Plowing into solid pet waste is the ultimate doomsday situation for robot vacuum cleaners. They can't avoid it or pick it up, let alone dispose of it. The most likely outcome here is that a robot will further distribute the damage already done to your floor. But what if a robot vacuum could avoid these messy surprises? Enter the new $850 iRobot Roomba J7 Plus.
According to iRobot, the J7 Plus is intelligent enough to recognize and steer clear of pet waste. A company representative explained to me that, "iRobot trained [the vacuum's] ML (machine learning) algorithms using hundreds of thousands of images of real, fake, and simulated dog and cat waste." The spokesperson went on to say, "iRobot is so confident that its pet waste detection is up to the task that it is offering customers the Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P.)." Yes, you read that right.
Essentially that means iRobot will replace for free any Roomba J7 Plus if it fails to detect pet poop and becomes soiled as a result. There are limitations and caveats to this offer. For one, the pledge is good for up to one year from the original owner's purchase date.
Secondly, the offer covers solid pet waste only. If your furry friend drops wetter deposits (such as diarrhea, vomit or urine), you're out of luck. Still, iRobot says the vacuum will alert you when it comes across any objects of concern. It will present these as images for review, including anything foul your pet may have left behind.
If the Roomba J7 Plus lives up to these claims, it will be a remarkable accomplishment. Some advanced robot vacuums, such as the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8, can avoid traps like shoes and cords. Neither Ecovacs nor any other robot vacuum maker -- other than iRobot -- can boast robotic poop avoidance.
The Roomba J7 Plus isn't only made to handle unsavory situations. As iRobot's newest flagship vacuum cleaner, the product comes with all the company's latest bells and whistles. This includes the latest iRobot Genius 3.0 software and advanced navigation features. Key abilities of Genius 3.0 are automatic cleaning when you're away, suggesting room names as it maps your home, and calculating estimates for cleaning time.
Like other iRobot machines such as the Roomba S9 Plus, the Roomba J7 Plus comes with the company's Clean Base charging dock. It enables the robot to empty its own dustbin as well as keep its battery charged. The dock also deposits dirt into a handy vacuum bag. iRobot claims this vacuum bag can go up to 60 days without needing a replacement. There's also a J7 model that doesn't come with the Clean Base and costs $650.
If the Roomba J7 Plus sounds like a floor cleaning dream come true then you're in for a treat. Both J7 models are on sale now in the US, Canada and Europe, including the UK (where the J7 is £700 and the J7 Plus £900). They should arrive in other major markets throughout 2022.