Q&A: How iRobot Engineered Its New Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum and Clean Base

We talk to Ken Bazydola at iRobot about the world’s fanciest robotic vacuuming system If you’re in the market for a very, very fancy robot vacuum, you’ll want to read our review of the iRobot Roomba i7+, which is as fancy as it gets. Persistent mapping and localization enable all kinds of cool new features, and an automatic recharging base that also magically empties the Roomba’s dust bin means that you can go for weeks or months at a time with zero effort cleaner floors. iRobot put a lot of effort into making the i7+ effective enough and reliable enough that they can send it out into a world of homes that are all different from one another and have confidence that it’ll do what it’s supposed to do, which is no small achievement. And for some extra details about the i7+ and iRobot’s approach to consumer robotics, we spoke Continue reading Q&A: How iRobot Engineered Its New Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum and Clean Base

Josh Tenenbaum named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine

R&D Magazine has named Josh Tenenbaum the 2018 Innovator of the Year. Tenenbaum, a professor of computational cognitive science in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, was recognized for his work studying the nature and origins of intelligence in the human mind and brain and applying that knowledge to build more human-like intelligence in machines. The award, part of the annual R&D 100 Awards, honor pioneers in science and technology. “We selected Josh as our 2018 Innovator of the Year not only because of his accomplishments in the fields of cognitive science and artificial intelligence, but because of his willingness to partner with experts across the board — from computer scientists and engineers to neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists — in the name of innovation,” said Bea Riemschneider, editorial director of R&D Magazine in a press release announcing the award. Tenenbaum’s research currently focuses on two areas: describing Continue reading Josh Tenenbaum named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine

Roomba i7+ Review: The Most Capable, Most Expensive Robot Vacuum

iRobot’s newest flagship robot vacuum is the best there is, if you can afford it iRobot announced the Roomba i7+ in September. It’s their newest, fanciest, most spectacular robot vacuum, and will set you back an eyebrow-raising US $950. The i7+ includes both iRobot’s premium i7 vacuum, and a “+” in the form of a docking station that will empty the i7’s dustbin into a larger disposable bag. This means that you can go much, much longer between maintenance sessions, and it’s entirely possible that the i7 can operate in your home autonomously for weeks or even months, keeping your floors clean without you ever having to think about it. While the dirt disposal dock is the most visible new feature, we’ve also been looking forward to the persistent maps that come with the i7. These are maps that stick around between cleaning sessions, allowing you to give the robot Continue reading Roomba i7+ Review: The Most Capable, Most Expensive Robot Vacuum