If autonomy in and of itself doesn’t make your Roomba the best vacuum cleaner of all time, perhaps voice activation will do the trick. Get excited, friends. Everyone’s favorite self-driving vacuum cleaner just added an Amazon Alexa integration, allowing you to communicate with your cleaning assistant with naught but your voice. Moreover, the Roomba’s associated iRobot Home app now comes with a Clean Map report, which displays information around the dirtiest floor areas and total space cleaned.
“iRobot is aggressively pursuing opportunities within the connected home to improve our customers’ experience with our cleaning robots,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “The latest updates for the iRobot Home App make cleaning with an iRobot Roomba vacuuming robot even more user friendly, with voice-activated commands, enhanced mapping features and useful post-cleaning reports. These are exciting next steps towards our vision of an ecosystem of home robots that work collaboratively and further enable the smart home.”
The latest Roombas from iRobot, the 900 Series, promise to combine “adaptive navigation with visual localization,” helping these bots create a map of a home as they do their chores. Clean Map reports then allow you to see these maps. The new app feature also lets you know which areas of your home feature the highest concentrations of dirt or debris, so you might adjust your cleaning (or usage) habits.
As for the new Alexa integration, users will be able to start, stop, and pause Roomba cleaning jobs simply by saying so. For example, by saying “Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning,” your vacuuming bot will kick into action. This new skill will be made available to customers in the United States in the second quarter of this year, and will be compatible with Wi-Fi connected Roomba vacuuming robots.