As smart as robot vacuum cleaners are, they still need you to pick up items on the floor that you don’t want sucked up. That’s no longer a problem with the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 960, which has a camera and AI to spot items and work out whether to vacuum them up or to avoid them.
Related: CES 2019
Using a system called Artificial Intelligence and Visual Interpretation (AIVI), the Deebot Ozmo 960 can spot the likes of shoes, socks and cables on the floor, neatly manoeuvring around them.
We saw a demo at CES of the camera in action, with the robot correctly identifying a shoe and wires (a USB charger and cable). For home users, camera footage will never be stored or processed for security reasons.
Another example showed the robot moving around a prepared floor, avoiding socks, slippers and cables left out on the floor. Aside from slightly bumping a pair of socks, the Ozmo 960 made it around the room without picking up a single item it shouldn’t. Once the product has launched, the Ecovacs team will continue to train the robot, both improving its current image-recognition and allowing it to spot different items.
As well as smart image recognition, the Deebot Ozmo 960 has many of the same features that made the previous model, the Deebot Ozmo 930, such a hit in our review. These include smart laser-based navigation, with the ability to draw no-go areas on maps, and mopping for keeping hard floors clean as well as free from dust.
Control of the robot is via the Ecovacs app or the new Ecovacs Home app, which we’ve not yet to try. The Ozmo 960 is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, letting you start and stop cleans using your voice.
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 960 will be released later in the year. A confirmed date and price have not yet been announced.