IRobot has much more new robots to try. This week it is refreshing the top-of-the-line lineup with the Roomba Combo j9+, which is available in at $1,399. Similar to Combo j7+, this can be a vacuum with a mop pad mounted on a swing arm setup. In mop mode, the pad swings underneath the robotic and drags throughout the ground. When it is time to vacuum the carpet, somewhat than lifting the pad just a few millimeters and probably dragging it throughout the carpet, the entire pad swings round to the highest of the robotic and appears like a racing spoiler. The improve to the j9+ entails a brand new dock that may refill the robotic’s water tank and a “SmartScrub” characteristic that does a greater job of mopping.
A lot of the new options are enabled by the brand new dock. These vacuum docks unavoidably simply continue to grow in dimension as they get extra succesful, and the j9+ combo dock is so massive that iRobot’s press photographs humorously recommend adorning the Combo j9+ base by placing a vase or another knickknacks on high. The Combo j9+ dock is approaching the scale of a small finish desk, so iRobot says it gave the dock a “wood-like high to double as a usable floor.” It really seems fairly good, with ribbing across the perimeter and a fake leather-based tag on the facet as a gap deal with. Seize the tab, and the entrance of the dock will swing open like a cupboard.
Contained in the door, you may see useful storage bins for brand new mop pads and dock vacuum baggage. In the primary physique of the dock, there is a white tank on the high that shops the cleansing liquid, and beneath that may be a drawer for the mud bag. Altogether, this may suck mud out of the robotic and refill it with water, and iRobot says you may get “60 days of filth emptying and 30 days of liquid refill.”
The one vital lacking characteristic is that the dock cannot clear the mop pad, so you are not fairly at maintenance-free mopping but. Essentially the most superior combo mop-bot out there may be in all probability the RoboRock Q Revo, which has a dock that may clear the mop pads and has a dryer—after a job, a flowery hair dryer will blast away on the mop pads so they will not get smelly from mildew.
So far as we will inform, the robotic should pull into the dock in two instructions, relying on whether or not it needs to cope with mud or water. There’s a single bin that holds mud and water, so the ports to entry each components of the bin are at the back of the robotic. That is not how the ports on the dock are aligned, although—the water port is towards the again wall of the dock, whereas the dust-emptying port is on the entrance. When the robotic pulls in entrance first, the charging pads and mud emptying gap will align with the dock to energy up and empty itself. To fill with water, the robotic has to drag out of the dock, spin round, after which drive in back-first to hook up.
The brand new Roomba is a bit smarter, too. “Dust Detective” and “SmartScrub” will attempt to detect how soiled an space is and go over it a number of occasions if wanted. iRobot says the bot will now “be taught from previous cleansing missions to mechanically prioritize dirtier rooms and regulate settings like suction, cleansing passes, and scrubbing;” it may well additionally regulate its suction energy. SmartScrub is supposed to counter among the extra superior mop-bots on the market, like Q Revo, which spins its mop pads at 200 RPM prefer it’s a flooring buffer, leading to most flooring scrubbing. The j9+ Combo does not have something like that, however it may well detect a unclean spot and go over it just a few extra occasions.
The Roomba Combo j9+ is up for pre-sale and can ship in October.
Itemizing picture by iRobot