Today iRobot beefed up the brain power of its Roomba vacuums and mops. According to the company this significant software update, called iRobot Genius Home Intelligence, gives enhanced navigation along with app and voice controls to its current robot cleaner lineup.
For example, you can tell your smart speaker things like, "Roomba, clean around the couch" or "Hey, Google, mop under the kitchen table." The machines, iRobot says, will then leap into action and perform these cleaning tasks within the precise areas you've specified. Particular models that gain these new abilities are the Roomba i7, Roomba S9, and Braava jet M6 mop.
A revamped app
At the core of the iRobot Genius platform is a redesigned iRobot Home application. The revamp centers on the notion that robots should clean at the right time. That means they ideally work around your schedule and activities.
For instance you can have your Roomba automatically begin cleaning while you're out running an errand. It can then stop cleaning when you get home. Smart Home devices such as Nest thermostats and August Smart locks serve as triggers for these events. Likewise, your phone linked to a software service such as IFTTT can perform a similar procedure.
Additionally, the app will provide you with personal recommendations based on your behavior and seasonal factors. And if your Roomba frequently gets stuck in certain sections of your home, the app takes note then suggests these areas as "keep-out zones."
Some robot vacuums offer comparable trap-avoidance features. One is the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI. It both automatically steers clear of trouble areas and tags them so you can tidy up later. Other products, like the Neato D7, only let you draw virtual barriers onto floor maps manually.
So is iRobot's Genius solution worth the hype? Check back later since I plan to update this post soon with my experience test-driving the new updates. The company says iRobot Genius rolls out worldwide to compatible devices beginning Aug. 25.