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Robot Vacuums

iRobot debuts a new Roomba that can avoid wires and pet poo

Marking a new era in iRobot's robot vacuum evolution

The iRobot Roomba j7+ avoiding power cables and animal droppings Credit: iRobot

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This week, robot vacuum giant iRobot announced the debut of the iRobot Roomba j7+ to replace its top-performing Roomba i7+ model. The company hopes to capitalize on its Genius smart platform to create an experience that lives up to users’ expectations of what a smart robot vacuum should be. You'll be able to purchase the Roomba j7+ beginning Sept. 12.

On top of all this, iRobot says it is releasing the j7+ with the “Pet Owners Official Promise” (aka P.O.O.P—yes, we’re serious), a pledge to the consumer that iRobot will replace any j7+ that runs over solid animal waste within the first year of ownership.

While this may sound kind of silly or gross, it actually marks a huge leap in robot vacuum technology. We’ve lab tested robot vacuums that can recognize and avoid objects by sight. However, the j7+ takes it to the next level.

The iRobot Roomba j7+ asking owner about unknown object
Credit: iRobot

Once you start using it, the iRobot Roomba j7+ continues to learn what you want by asking you questions.

This forward mobility is based on a technology called PrecisionVision Navigation, which is a machine-learning platform that gets smarter over time. Right out of the box, the j7+ has been programmed to avoid objects, such as animal droppings and power cables. However, it can continue to learn through user interaction. If the j7+ ever encounters an object it doesn’t understand, it can send a picture of it to its owner and they can decide whether it’s an object to avoid or drive over.

Aside from new technology, the j7+ improves on the design of previous models. One of our major complaints about the Roomba i7+ was that its cleaning base required 19 inches of vertical clearance to operate. This time around, iRobot opted to make the base more horizontal. So, the j7+ will still empty itself into a self-sealing bag, but the base will be less intrusive and easier to place.

The overall aesthetic has also gotten a major upgrade. Where the i7+ was covered in shiny black plastic that was prone to getting scratched, the j7+ has a brushed silver-metal backing.

The iRobot Roomba j7+ in its charging and emptying base
Credit: iRobot

iRobot gives the Roomba j7+ a huge aesthetic upgrade over previous models.

The j7+ also has all your favorite smart features from previous generations. It can clean specific rooms or certain areas of the house, be scheduled for cleaning routines, and be linked to the Braava robot mop to coordinate wet cleaning after vacuuming. In addition, the j7+ can be programmed to clean when you leave the house and return to its charging base when you return home.

We should also point out that if you’re worried about data privacy, we were told by Bethany Singer Baefsky, director of privacy and DPO at iRobot that, “iRobot follows the GDPR standard for everyone when it comes to deletion, and we do not limit it just to the EU. That means that wherever you are, if you request data deletion, your personal information will be purged within 30 days, in accordance with GDPR standards.”

A self-sealing bag being removed from the iRobot Roomba J7+ charging base.
Credit: iRobot

The plus sign in the iRobot Roomba j7+ means that it comes with a base that empties the robot vacuum and places dirt into a self-sealing bag.

We are super excited to get the iRobot Roomba j7+ into our testing labs. You’ll be able to pre-order the j7+ starting September 12, 2021, at select retailers. The general release date is set for September 19, 2021, with an MSRP of $849, which includes the self-emptying base, or for $649 if you just want the iRobot Roomba j7+ robot vacuum.

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