The Roomba i7+, the latest robot vacuum cleaner from iRobot, will not only vacuum your floor and automatically charge itself — it’ll even be able to empty itself, thus solving one of the biggest issues with robot vacuum cleaners.
Since they need to be able to fit into various nooks and crannies, robot vacuum cleaners tend to be quite small and sleek, but this has historically limited the amount of debris they’re able to hoover up in one go.
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This essentially means that you usually have to empty your Roomba after each cleaning session, which somewhat undermines the hands-off approach you’d ideally want to achieve after spending hundreds of pounds on one of the devices.
With the Roomba i7+, you’ll be able to empty the dustbin (which comes built into the charging dock) as infrequently as every fortnight, according to The Verge.
The delegation king
In addition to the new dustbin, iRobot is also building new software functionality into its app to let you to do more with the map that your Roomba generates after its first clean. Now you’ll be able to label rooms, and instruct your robot companion to clean certain rooms more than others, for example.
Neato has included similar functionality in its latest Neato Botvac D7, where you can draw virtual ‘No go lines’ on a map of your house in its app, so it’ll be interesting to see if iRobot’s room-based approach makes up in convenience what it seemingly lacks in granularity.
If you don’t want or need the i7+’s new features, there’s also the new Roomba e5, which comes with a more limited set of features and a more reasonable price tag.
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Speaking of price, the Roomba i7+ will retail for $949 (around £735) and the iRobot e5 will cost $449 (around £350) and will be available from next week in the US. No word yet on a UK release for either model, but the i7+ has had an eventual international release confirmed.
Now iRobot just needs to find a way to allow a Roomba to vacuum a set of stairs and its robots will be truly unstoppable.
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