November 28, 2022

Brighton Journal

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iRobot revamps the brains of its robot vacuum with the release of iRobot OS

iRobot revamps the brains of its robot vacuum with the release of iRobot OS

Robots are getting smarter. Two years after the launch of iRobot Genius Home Intelligence, AI platform for robotic brooms and mopsiRobot has announced its new software platform: iRobot OS. This operating system for his Roomba robot vacuums will take them to the next level, providing home robots with a deeper understanding of your home and your habits, so they can clean harder and smarter, says Colin Angel, CEO of iRobot.

While the iRobot OS launch doesn’t immediately add features to existing products, it lays the groundwork for an even bigger leap. Angle says in an interview with the edge. “The iRobot operating system currently offers more pet features, understands more voice commands, and can identify more objects than any other robot vacuum.” Earlier this year The introduction of Genius 4.0 for iRobot has added half a dozen new features To Roomba robotic vacuums and mops.

In short, with competition in the increasingly robotic home cleaning space crowded, iRobot says its software is the reason it chooses its products over competitors. The angle presented was how someone might pick an iPhone on an Android phone or a Windows computer on a Mac, and choose the hardware and companion software they like the most.

Currently, iRobot Genius, now renamed iRobot OS, is adding smart features to the company’s bots through the iRobot app, such as recommending additional cleaning schedules during pet shedding season and suggesting Keep Out zones when the bot encounters trouble spots. It also supports 600 voice commands from Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, and the ability to clean certain rooms and areas using voice.

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Angle says the new operating system will allow iRobot to develop a more complete understanding of the home and take advantage of that to include other areas of the smart home. While today’s OS will run on bots, Angle says it will soon run on other devices as well. Includes Aeris Air Purifiers, iRobot was acquired last year. “There is a cloud-based home understanding; we call it the home knowledge cloud. Other iRobot OS devices can access it, and with that shared understanding of the home, learn how it’s supposed to work,” says Angle.

The Aeris air 3-in-1 Pro air purifier combined with the Roomba j7 robot vacuum.
Photo: iRobot

He explained that the air purifier could automatically know which room he was in using the iRobot OS cloud. “He would benefit from knowing I’m in the kitchen. It’s OK to make more noise. There are a lot of sources of pollutants here. Compared to her role in the bedroom, which would be different.” He added that air purifiers, such as a robotic vacuum cleaner, are often disabled by the user because they are too noisy.

Angle says iRobot is working on Allow air purifiers To understand if the room or house is empty and switch to turbo mode, then return to calm when you return. “The idea is for an operating system that doesn’t just focus on activating the features on the robot but doing so in unison with what’s going on in the home.”

The basic concept here is to understand the house. With the latest iRobot vacuum cleaner, Roomba j7Cited by Angle as the most complete iRobot OS implementation to date, the company has a new understanding of the home environment, gained through its front camera-assisted computer vision platform for robots. This allows him to learn more about the layout of the house and to understand subtle commands such as “clean at the kitchen counter” or “clean around the coffee table.”

It also has an AI obstacle avoidance feature to identify and avoid over 80 common items including shoes, socks, wires, headphones, clothes, towels, and pet poop. Angle says the J7 vacuum cleaner has detected more than 43 million objects in people’s homes, and that more front-facing robots will be part of the company’s product line.

In Angle’s vision, data such as maps now shared with iRobot devices will soon be shared with other smart devices – potentially using The new smart home standard is important To provide that valuable missing piece of the smart home puzzle: context. (Angle says iRobot is active on Matter and its IP-based protocol is one option to implement this vision, but they’re still working to resolve “privacy and security concerns about how these communications happen and what you’re allowed to do.”)

“We can tell where things are so that if you hook up the light bulb, turn on the air purifier, plug in a toaster, and install a speaker, the location of those appliances can be immediately understood,” Angle says. This may help speed up the process of setting up new tools.

“The scope of what we do with iRobot OS is at this higher level of insight. The barrier to the next level of AI in robotics is no better than AI. It’s context. We’ve been able to make sense of the phrase ‘go into the kitchen and get me a beer,'” for a while A decade, says Angle. “But if I don’t know where the kitchen is, and I don’t know where the fridge is, and I don’t know what a beer looks like, it doesn’t really matter if I take your word for it.”

Speaking of object recovery, Angle alluded to iRobot OS to take the company’s bots to the next level – accessories. “Only through understanding can the fundamental promise of robots — to communicate and do physical tasks in the home — be manifested,” he says.

This effort to better understand our homes and how we live in them is key to developing a smart home that actually makes life easier; One with less troubleshooting and more harmony. Amazon calls it the ocean home, Google the handy home, and now iRobot is promoting its knowledgable home. Ultimately, they chase the same thing – understanding how their technology can fit better in our homes, so we’ll buy/use more of them. But when devices start working with each other, a reliable smart home can become a reality.