New Roomba i7+ takes a load off owners by emptying itself

LIFESTYLE

Robotic vacuums like the Roomba have saved plenty of people from pushing or pulling a bulky unit around their homes, but the little buggers still required manual emptying – a regular occurrence given their small stature. iRobot’s new Roomba i7+ can now handle that task as well thanks to a new base station that seals the waste in an enclosed bag. The new vacuum has also been given a memory upgrade and can now remember the floor plans of multiple homes.

First introduced in 2002, numerous generations of Roomba have seen the pint-sized vacuum become more and more capable. The ultimate goal of set and forget comes even closer with the i7+ thanks to the new Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal unit that the roving robot calls home.

Also serving as a charging station, the Clean Base can accept up to 30 loads from the robot before needing to be emptied, meaning users should be able to leave it to go about its business for weeks at a time – depending how much dirt you track through your house. And when the time does come for emptying the base station, which you’ll be notified of via the smartphone app, it will be nice and clean with the dirt and debris stored in a sealed bag.

The new Roomba is also smarter than its predecessors, with the ability to map and remember the floor plans of up to 10 houses, and the ability to recognize which room it has been placed in. With Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, users can simply say which room they want cleaned – for example, “Hey Google, clean the kitchen” – and the i7+ will make its way to said room and get down to business, automatically returning to its base station once done.

The Roomba i7+, which includes the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal unit, is available for order now in the US and Canada through the iRobot website for US$949, with deliveries beginning on September 12. It will also be in stores from October. The i7 robot and the base station will also come separately, for $699 and $299, respectively, while a pack of three bags for the Clean Base is priced at $14.99. The Roomba i7+ will be available in selected international markets in the first quarter of 2019.