In an interview with the MIT Technology Review, Colin Angle, iRobot’s CEO revealed that the manufacturer of cleaning robots is about to launch a Beta program. New intelligent home features will appear for 900 series robots from the brand, starting with a WiFi mapping feature that leverages the mapping capabilities of the robot vacuum cleaner.
iRobot wants to exploit the sensors of its Roomba robots for new applications
Since 2015, the Roomba rely on V-SLAM technology (visual simultaneous localization and mapping) to map the premises they are responsible for cleaning. By means of its cameras and sensors, the robot maps places and can thus plan its course more efficiently than in the past, where the robot could rely only on its ultrasonic sensors and contacts with walls. This capability allows the display of this drawing on the application delivered with the robot, but much more in the future. For example, the CEO of iRobot mentioned the automatic generation of a WiFi coverage map of the house created from measurements taken by the robot and he promises other applications in the future. The robot will be able to distinguish parts, detect places where dust accumulates most, etc. But in addition to optimizing cleaning, the robot’s capabilities also open the door to other Smart Home applications such as security, telepresence, temperature and humidity mapping, and the detection of still-lit lamps.
In short, full of sensors and mobile, the Roomba could well aspire to ambitions other than just cleaning!
“iRobot Launches Beta Program to Test Smarter Home Features for Roombas”, IEEE Spectrum, 3 January 2018
“Roomba to Rule the Smart Home”, MIT Technology Review, 15 December 2017
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator