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iRobot improves app, adds mapping & Amazon Alexa integration


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Erin L

Erin L

Regular readers and viewers know I’ve become pretty attached to my iRobot Roomba vacuum. (Read my review of the newest iRobot 980 here, or the BraavaJet 240 mopping robot here to see why.)

This week iRobot announced it was making some pretty serious upgrades to the cloud connectivity of the iRobot app. You’ll remember from my Roomba 980 review that in the newer generation of robots you could control the vacuum from outside the home via the app and cloud, and that it has better ‘sight’ to find its way around your home and obstacles. Now the 900 series devices have mapping capabilities so you know exactly what’s getting cleaned and what’s not.

iRobot Roomba 900 series now maps your house

irobot mapping“Combining adaptive navigation with visual localization, iRobot Roomba 900 Series vacuuming robots build a map of a home as they clean,” says iRobot’s press release. “Clean Map reports make these maps visible to customers in the iRobot HOME App after a cleaning job is complete, showing total area and duration a Roomba 900 Series vacuum cleaned — for up to 30 cleaning jobs.”

The Roomba has improved smarts too. The robot will also track its work and tell you where the dirtiest spots in the house are (and focus more cleaning time in those areas). Plus, if you’re out while the bot does his work, you can still check up on him to make sure he’s not eating bon bons and filing his nails while watching Judge Judy. The information is accessed in the History tab within the app, and you can zoom and pan through the map to get detailed info. The update to the iRobot HOME App also includes push notifications for updates on cleaning status.

iRobot now works with Amazon Alexa

While not available in Canada yet, iRobot Roomba now integrates with Amazon’s Alexa personal digital in-home assistant so you can tell it exactly what to do. (Americans are so lucky sometimes.)

“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.”

Watch for these updates if you’re already a 900 series vacuum owner, or consider them as another feature of the system if you’re thinking about getting into the robot vacuum game.

Get more info on iRobot vacuums here.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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