Your Robot Vacuum Is About to Get Smarter

Where’s Asimov when you need him

On Tuesday, iRobot revealed iRobot OS, a new software platform designed to make Roomba vacuum cleaners smarter with a better understanding of the home.

The new iRobot operating system (OS) is based on the company's Genius Home Intelligence platform, and it will be adding new features to Roomba vacuums. The company goes as far as to call it "an evolution" of the old platform and appears to have created prototype Roombas to test iRobot OS.

iRobot OS


According to iRobot, the new software platform will allow Roombas to understand more voice commands, recognize more objects, and house more "pet-centric features."

iRobot OS also expands the Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri support to allow Roombas to understand around 600 commands. The company says, for example, that users will be able to tell the device to clean in specific rooms or around certain areas like "around the couch."

As for new objects, Roomba j7 and j7+ units could detect and avoid over 43 million household items. These include socks, shoes, pet waste, cords, and clothes. iRobot states the platform can detect around 80 common items, and more will be included in the future.

Woman reading with Roomba

Kindel Media/Pexels

The company also tested a Keep Out Zone feature on Roombas with iRobot OS. The feature prevents cleaning certain areas, like around a pet's water dish, so it doesn't spill. The little robots will even recommend unique cleaning schedules, such as when pets begin to shed.

A launch date for iRobot OS has not been given, and the company didn't respond to our query about a specific date.

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