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Technology New Roomba operating system has no new features, but vast dreams


Technology

Technology New Roomba operating system has no new features, but vast dreams

“Genius Home Intelligence” gets a much catchier name — iRobot aims to differentiate its robots with software through OS rebrand. Scharon Harding – May 31, 2022 4:34 pm UTC Enlarge / iRobot Roomba j7+ robot vacuum. Roomba launched the iRobot OS on Tuesday to signal its robotic household cleaners’ advanced software capabilities. As of writing,…

Technology New Roomba operating system has no new features, but vast dreams

technology news

“Genius Home Intelligence” gets a much catchier name —

iRobot aims to differentiate its robots with software through OS rebrand.


Technology iRobot Roomba j7  robot vacuum.

Enlarge / iRobot Roomba j7 robot vacuum.

Roomba launched the iRobot OS on Tuesday to signal its robotic household cleaners’ advanced software capabilities. As of writing, it only rebrands the two-year-old Genius Home Intelligence AI platform, but the company aims for it to be a leading computer vision platform that differentiates its robot vacuums and mops and eventually moves to other products, like air purifiers.

iRobot OS doesn’t include any new features yet but represents iRobot’s focus on “superior software intelligence,” Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot, said in a statement shared in Roomba’s announcement.

As it stands, Roomba’s iRobot OS-powered devices use computer vision to avoid, depending on the product, up to 80 “common objects,” like cords, socks, and, oh so importantly, animal waste. The OS is pet-friendly by including features like “Keep Out Zones” so your dog doesn’t start a fight with your robo vac when it’s around the food bowl. It can also recommend cleaning schedules, including based on when your furry friend tends to shed. If you want to see all that iRobot OS offers, the strongest iteration is the Roomba J7-series. The device came out in September and uses a front-facing camera with computer vision to better understand its environment’s layout than any other iRobot robot.

It’s also worth noting that iRobot added new features to its Wi-Fi-connected Roomba vacuums and Braava jet mops in March. The new features include the ability for Roomba J7-series to avoid clothing, towels, and other new objects, and customization options, like Room-Specific Cleaning Preferences, Siri Shortcut Integration, Child & Pet Lock, and Do Not Disturb. The updates are rolling out through the end of June.

In an interview with The Verge published Tuesday, Angle said iRobot OS would be part of other iRobot products soon, including Aeris air purifiers. Angle told The Verge that the company is developing Aeris products to know when no one is around so it can use turbo mode and then a quieter mode when someone’s home. iRobot acquired Aeris in November.

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Angle also shared with the publication openness to using the Matter smart home standard to find better context for using its technology news. The Verge reported that “iRobot is active in Matter and its IP-based protocol is one of the options for implementing this vision, but that they are still working out ‘privacy and security concerns around how these connections happen and what are you allowed to do,'” according to Angle. This would include streamlined setup processes where products know when you’ve added a new item to the environment, like a speaker or toaster.

Finally, Angle lightly touched on robots “reaching out and doing physical tasks in the home” but didn’t detail concrete plans. Last week, Dyson announced that it has been working on robots with arms that can pick up stuff and hopes to release these consumer robots in the next 10 years.

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