By Dave Ware
Fans of the Roomba will be excited to hear that iRobot has just released its first new robot vacuum in years, the iRobot Roomba j7+.
When the original Roomba came out, it was first seen as a curiosity. Then it became a cultural icon, with sitcoms talking about the vacuum and a parade of online memes and videos featuring the Roomba (and pets riding on them!). Now Roomba has taken its place as a common household accessory that makes cleaning easier. In the tech world, new versions always mean more features, improvements on existing features, and new ideas. Let’s see what the j7+ has to offer.
New iRobot Roomba vacuum: Meet iRobot Roomba j7+
The Roomba j7+ has all of the features of the existing models, but it does have some subtle differences. The navigation camera is now located on the front of the unit, rather than the top. This helps the j7+ steer itself more accurately, as well as provide photo information (more on that later).
The unit has been redesigned for an even more gentle cleaning experience. It also moves more quietly, turning off the vacuum mode while it travels between cleaning areas. That means a less distracting experience for you.
iRobot Roomba j7+: What’s New?
The j7+ boasts a shorter Clean Base disposal unit, designed to fit under a table and keep it out of sight. This will be welcome news for Roomba fans, as the older style tends to stick out and looks out of place in the home or apartment. The bags will last up to 60 emptyings before needed to be swapped out.
The Roomba itself has been updated for a more modern look, featuring a spun metal look and leather pull tab. iRobot must have had a lot of feedback about the look of the Roomba, and decided to make the new model fit in with the modern home. The i7+ looks less industrial and iRobot says it’s designed to stick out less in your space.
New Features: iRobot Roomba j7+
With the benefit of feedback from the community, iRobot has made some improvements to the Roomba, most of them focused on improving the method and quality of its cleaning performance.
Hazard recognition and poop avoidance
The j7+ features hazard recognition, which avoids headphones, phone cords, socks, and underwear. More importantly for pet owners, iRobot promises that the j7+ will avoid solid pet waste, so no more terrifying surprises upon arriving home.
The j7+ features intuitive AI learning to clean your space better. It does this by slowing when reaching a wall or furniture, to avoid bumpy collisions. The new iRobot Roomba j7+ will also recognize when you’re not in the space, through your phone’s location services, and can clean when you’re away, and stop when you return.
Cleaning time estimations
If you have guests coming over, you can see how long it would take to clean the living room and kitchen area and plan accordingly.
If the j7+ finds an unknown obstacle, it can take a photo, send it to your phone, and let you decide whether it should clean or go around it. You can then use that decision to make rules for future cleanings, making your Roomba even smarter.
After using the j7+ for a while, it will start to learn your schedule, and suggest a cleaning schedule. You can also link it to the Braava jet m6 mopping robot to coordinate vacuuming and mopping activities.
The j7+ is the first major evolution for the Roomba, a chance to improve things over earlier models. It also features all of the advances in spatial and wireless connection to schedule cleanings, and make those cleanings more efficient and more thorough.
I’ll be working to get hands-on with this new robot to put it to the test, so post any questions you have about this bot in the comments below. Stay tuned for a full review soon…