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If autonomy in and of itself doesn’t make your Roomba the best vacuum cleaner of all time, perhaps voice activation will do the trick. Everyone’s favorite self-driving vacuum cleaner just added an Amazon Alexa integration, allowing you to communicate with your cleaning assistant with nothing more than your voice.
Thanks to the launch of the Roomba 890 and Roomba 690 Wi-Fi-connected vacuuming robots, your autonomous cleaning device is smarter (and more obedient) than ever. “Expanding the benefits of connectivity from our top-of-the-line Roomba 900 Series through our popular Roomba 800 and 600 Series robots gives more of our customers the opportunity to experience the added functionality and control our connected app gives our robots,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “This is an important next step in making the benefits of smart home technology available to everyone.”
Both the Roomba 890 and the Roomba 690 Wi-Fi connected bots can be scheduled to clean up to seven times a week (which is to say, every day) using the iRobot Home app. And because the Roomba skill for Amazon Alexa is now available across the entire range of connected Roomba vacuums, you can control just about any one of these cleaners just by talking to it — or rather, to Amazon’s virtual assistant. To get Roomba to start tidying up, simply say, “Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning.”
“Adding Wi-Fi connectivity and iRobot Home App support to our Roomba 890 and 690 vacuuming robots enriches our customers’ interaction and experience,” said Christian Cerda, COO of iRobot. “We’ve built customer-centric features directly into the app — from scheduling cleaning jobs, to notifications and direct access to customer support — allowing for more customized, powerful cleaning assistance, every day.”
The Roomba 690 is now available for purchase in the U.S. for $375, while the Roomba 890 will be available in the U.S. by the end of the second quarter.
Roomba’s associated iRobot Home app now comes with a Clean Map report, which displays information concerning the dirtiest floor areas and total space cleaned.
“iRobot is aggressively pursuing opportunities within the connected home to improve our customers’ experience with our cleaning robots,” Angle noted. “The latest updates for the iRobot Home App make cleaning with an iRobot Roomba vacuuming robot even more user friendly, with voice-activated commands, enhanced mapping features and useful post-cleaning reports. These are exciting next steps toward our vision of an ecosystem of home robots that work collaboratively and further enable the smart home.”
The latest Roombas from iRobot, the 900 Series, promise to combine “adaptive navigation with visual localization,” helping these bots create a map of a home as they do their chores. Clean Map reports then allow you to see these maps. The new app feature also lets you know which areas of your home feature the highest concentrations of dirt or debris, so you might adjust your cleaning (or usage) habits.
Article originally published in March. Updated on 05-02-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news of widespread availability of Amazon Alexa integration with Roomba.