Like most people, we’re not crazy about household chores. So last year around this time we were ecstatic to discover the robot vacuum we were looking for. And now iRobot has stepped up two notches by delivering a more powerful and smarter dynamic duo: the iRobot Roomba s9+ vacuum and the Braava jet m6 mop.
The company’s previous offering, the reimagined third-generation iRobot i7+, with clean base and automatic dirt disposal, blew us away. Automated vacuum technology finally worked.
This Wi-Fi-enabled gadget didn’t just clean the floor, its mapping allowed it to adapt to human routines and find the most efficient path regardless of the floor plan.
The Roomba i7+ always knew where it was, where it needed to be and what it needed to clean. It learned to map your home’s terrain by trial and error, using sensors. And it could all be initiated from your mobile device with an app, or with Alexa’s or Google Assistant’s help. When the job was done, it could also empty its bin.
The Roomba s9+ improves on the i7+.
Like the i7+, it’s easy to train. When it sets off, it looks like a lost puppy, exploring, bumping into things and getting the lay of the land, room by room. It uses an advanced 3D sensor, scanning at a rate of 25 times per second, to see what’s in front of it. It learns where every roadblock is and new technology allows it to find every corner and edge, so every nook and cranny is cleaned.
The dual rubber brushes are up to 30 percent wider than on previous models and a corner brush pokes out five 30-mm arms to clean corners and edges.
The s9+ has up to 40 times the suction of previous models, the company claims. Preferences can be set to automatically detect floor type, including deep carpet, and boost vacuum power when needed.
This model also has a high-efficiency filter and a new anti-allergen system that keeps pollen and mould allergens from escaping the robot or disposal bin.
But vacuuming is just part of the job. Sometimes you need to mop, too. The Braava jet m6 looks like a smaller Roomba and uses the same app, the same navigation and smart mapping technology.
You attach a sweeping or mopping pad on its underside. The former uses a dry electrostatic method to sweep up. The latter is a specialized fibre pad that works with water or a special solution. Braava detects whether you’ve installed a wet or dry pad and reacts accordingly.
When needed, a targeted spray nozzle at the front of Braava dispenses an appropriate amount of liquid that the pad mops away.
With iRobot’s Imprint Link Technology, this dynamic duo can operate as an automatic tag-team. By engaging the “Linked Clean” feature, once your Roomba s9+ completes its vacuum job and returns to the home dock, Braava jet m6 sets out on its mopping mission.
Two new features recently have been unveiled for both devices:
- With Keep Out Zones, should the batteries run low in the middle of a job, it’ll return to its base and juice up just enough to complete the job before returning for a full charge.
- And, with Smart Charge & Resume, should you have an area you wish not to disturb, like around a pet’s water bowl or antique lamp, just map out the area and your robot will steer clear.
Both models are ideal for homes with multiple rooms, open floor space and larger cleaning areas. They come at a premium compared to others on the market, but they’re adaptable and can save you significant work and time.
iRobot Roomba s9+ robot vacuum with Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal retails in Canada for $1,649.99. It comes with two disposable bags, and an extra filter and corner brush. Vacuum and base disposal are also sold separately.
The Braava jet m6 robot retails for $699.99. It comes with two wet and two dry pads and a sample of cleaning solution. Both can be found at various retail locations and directly from iRobot. Bundle and holiday pricing is also available.
Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.