iRobot Roomba update uses AI to avoid knocking over your Christmas tree

The Roomba j7 Plus, launched this yr. | Image: iRobot

iRobot has launched a holiday-themed update for its latest robotic vacuum cleaners to assist them deal with the cleansing calls for of Christmas bushes. The j7 and j7 Plus robovacs also can now determine and avoid sneakers and socks.

The festive bushes, sneakers, and socks function builds upon iRobot’s latest navigation and management software program, which first launched in August final yr. This software program uses machine imaginative and prescient to determine furnishings and specify “clear zones.” For instance, you might need a eating desk you desire a Roomba to particularly clear beneath after chaotic household meals. There are additionally “maintain out zones” which a Roomba may recommend avoiding, like the world beneath a TV stand full of cables for it to get caught on.

So when it comes to Christmas bushes, the j7 and j7 Plus shall be in a position to recommend a “clear zone” across the tree, the place you may particularly direct it to vacuum up pine needles, with a “maintain out zone” within the center to cease it bumping into the tree and danger knocking it over. I’ve personally by no means had an issue with a Roomba knocking over a Christmas tree, however it’s useful having the ability to particularly direct it to vacuum round a tree, quite than having it continually vacuuming the entire room together with it. According to iRobot’s release notes, the “vacation tree suggestions” update started rolling out yesterday.

iRobot initially introduced socks and sneakers avoidance alongside the j7 Plus’s canine poop detecting function in September, however on the time mentioned it might be added with a firmware update later this yr. It’s a probably useful function given how a lot of an issue shoelaces could be for robovacs. As nicely as sneakers, socks, and pet mess, the j7 and j7 Plus also can detect and avoid cords.

Alongside the brand new detection and avoidance options, iRobot says that its robots with sensible mapping options can now switch their maps from one robotic to one other. It needs to be useful for anybody upgrading their Roomba or augmenting it with a second mannequin, just like the mopping-focused Braava jet m6. Rather than having to map your dwelling afresh, the corporate’s robots that assist its sensible mapping know-how can now robotically switch their maps to a brand new robotic. According to iRobot’s release notes, this function started rolling out on October thirteenth.

iRobot is running quite a few reductions on its robots over the vacation season. The j7, j7 Plus and i3 Plus are at present discounted by $200, whereas the Braava jet m6 robotic mop is discounted by $100.

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