iRobot builds fleet of cleaning robots for your home


Hate cleaning? Well, iRobot is looking to take cleaning off your to-do list with two new robots that can work together to get the job done. It’s like your own person fleet of cleaning robots.

iRobot’s new Roomba s9+ robot vacuum and Braava jet M6 robot mop have Imprint Link Technology that allows the robots to communicate with each other. Both robots also feature the company’s mapping technology.

Here’s how Imprint Link works. Using iRobot’s HOME App, you can schedule the Roomba s9+ to clean the kitchen, for example. Once the Roomba docks, the Braava jet m6 will automatically leave its dock and start mopping the kitchen. With the cloud and Imprint Link, the robots can now share maps of the environment.

OK, so the robots aren’t really cleaning at the same time – yet. But you can imagine where iRobot will take this technology. The idea here is to have cleaning blend into the background and go unnoticed in the “smart home.” And don’t forget about iRobot’s Terra robot lawn mower, which was announced earlier in 2019. Like the Roomba s9+ and Braava jet m6, Terra features iRobot’s Imprint Smart Mapping. So expect Terra to also use Imprint Link Technology so a fleet of Terra’s could work together. iRobot says Imprint Link will also work with the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum.

The Roomba s9+ uses iRobot’s iAdapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM to navigate a home and keep track of where it has and hasn’t been. But perhaps the first thing about the s9+ is the square front. This is a totally new design for Roomba, of course, as all previous generations featured a circular shape.

iRobot senior product manager Brent Hild told The Robot Report a lot of time was spent working on the s9+’s ability to better hug and clean corners and edges, which the new design and some new brushes, help the s9+ do. I saw a demo of the s9+ at iRobot’s office earlier this month, and the way it moved around edges and inside and outside corners was impressive.

Here are some other features on the new iRobot Roomba s9+:

  • Up to 40 times more suction power than previous Roombas
  • A new 3D sensor that constantly scans ahead of the robot at a rate of 25 times per second
  • Scheduling via iRobot HOME App
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa devices or Google Assistant

And, yes, the s9+ can empty its own bin into the Clean Base 30 times before you’ll need to anything.

The Roomba s9+ robot vacuum with the automatic emptying is available now in the U.S. and Canada starting at $1,299. The Roomba s9+ will be available at select retailers beginning on June 9 and can be purchased without the Clean Base starting at $999. Availability is a little later for select European countries; The Roomba s9+ robot vacuum with Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal will be available on July 12 €1,499.

iRobot Braava jet m6 robot mop

The Braava jet m6 robot mop is available now in the U.S. and Canada starting at $499 online and will be available at major retailers on June 9. The Braava jet m6 robot mop will also be available on July 12 for €699. It’s designed to mop multiple rooms or large spaces.

It can be used in Wet Mopping Mode or Dry Sweeping, depending on the type of pad you use, and can be used on hard floor surfaces such as hardwood, tile, and stone. It features iAdapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM to get around and can be paired with Alexa-enabled devices or Google Assistant.

And similar to the s9+’s automatic emptying, iRobot doesn’t want you to touch the dirty cleaning pads after the m6 is done doing its thing. So users can press the “Pad Eject” button to have the dirty pad fall into the trash.

“The Roomba s9+ robot vacuum and Braava jet m6 robot mop are the most advanced robots that iRobot has ever built and the best home cleaning robots in the market today,” said Christian Cerda, COO of iRobot. “Customers who demand high-performance, detailed cleaning will appreciate the superior suction of the Roomba s9+ and its ability to vacuum deep into corners where dirt hides. The mapping and navigation intelligence of the Braava jet m6, along with its advanced cleaning features, provide customers with a robot that can mop their whole home.”

Cerda will be speaking at the Robotics Summit & Expo (June 5-6 in Boston) on a panel about developing consumer robots. The panel will analyze how new classes of powerful enabling technologies, along with the proper design methods, allow for additional advanced capabilities to be incorporated into consumer robots, and by doing so increase their overall appeal to consumers.