iRobot unveils new Roomba i7+ robot vacuum

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It’s been three years since iRobot released the Roomba 980 as its latest little cleaner. But now the company has finally unveiled the Roomba i7+, a self-cleaning vacuum cleaner that even remembers cleaning schedules and all the ins and outs of your home.

If you’re tired of emptying the dirty contents of a vacuum every time you do the chores, the Roomba i7+ comes with a self-cleaning dust bin that automatically removes any dirt and dust it sucks up.

The device is said to contain a charging base that dumps the grime into a larger compartment, which is claimed to hold up to 30 cleaning sessions’ worth of filth before it needs to be emptied out.

What is the Roomba i7+?

Similar to iRobot’s older models, the i7+ features multiple cameras and sensors to help guide the device around tables, sofas, kids’ toys and other things. But this time, the unique vacuum automatically maps out your home and stores the information so it can remember where to clean each time.

The i7+ can store up to 10 different plans, although it apparently takes a few cleaning sessions before the Roomba has your the general layout of your house figured out.

Whether you want to clean the whole house or just one room, the Roomba i7+ can do both. For a true hands-free experience, you can use the iRobot HOME app to adjust how your home is split up. The app can also link up with virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to schedule cleaning sessions.

Is your privacy safe with robotic vacuums?

Earlier this year, voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa terrified concerned users by recording and sharing private conversations, producing creepy sounds of laughter and refusing to follow orders. But iRobot has since reassured people that the company aims to keep your information safe and only distribute data with users’ permission. It also promised any data about the layout of your home will never be sold to third parties.

“Ultimately, iRobot sees ourselves extending beyond just maintenance of the home, into helping people live in their home longer,” iRobot CEO and co-Founder, Colin Angle, said in an interview with The Verge.

“I think elder care and extending independent living is going to be the first really large-scale application of consumer robotics. It requires the companies doing it have a deep history and commitment to privacy and trust.

“Information about your home collected by your Roomba could help everything work, so if you say, ‘clean my kitchen,’ then that happens. Or if you say, ‘turn the lights on in the kitchen’, that works. But that would be something that happens only if the customer allows it to happen. We’d ensure data shared would be protected.”

If you already have a Roomba, the biggest difference between the new i7+ and older models is that the addition of the self-cleaning base and automatic mapping function. The Roomba i7+ will be available in October for US$950.

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