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Vacuum robots think along with you | heise online

Samsung presented the JetBot 90 AI + at the CES, which combines two practical features in one device: The suction bot recognizes obstacles with the help of artificial intelligence and empties itself automatically.

In addition to the almost obligatory lidar sensor for room recognition, the JetBot also has a front camera whose images are used for object recognition using AI. The aim is to spot and avoid smaller obstacles such as cables, shoelaces or the remains of pets. After cleaning, the JetBot returns to its charging station, which is equipped with its own suction fan and a dust bag. It sucks the suction container of the JetBot empty after every cleaning. According to Samsung, the station’s bag should offer enough capacity for around two months of maintenance-free operation in everyday life.

With its camera and AI, the Samsung bot also detects small obstacles that the laser sensor overlooks.

(Image: Samsung)

A charging station that empties the bot is also available with some Roomba models from the manufacturer iRobot – but so far only with the expensive bots. At CES, iRobot is now announcing the European market launch of the Roomba i3 and i3 +. Both models are intended to cover the affordable entry-level range at iRobot. According to iRobot, the i3 costs 450 euros and the i3 + with suction charging station 700 euros.

What is interesting about the otherwise identical suction bots is that iRobot dispenses with cameras and lidar sensors for navigating in space. Instead, both models have an IR sensor on the underside, which optically scans the ground and, together with a gyro sensor and wheel sensors, is supposed to ensure straight-line stability. Together with the IR obstacle sensors in the front, the i3 and i3 + should also find their way around the room and clean all rooms one after the other in parallel lanes. An interesting approach that works without moving – and therefore fragile – parts and perhaps causes less concerns about data protection for some customers because of the lack of a camera.

The Roomba i3 + should navigate safely even without a camera and lidar. The base station automatically empties its container after the cleaning trip.

(Image: iRobot)

For technical reasons, however, the i3 and i3 + cannot be sent to a desired location in the apartment, and you also have to do without no-go zones that can be defined in the floor plan. Since both bots use the thorough AeroForce brush rollers of the more expensive Roombas, some customers might see this as a fair compromise between features and price.

A suction charging station will also be available at Roborock in the course of the year. In addition, the Chinese manufacturer is introducing a fundamental innovation with the S7 presented at CES. As with iRobot vacuum cleaners, the brush roller is now made of rubber and is also spring-loaded, which means that it can better adapt to uneven floors – for example when driving onto carpets at an angle.

When it comes to carpets, there is a new feature with the technology called VibraRise: If the mop is installed for the optional wet cleaning and the floor sensor of the S7 recognizes carpet, the wiping cloth is automatically lifted so that it does not touch the carpet. So you don’t need to define separate no-go zones for wet cleaning in the app. The mop also rises in the charging station so that wooden floors do not swell due to moisture if the mop is not removed immediately after cleaning.

The mop on the rear underside now vibrates during cleaning to better remove dirt. The S7 automatically lifts the mop on carpets.

(Image: Roborock)

During wet cleaning, a vibration motor on the mopping module is supposed to loosen dried-on dirt better with rapid back and forth movement of the mopping cloth. The vibration intensity can be set between 1650 and 3000 vibrations per minute. If the highest level is not sufficient, it can also be specified that each area of ​​the apartment is approached twice.

The S7 should come onto the market in Germany in the course of the second quarter at a price of 550 euros.


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