “work together to provide the deepest clean possible in the home,” iRobot said in its announcement.
“In 2018, iRobot brought robot memory and automatic bin emptying to the Roomba robot vacuum, ushering in a level of hands-free cleaning automation not previously realized in consumer robots,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “With the launch of the Roomba s9+ and Braava jet m6, iRobot has achieved another automation milestone for home robots. Not only can customers forget about vacuuming for weeks at a time, but their robot vacuum and mop can now work together – automatically vacuuming then mopping – without any effort from the user.”
Angle is one of the keynote speakers at next week’s re:MARS event, Amazon’s new AI and robotics conference taking place June 4-7, in Las Vegas, where he will present more details on his vision for robotic automation in the home. In addition to the S9+ and Braava jet m6 robots, the company will demonstrate its soon-to-be-released Terra robot mower.
“The Roomba s9+ robot vacuum and Braava jet m6 robot mop are the most advanced robots that iRobot has ever built and the best home cleaning robots in the market today,” said Christian Cerda, COO of iRobot. “Customers who demand high-performance, detailed cleaning will appreciate the superior suction of the Roomba s9+ and its ability to vacuum deep into corners where dirt hides. The mapping and navigation intelligence of the Braava jet m6, along with its advanced cleaning features, provide customers with a robot that can mop their whole home.”
The s9+ vacuum ($1,299, now available in U.S. and Canada) includes an advanced 3D sensor, a new cleaning system and the company’s PerfectEdge Technology, which includes 30% wider dual rubber brushes and a specially designed corner brush. The rubber brush includes treads that stay in constant contact with different floor surfaces – including hard floors and carpets – and adjusting as needed to collect small particles or larger hair/debris. The corner brush uses five angled arms to “grab dirt and debris from deep in corners and along walls, directing it into the robot’s path to be vacuumed up,” iRobot said.
The robot works with iRobot’s iAdapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM technology to help the robot navigate through the home, keeping track of where it’s been and where it has yet to clean. The 3D sensor “constantly scans what’s immediately ahead of the robot at a rate of 25 times per second to help the s9+ get dep into corners and clean large areas efficiently.” Along with the Imprint Smart Mapping technology, users can choose which rooms are cleaned, and when, iRobot added. In addition, users can start cleaning via voice control when paired with Alexa-enabled devices or the Google Assistant.
The company said the s9+ includes the “first and only Anti-Allergen System,” which traps and locks pollen and mold allergens from escaping the robot or its base station. The robot also includes a filter that captures 99% of mold, pollen, and dust mite allergens, iRobot said. Once the robot is done cleaning, it returns to its charging station, which can hold 30 bins of debris, “allowing customers to forget about vacuuming for weeks at a time.”
Mopping multiple rooms, large spaces
The new Braava jet m6 mop (now available for $499 in the U.S. and Canada) lets users choose between wet mopping or dry sweeping, iRobot said. The mop robot uses the same navigation and smart mapping technology as the s9+, as well as the voice control features and app access (iRobot HOME). When the system is done mopping, users can place the robot over a waste basket and hit an eject button, dropping the pad into the trash. Clean Map reports in the app can show where the m6 cleaned and view other stats about the cleaning job. Reusable wet and dry cleaning pads are available for purchase separately.
Working together for home automation
The company said it is also “ushering in the next generation of connected home automation” via its Imprint Link technology, which enables the robots to communicate with each other, “working in sequence to get the job done.” Through the Imprint Link, the s9+ and Braava jet m6 robots work together by automatically vacuuming, then mopping, “without any effort from the user.”
For example, users can start a “Linked clean” in the HOME app, with options to choose specific rooms for the robots to clean, or an entire level of a home. To start, the Roomba s9+ will vacuum the selected area, and when it’s finished it will dock. The Braava jet m6 robot will then leave its dock and begin mopping, and users will receive notifications when the job is done. iRobot said the Imprint Link technology will also work with the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum.
The company said both the Roomba s9+ vacuum (starting at €1,499) and Braava jet m6 mop (starting at €699) will be available for select European countries on July 12, 2019.