iRobot Debuts Roomba 980 Robotic Vac

iRobot has rolled out its Roomba 980 robotic vacuum cleaner, which the company said offers updated technology and smart home functions that will provide consumers with enhanced cleaning options.

With a retail price of $899, the 980 is the first Roomba to combine adaptive navigation with visual localization, cloud connected app control, and increased cleaning power on carpets, company officials said.

“Roomba 980 is the next big step as it marks iRobot’s first cloud connected product with mapping capabilities for the consumer market,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “Leveraging the cloud and mapping technologies, robots gain a better understanding of their environment, and customers are provided with more control. Looking ahead, these technologies will also enable expanded capabilities for connected robots in the smart home.”

With Roomba 980, iRobot is implementing its proprietary visual simultaneous localization and mapping (vSLAM) technology for the first time in a consumer product. The technology is part of iRobot’s new iAdapt 2.0 navigation with visual localization, which allows Roomba 980 to build a map of its environment as it cleans, keeping track of its location until it has cleaned an entire level.

Using the map, Roomba 980 will run continuously for up to two hours, then automatically return to its home base to recharge and resume until the cleaning is done.

In addition, the new robotic vacuum can also use iRobot’s home app that allows the Roomba to connect to a consumer’s home WiFi network. This allows the vacuum to be programmed through the app.