iRobot has introduced its latest robot vacuum, the Roomba 980. And at $899, iRobot says the 980 is the smartest Roomba to date as it’s the first to combine adaptive navigation with visual localization, which allows the robot vacuum to map your floors and clean them on its own.
Using iAdapt 2.0 software and two new sensors, the Roomba 980 robot vacuum memorizes the floor plan of your home, including where your furniture is. There’s a small
camera on the top of the Roomba 980, and this allows it to map and navigate your home. Previous Roombas relied on physical bumpers, infrared, and acoustic sensors to get around.
The Roomba 980 also is iRobot’s first cloud-connected consumer robot, allowing users to connect, manage, and monitor it through iRobot’s new HOME App on Android and iOS devices. The Cleaning Preferences option lets you choose if you want the Roomba to pass over your home more than once.
Photos: iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum
“Leveraging the cloud and mapping technologies, robots gain a better understanding of their environment and customers are provided with more control,” says iRobot co-founder and CEO Colin Angle. “Looking ahead, these technologies will also enable expanded capabilities for connected robots in the smart home.” Earlier in 2015 Angle said cloud integration and visual navigation would boost iRobot “from a leader in the robot vacuum cleaner market to a technology company developing navigation connected devices for the home.”
iRobot claims the Roomba 980 is more efficient than previous models, tackling open areas in parallel lines. Since it can map your home, it knows exactly where to go and will avoid any obstacles in its way. It also has a feature called Carpet Boost that tells the Roomba 980 to clean with more power when cleaning carpets. The Roomba 980 has two hours of run time and can sense when it’s battery is low, automatically returning to its docking station to recharge before heading back out to finish the job.
The iRobot Roomba 980 hits the US and Canada today for $899.
Still no word on the status of iRobot’s robot lawn mower.