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iRobot unveiled its latest generation of in-home robots designed to be more efficient that previous models. The Roomba s9 vacuum robot and the Braava Jet m6 mopping robot start at $999 and $499 respectively and are designed to work in tandem using iRobot’s proprietary Imprint Link communication technology.
Units like this could serve as the basis or inspiration for automated services that could move beyond the consumer space and offer organizations the opportunity to enhance efficiency through automation.
Here’s what it means: The new Roomba and Braava robots offer owners enhanced tools that more effectively complete cleaning and maintenance tasks, and require less human interference.
The next-generation vacuum and mop robots have improved features that allow them to cover a wider area. Unlike prior circular versions of the Roomba, the s9 has one straight edge. Paired with a 3D sensor, the device can now better clean harder-to-reach areas of the home, such as corners. The Braava Jet m6 now includes the same smart mapping technology as the Roomba, which enables it to learn a house’s layout and cover multiple rooms at a time.
By working together, the new Roomba and Braava robots are more efficient and cut down on the amount of human management. Thanks to new on-board technology, the robots can communicate when they are done with their tasks, automatically signaling the other to begin its routine.
By operating one at a time, the robots eliminate the risk of accidentally running into each other. This is a brand new capability for the Braava: The previous generation required a human to place the robot and start its routine.
The bigger picture: Because robots with communication abilities like those debuted by iRobot require little oversight, they could be deployed at a larger scale and have a greater impact on business operations. For example, automated cleaning robots could be used by cleaning services to augment the work of their employees.
A home cleaning company could deploy a fleet of automated vacuums and mops in clients’ homes, freeing cleaners to focus on harder-to-automate tasks like dusting fragile objects. This could allow cleaning companies to complete jobs more efficiently, and ultimately lead to reduced labor costs, as employees would be able to complete more jobs than they would have working independently.
As robots continue to become more advanced, they will become more prevalent in everyday life — the personal service robotics industry is expected to be worth $35 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of over 38% from 2018.
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