If you’ve ever owned a Roomba, you’ve probably come home to see it in an amusing situation. Maybe it tumbled over the stairs, maybe it died moments before reaching its charging base. And maybe, if you’re a pet owner whose dog isn’t fully house trained, you’ve walked in on something a lot less amusing.
There’s a common phrase that both accurately describes this issue and also means “things take a sudden turn for the worse,” but I’m not allowed to put it in print.
Suffice it to say, this issue has become iconic among both Roomba owners and those who have been scared off by the idea of a robot accidentally smearing dog poop across their house.
But fear not! The new Roomba j7+ has completely solved that issue, or so the company promises.
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“We’ve been working on it for a long time and we’re guaranteeing that it works,” iRobot founder and CEO Colin Angle told The Verge.
The company, which manufactures Roombas and specialized AI and machines for military and medical applications, has spent years harnessing AI technology to address the notorious issue, ever since it began to slowly spread its stink across the internet in viral videos over the last decade.
The feature is exclusively for the newest model, the j7+, although it rolls out alongside an update for the Roomba’s navigation software, iRobot Genius that is available to owners of the previous model and offers several additional options.
Dog poop isn’t the only obstacle that Roombas have been trained to avoid. Thanks to the AI learning and more advanced mapping software of the new model, obstacles like cables, sheets, and other potentially difficult-to-clean objects can be avoided automatically, as well as specified manually in the app.
While the price tag ($849 for the new model and cleaning base station) is likely to give many consumers a pause, it’s all part of the company’s approach to getting what they describe as a higher standard for robotics.
“Smart home products often fail to live up to consumer expectations when they lack context of the home, cannot learn independently and require complex programming for basic functionality. We understand home environments and lifestyles are unique and that it’s important to offer intelligent, simple-to-use products that more thoughtfully work within the boundaries of house rules set by the user,” Angle said in a press release.
The new model is also backed by the POOP, or “Pet Owner Official Promise” (cute) that “iRobot will replace any Roomba j7+ that doesn’t avoid solid pet waste.”
Check out more at their official site if you’re interested!
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