iRobot is debuting a new Roomba, with new AI technology to make its robots more trustworthy and reliable in terms of smart domestic help. The Roomba j7+ will feature iRobot Genius 3.0 which will solve the burden of animal mess being dragged around the home.
iRobot CEO Colin Angle stated that the time has come to make products that are more useful and thoughtful to the customers. iRobot is employing AI, machine learning, and Object recognition tools in its products. Roomba has its version of Asimov’s three laws, but with a focus on making household robots less intrusive. Angle says that instead of requiring particular programming, devices in the home should respect it, avoid annoyance, and adapt to preferences. That could involve putting a stop to noise during a designated nap time, providing precise clean time estimates before work begins, and aligning alternatives with what’s truly possible.
Some of this is due to a more streamlined setup, such as not offering smart speaker integration if one isn’t accessible, or providing a variety of ways to determine whether you’re at home or away, such as geofencing, alarm, or garage door status, or anything else. Notifications should also be consistent: neither too loud to be unpleasant nor too cryptic to leave you wondering what’s going on in your house.
The roadmap for collaborative robot learning is perhaps the most promising. Recent iRobot models have been able to create real-time maps of the home and categorise them into various rooms. Genius 3.0 lays the path for features such as automatic keep-out zones and room labelling. Robots will be able to collaborate and eventually share maps, allowing diverse models to cohabit on a single, consistent home map. Instead of having to start from the beginning when setting up a new Roomba, it will be able to borrow the homework of other robots.
Not everything will be ready with iRobot Genius 3.0. Continuous learning will be included in version 3.1, which will also include collaborative mapping. The new software will be available as a free upgrade to all current iRobot users, as well as included in new models such as the Roomba j7+, which was also launched today.
The new Roomba j7+ adds a few crucial capabilities to the previous Roomba i7+, most notably in how it claims to avoid unsightly smearing of pet “surprises” left outside of a litter box. iRobot backs it up with the Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P. ), which states that any Roomba j7+ that doesn’t avoid solid pet waste will be replaced.
To do so, the device now has a front-facing camera that faces the ground, as well as greater onboard computing capability for object detection. iRobot supposedly trained its system on hundreds of models in the instance of pet faeces, which is part of a 1 million image data set that includes everything from cables and docks to shoes, socks, and more.
The Roomba j7+ will be able to detect and bypass cables, docks, and pet waste at launch, but iRobot is taking a cautious approach to implement obstacle avoidance – shoe and sock detection, for example, won’t be added until a firmware update later this year – and at launch, the Roomba j7+ will be able to spot and bypass cables, docks, and pet waste. It’ll also tell you when it happened, as well as show you a snapshot of the offending item. After that, you can either tidy up the cord and send the robot back to finish the job. You can create an exclusion zone for future missions.
Simultaneously, the Roomba’s operation in the home has made to be more elegant. That means, according to iRobot, it will provide more effective cleaning around the margins, as well as either avoiding a collision with objects or slowing down to make it more gentle. The Clean Base, which can empty the Roomba j7+ after work and store around 60 days’ worth of dust and grime, is a bit more fashionable than previously and has a reduced profile, so it’ll fit under a table more easily. A spare bag can be stored in a secret storage compartment.
In practice, on-Roomba controls are now simpler, with only one button. The iRobot app is in charge of everything else. The Roomba j7+ has a 90-minute battery life, and it has the same smart mapping and quick zone design that makes dispatching the Roomba j7+ to a specified place simple – even by voice with a connected smart speaker.
The Roomba j7+ is currently available for $849, which includes the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. It will also be available for $649 without the vacuum base.