iRobot, creators of the popular Roomba automated vacuum cleaners, have today announced their brand-new, model of next generation robot vacuums with the Roomba j7+.
However, that’s not all, the operating system for some Roomba devices will receive a massive update to Genius 3.0. This adds an extensive list of advanced features and gives users much more control over how their Roomba cleans.
iRobot say that after carefully listening to the feedback of its customers “The j7+ and Genius 3.0 are the culmination of lots of research and talking to customers to innovate and shape Roomba”
iRobot Genius 3.0
The Genius update will not only be incorporated into the new j7 model, but it will also roll out to several compatible models of Roomba, with models capable of smart mapping receiving the biggest benefits. The was this works is what most models are designed with some future-proofing in mind.
Brent Hild Director of Product Management at iRobot stated that:
“When we design our products, we design them with a certain amount of headroom in the processor and memory, because we want the robot you buy today will be very different from the robot it will become 2 years or so down the road, we want to continually add new features that benefit our users“
The key features of the new update include:
For robots with smart mapping, you can now see an estimated cleaning time.
Do not disturb function will allow to block out a chunk of time to stop the vacuum from activating, useful if you have a meeting or a sleeping child.
A new Quiet drive mode will turn off the vacuum motor and brushes when the Roomba is transitioning from room to room, making it less disruptive.
Careful drive only applies to the S9+ and uses the 3D senor to repeatedly scan the space in front of the Robot and avoid any impacts, instead of trying to push against them like previously.
Clean while I’m away this will trigger the Roomba to clean when you leave the house using your phone’s location services.
You can create a defined boundary around the home so a smartphone will trigger the robot to automatically begin and stop cleaning when their phone leaves or returns home.
Voice announcements use your smart speaker to update you on the status of the vacuum, rather than you just using a smart speaker to initiate the cleaning cycle.
Health recommendations messages from the app will remind you to replace your filter or other parts that may be starting to show some wear.
Shared knowledge uses the onboard camera to identify objects to automatically label rooms and object within those rooms so you can give detailed instructions like “clean under the bed” and it will know to go to the bedroom and under the bed, however, obviously this will only applies to mapping robots.
The update will also allow those with multiple Roombas to copy map information and share it with each other. This is useful if you have a companion device like the Brava floor mopping robot, or if you are upgrading to a newer Roomba model and want to transfer old mapping info to the new device including any keep out zones you have established.
Of course, the brand-new Roomba j7+ will be making the most of these new features from the Genius 3.0 update.
The j7 may not look drastically different on the outside but it’s received some significant hardware and software changes making it one of the most advanced Roombas yet.
One significant change is the camera location has shifted from the top of the robot to the front and now features a wider view to help it find its way more accurately.
Using the new Precision Vision Navigation, the j7 learns to best navigate your floors, remembering specific rooms and furniture and cleaning where it’s most needed.
Using Visual Systematic Localisation and Mapping the j7 looks for reference points to determine its exact location in the home, and recognises objects around the home and uses them for reference points.
This technology in conjunction with its new camera mean it can avoid obstacles like loose charging cables by creating a temporary keep out area, it then recalculates its route avoiding any issues.
The device can even send you a photo of any hazards so you’re aware of them and will also ask you via the app if you want to add that area to your keep out zones in future.
Using machine learning the j7 has been programed with millions of images of charging cables, shoes, socks, and yes even faeces, so it knows what they are and how best to react to them, with more objects and data added to it over time via updates.
Using its new SightTouch technolgy, the j7 is more gentle than previous models, slowing down for impacts and corners and cleaning more carefully.
For people with pets and might be put off by animal accidents the j7 even recognises pet poop and avoids it, while sending you a notification giving you peace of mind that it will avoid the mess and not make a bad situation any worse.
The Roomba j7+ learns your cleaning preferences and asks for and responds to feedback via the iRobot smartphone app.
Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot said:
“The Roomba j7+ with iRobot Genius provides greater levels of personalisation, new home automations and the ability to get smarter over time, allowing the robot to deliver a more intuitive cleaning experience so people have more time to do what’s most important to them.”
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It’s not just the vacuum that has seen some design changes, the Clean Base that charges, empties and stores waste from the Roomba has been redesigned to fit much better in the home with a new horizontal bin, giving it a lower profile.
The new Roomba j7+ is packed with new features making it a serious upgrade on previous models, not only featuring self-emptying but much better navigation hardware and software that could tempt previous owners to upgrade and those on the fence to take the plunge.
The Roomba j7+ robot vacuum with Clean Base will be available now for £899.99 from the Roomba website . The Roomba j7 robot vacuum alone will be available for purchase for £699.99 by the end of September.