September 19, 2002
The first robotic vacuum cleaner available
The first robotic vacuum cleaner is now available for sale. Created by iRobot, the company co-founded by Rodney Brooks, head of MIT's AI Lab, the robot is named "Roomba" and has been designed for a domestic use.
This "automated floor-cleaning device" is powered by an "intelligent" software that drives him through the house, following a spiral pattern. It can avoid obstacles, senses stairs (and "turns away from them") and automatically adapt to different floors, with or without carpet. The robotic maid comes with a NiMH rechargeable battery which can last from 60 to 90mn (the time needed to clean three medium-sized rooms) and need 12 hours to be charged.
Roomba is available now, at a retail price of USD199.

Picture: © iRobot

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