iRobot is excellent, more affordable Roomba i3 The robot vacuum received a firmware update this week that gives it new powers. Existing users and anyone picking up the $349.99 Roomba i3 can now use smart maps to tell their robot exactly where to clean.
This feature, which allows you to send the bot just to vacuum a specific room or rooms rather than wherever it can reach, was previously only available on the more expensive Roombas s9, j7 and i7 in the high end range. from iRobot.
The update follows through on iRobot’s promise that its iRobot Genius software will make your robot smarter at no additional cost to you. Smart mapping, which is done without a camera, lets the vacuum learn your home’s floor plan, so you can direct it specifically where to clean using the iRobot Home app or a voice assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s assistant. Prior to the update, the i3 could map your home to show you where it was cleaning while on the run, but it couldn’t remember the maps and use them for future cleaning.
However, no-go zones and clean zones (areas created in rooms, such as “in front of the couch”) are not included. Thus, users will still need to use the iRobot Virtual Wall Barriers sold separately to prevent the robot from going places it shouldn’t. Or just close doors.
This update makes the distinction between models a little finer. In addition to the app-enabled Keep Out and Clean zones, the $800 Roomba j7 Plus adds smart navigation that lets it recognize and avoid household items like cables, shoes, and yes, poop. dog.
The $1,000 Roomba s9 Plus has the most powerful suction in the line, plus a D-shaped crawler that helps it enter corners better, but not smart navigation. All three models can team up with iRobot Braava Jet M6 robot mop and send it out to mop once they are done vacuuming.
The i3 is the cheapest robot vacuum sold by iRobot that works with the company’s Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal technology, which empties the robot’s bin for you. The i3 costs $349.99 and the i3 Plus costs $549.99 for the robot and Clean Base. The i3 also has a new name in addition to the new features, i3 EVO.
The other “i” in the line – the i7 Plus – is no longer for sale on iRobot.com. This is the closest function to the i3, although it does work with the Keep Out and Clean areas.
The i3 model is also sold at various retail stores such as Costco under the name i4 and i4 Plusand these robot vacuums will also get the firmware update.