Maria Montero

IRobot’s new mop and vacuum communicate with each other …

Some Spring Cleaning News from iRobot . The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company just unveiled a pair of new robots designed to tag dirty floors. The Roomba s9 + and the Braava Jet m6 feature iRobot’s mapping technology, along with Imprint Link, which allows two devices to communicate to take turns on the floor.

The s9 + sets a new premium standard for the Roomba. That begins with possibly the most radical redesign in the 17-year history of the robotic vacuum line. The company has moved away from the iconic all-round disc design that has defined the product since its inception, and on that front, at least, it borrows from the Braava.

The front of the vacuum is flat, part of the new “PerfectEdge” technology that allows it to get closer to the walls, apparently one of the most requested features in the last generations of Roomba. The corner brush has five 30mm arms that get messy that early models couldn’t reach. The downside to the flat side, however, is that the system has to do a lot more maneuvering, which in turn requires more battery.

There is no information on details there, but iRobot says that it is amplified accordingly. The top, meanwhile, features a large brushed metal circle that opens to grab and replace the filter. Like last year’s i7 +, the system ships with the optional Clean Base (in particular, however, they use different Clean Bases with different connectors, so they are not compatible), which flushes out dirt while docked.

The new model features an improved 3D sensor that helps map and navigate the system, searching for obstacles at a speed of 25 times per second. Another first is the Imprint Link technology, which is the next step in the company’s floor cleaning dominance plan. The technology allows the Roomba to communicate with the new Braava, so they can take turns cleaning the floor.

As always, cleanings are initiated through the Home app. That sends the s9 + to clean an area, followed by the m6. IRobot CEO Colin Angle tells TechCrunch that the company positioned the new robots (and its lawn mowing robot, Terra) as “iRobot 2.0.”

“It is a coherent set, from a design and communication perspective, of high-end robots designed to raise the level of functionality,” he explains.

It is certainly a step forward in the vision promised by the company that home robots become an integral part of the smart home, especially when combined with the maps functionality and the Google Assistant function and Google.

The new Braava, meanwhile, works as before, using a spray solution and dry pads, rather than the water tank used by Scooba. It uses similar mapping technology to get a floor plan and avoid obstacles. The cleaning system has also been updated throughout, with improved sprays and larger pads with a range of different materials.

Naturally, none of this is cheap, and let’s be honest, affordability has never really been iRobot’s strong suit. The s9 + runs $ 1,299 with the Clean Base and $ 999 without. The Braava m6 is $ 499, with a box of seven cleaning pads for $ 8. Both will be available June 9. The vacuum cleaner features a new 3D sensor for advanced room mapping and object detection. Unlike previous models, this Roomba is scanning the room for what is in front of it at a rate of 25 times per second.

This is combined with iRobot’s new patented PerfectEdge technology, designed to better edge the edges of rooms. The brushes and other cleaning bits have also been readjusted.